Marriage guidance, advice, and relationship tips from expert marriage therapist Azizeh Rezaiyan
Over time, it’s natural for the excitement of a new relationship to wear off. Feeling disillusioned is one of the most common marriage problems. The great news is you can perform a little marriage self-help and turn things around with a few expert relationship techniques. While a more mature love is a good thing, you can consciously keep elements of that “new” feeling present in your relationship if you put a little thought and effort into it. Here are 3 things to do to keep that spark alive and keep the best of both worlds:
- Remain sensitive and respectful to what is important to your partner.
In any couples relationship, each partner is going to have preferences or requests that don’t make sense to the other person. One partner leaves towels on the floor or doesn’t hang their jacket, one leaves dishes in the sink overnight. It’s easy for each partner to discount the request since it is usually small, and it is just not naturally important to them. But, over time the partner whose request is being ignored (which may be both partners) can begin to turn into resentments as they feel unimportant and unheard. When resentments build, irritation and bickering take hold in the relationship, and marital discord becomes the norm.
Instead, seek to mindfully remain sensitive to what is important to our partner without being defensive, judgmental, or having an expectation of return. This is when we learn to let go of understanding the “whys” and reasoning behind our spouse’s adamant request. Reasoning away the importance of your partner’s request is a sure excitement-killer. If you decide to treat your partner’s requests as important just because they are your beloved partner, you can keep or rekindle a bit of that honeymoon phase in the relationship.
No person or relationship is perfect. It’s not uncommon for couples to have trouble implementing this one, especially if resentments have built up. Seeking couples counseling is often a fruitful effort for this issue; I guide my couples towards understanding when to choose to compromise and when to choose not to.
- Keep different parts of you alive in the marriage
A quick and common way to kill the life and freshness in the relationship is when couples gradually forget and lose their individual identities to the marriage. Everything becomes “we” which might sound romantic, but in practice it is just the opposite. The self is forgotten, and the beauty of the individual at the core of each person is worn away. Slowly partners stop being curious about life around them and stop renewing themselves by learning new things on their own or together. If you want to make the honeymoon last, than you must bring the uniquely different parts of you into your marriage. Effective couples therapy strategies and techniques encourage each partner to grow and change individually in order to keep the novelty and youthfulness alive between partners. If no one is ever bringing freshness, energy, or individuality to the relationship, stagnation and boredom can set in.
While you stay connected with your partner, you must have space to take care of you by attending to what is important to you. Reading the books you used to read, playing the games you used to play, sing the songs you used to sing, or find a new interest!
We need our partner’s support in taking time apart; we allow and encourage each other to disconnect shortly in order to reconnect and keep those honeymoon days going. One partner can begin improving the marriage right away by thoughtfully incorporating this separate time, and gently offering support for the spouse to do the same.
- Make foreplay a part of your daily activity (or: be a good lover, not just a good partner!)
Don’t save foreplay until 5 minutes before sex. In marriage counseling we learn that intimacy and foreplay begins when we leave the bedroom and sex begins when we return to the bedroom. Most people forget to remain intimately connected during the day. They lose touch with their playful side and their sensuality, and get lost in daily chores and the work of being a good partner and not a good lover.
- a sweet little note or text
- a quick intimate talk on the phone
- a naughty/silly game
- a passionate and sensual look or touch while making dinner in the kitchen
Little moments like these are all an important part of sexuality and foreplay which re-ignite the honeymoon spark and the keep the flame of desire for our partner in the bedroom alive. Sex counseling for married couples incorporates many of these small actions that make a world of difference in intimacy and sensuality. It’s too easy to thoughtlessly let these things go as routine sets in, but it’s well worth the effort to make your partner feel important and desired in small ways that add up to make a big change.
These 3 not-so-typical “advice for marriage” tips can transform your relationship and address some of the most common problems in marriage. Couples can do a lot to help their own marriages, and one spouse can start taking action on their own and see improvements. While ups and downs are normal and new habits take time to form, if you run into major emotional roadblocks trying to incorporate these healthy marriage behaviors, it might be time to seek relationship and marriage counseling. Don’t be ashamed if you need marriage help; many relationships and marriage problems can be improved and transformed into deeply intimate and satisfactory relationships.