Marriage guidance, advice, and relationship tips from expert marriage therapist Azizeh Rezaiyan
Most of us never received any solid marriage guidance before tying the knot. Instead, we picked up what our parents modeled for us, the good and the bad. Our spouse may have had a completely different model! This can make for some tough and confusing going. The great news is we do know what types of behaviors and attitudes facilitate having a great marriage, and it’s never too late to learn and change your marriage for the better.
1. Be your wife’s biggest fan and encourager. Really care about what her interests and passions are, and support her taking the time to pursue those things to build partnership. It’s win-win; she feels important, valued, and supported as an individual, and you have a spouse who can bring that individuality and passionate energy back into you and your relationship.
2. Cultivate your interests and passions, and bring that energy and positive feeling back to your marriage. Time spent on individual pursuits can keep you more mentally and emotionally fresh and wholehearted. To build intimacy in your marriage, make sure you invite her to know more about your interests, too! And bonus points (and benefits) if your interests facilitate genuine friendships with other males.
3. Quit the porn, stat. Porn is an intimacy killer, and intimacy is what you want in your marriage. It’s not a harmless habit, and however common, it’s not good for your relationship. There is a lot of research and a lot of help available if you need more information or motivation to stop looking.
4. Share the housework and day-to-day tasks. Just make it what you do. The majority of people grew up seeing their parents have a traditional setup, so they may think of it, as just the way things should naturally be. But you live in and dirty your home, laundry, and dishes, and your wife is not and should not be your maid. You want an intimate marriage and to truly feel like you have a partner for life? Then be a partner and don’t expect your wife to do all the tedious necessities you don’t feel like doing.
5. Be present, and consciously enjoy your wife. It’s easy to fall into habits, patterns, boredom, and distractions without realizing it. Remind yourself regularly to choose to really be with your wife and family when you are together, and to purposefully notice and appreciate the good. Making the effort to have a positive and present mindset as your default will help you to actually feel that way. Not to mention, your wife will pick up on your unspoken attitude and be even more open to true partnership and intimacy.
Whether your marriage is currently happy or unhappy, whether you plan to try couples therapy for better communication or conflict resolution or just want to improve things on your own, these 5 marriage tips can transform your marriage if you commit to them. Start now, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a marriage and family therapist if you feel stuck.