Making your marriage a top priority can feel like an overwhelming proposition. It may seem daunting and almost impossible amidst your hectic work and family schedules, especially during the holiday season.
But no worries. During this Holiday season, save your fears for another time. Get your house in order with what matters most following these 7 simple steps.
Share With Each Other What You Need To Feel Connected
One of the ways you can make your marriage a top priority is to ask your spouse, “How can I make you feel like you’re number one in my life?”
Then really listen to the response. The Imago Dialogue is a great tool to use to help you with this. It teaches you to focus on what is truly said rather than jumping in with a defensive response or a quick fix.
Reinvigorate the Romance
Spending quality time together is essential to any great relationship. It’s like watering your favorite plant. It keeps it alive. But this isn’t always easy in this crazy-busy world.
A great way to make sure this happens is to punctuate your relationship with rituals of connection. This could mean a regular Friday evening date night, a nightly walk around the neighborhood, or just cuddling on the couch watching your favorite series on Netflix.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
There will always be moments when your spouse really annoys you, but you’ll be fighting an awful lot if you focus on every irritation. I believe that what you focus on expands. It makes sense to focus more on what you love and appreciate about your spouse so that more of what you love shows up. Don’t let all this good stuff get buried under the little annoyances.
But… Don’t Bury the Big Stuff
A sure-fire way to cause distance in your marriage is to constantly bury significant hurts and disappointments. They become like burning embers just under the surface of your relationship making healthy connections next to impossible.
If you are feeling hurt or angry about something your spouse said or did, instead of lashing out or burying it, why don’t you schedule an Imago Dialogue? This will ensure that your feelings will be heard and validated and that you will express your feelings in a way that helps you get heard.
Take Good Care of Yourself
Remember the old saying, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” Your marriage is only as healthy as you are. So how can you begin to take better care of yourself?
Maybe it’s spending some time at the gym or hanging out with special friends once in a while. It could be taking some alone time to meditate, read a book, or listen to your favorite music.
Self-care is not selfish.
It’s essential to the well being of your relationship. Your happiness is your right and your responsibility.
Own Your Own Stuff
Marriage and relationships are a little like a dance. Just like you need to take responsibility for your own happiness, you also have to take responsibility for your steps in this dance.
My favorite quote by Gandhi is: ’Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s so much more empowering to focus on what you can do to do make a positive change rather than nagging your partner to change. That’s just pointless and frustrating.
As you each begin to take more responsibility for your own steps you’ll be creating a beautiful dance of love together. Whew, now you can relax and have some fun during this Holiday Season!
If you'd like to learn more about the Imago Dialogue and other tools to help you create a great marriage, i'd love to help you have a more passionate and supportive marriage, please check out my website.
This Tips blog was written by Christine Wilke, Ed.S, LMFT