‘Tis the season for a stronger marriage

December 12, 2019

The Top 9 New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Marriage in 2020

The holidays can be a chaotic time of busy schedules, overspending, and running ourselves ragged, leaving little time for couples to connect and grow closer. Fortunately, the start of the New Year is a perfect opportunity for married couples to regroup and make strengthening their relationship a priority. Here are some simple tips to help you and your spouse start the New Year off right by investing in what’s most important: your marriage. 

Quality Time

Finding time to have fun with your partner is challenging in general, but this is especially true during the holiday season. With a little thoughtful planning, however, you can create new habits together that will help you bond all year long. 

1. Make “Play Time” a Priority

So much of being an adult consists of checking off boxes and fulfilling obligations. Break up the monotony by intentionally doing activities together strictly for the fun of them. This can be as structured as taking a weekly dance class or as simple as playing a card game after dinner. Your only obligation is to enjoy it together!

2. Schedule Regular Date Nights

It’s easy to put your marriage on the backburner when you have so many other responsibilities to focus on. To combat this habit of ignoring your relationship’s needs, schedule regular date nights into your calendar alongside your regular duties. Whether it’s having a weekly dinner date, going to see a movie once a month, or planning a romantic night at home, make a conscious effort to spend one-on-one time consistently. 

3. Put Away the Distractions

There’s nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone who is zoning out on their phone. When it comes to spending time together, agree to put away the devices. Make it a goal to not look at your phone during meals, on dates, or right when you get home from work, so that time can be spent connecting instead. I tell my clients to keep a basket at the front door, drop your phone there along with your work stresses from the day. 

Make Emotional Investments

Whether you realize it or not, an individual’s emotional needs are just as important as their physical ones. Check out these ideas to leave your partner feeling emotionally fulfilled and make them eager to return the favor to you.

1. Genuinely Listen

So often we think that we are actually listening to someone when really we are just waiting for our turn to speak. Haven’t we all been guilty of this? …(Raises hand slowly). Break this habit by striving to genuinely listen to your spouse. Making eye contact, sitting down, and asking follow-up questions are helpful ways to ensure that you are being a good listener. Try reframing what they have said. It helps you to actively listen and shows your partner that you care about what they have to say. 

2. Let the Little Things Go

Sometimes numerous little fights can be more damaging than one huge argument. If your spouse left their socks on the middle of the floor again or didn’t wash their cereal bowl for the hundredth time, do your best to let it go, rather than responding with a rude comment or nagging. The bottom line? Pick your battles. 

3. Praise More, Criticize Less

You may not think your spouse needs to hear you compliment how well they do chores they perform regularly, but they do! Make it a priority to thank your spouse for tasks you notice them do well, even if they do them all the time. This lets them know that you notice their hard work and appreciate them. Better yet, let them hear you praise them to someone else!

Get Physical

There’s no better time to get more active than at the start of the New Year. Try these fun activities to get your blood pumping with your favorite person.

1. Exercise Together

Whether you’re out of shape or not, exercising together is a wonderful way to improve your health, while bonding with your partner. Not only will you get to spend time at the gym or outside together, you’ll be able to encourage each other, while hopefully sharing a few laughs along the way. And it’s downright sexy, that’s right, I said sexy. Think about it. You are sweating, short of breath and your pulse is racing. Sound like anything else? 

2. Improve Your Sex Life

Sex is an important aspect of a healthy, happy marriage, so it’s time to stop putting it off! Bring your sex life back to life by going away for a weekend, trying a new location in your home (the kitchen, perhaps?), or experimenting with new toys or a new position. Get in sync with one another both inside and outside the bedroom. Go to bed and wake up at the same time, have dinner together, work out together. It creates intimacy and connection and actually have you looking forward to this new routine. You’ll wish you had done it sooner.

3. Kick Bad Habits to the Curb

If you and your partner happen to share the same guilty pleasure, the New Year is a great opportunity to work on breaking it together. Whether you hope to quit smoking, eat better, or drink less, set goals together and encourage each other to improve. It will feel good to know you’re not alone in the struggle.

The options are endless when it comes to making resolutions that will strengthen your marriage and help you enjoy your spouse throughout the New Year. With a little creativity and teamwork, you and your partner can restore intimacy and a friendship that is even better than you could’ve imagined.

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