Some marriages just work. We all know at least one couple who have been together forever and still seem as happy as the day they first met. Have you ever wondered how they do it? There’s no big secret. They simply show each other the respect and love they deserve. They understand that for a relationship to work properly, you need to take care of it – a bit like a car engine! Here are six ways happily married couples take care of what they have.
1Touch one another
Physical contact is important in a successful relationship, and we don’t necessarily mean sex. Happy couples stay connected – a kiss on the cheek or a touch on the shoulder as they pass on the stairs. They’ll hold hands when walking, touch toes while sprawling on the sofa. Little, everyday ways of ‘checking in’ with the other person to let them know you care.
2Check up on your partner
It’s easy to fall into the trap of mundane conversation – talking about what you’ll have for dinner or whose turn it is to walk the dog. Sometimes, it’s good to make sure they’re ok. A text that simply asks: “Hey, how’s your day going?” shows you’re thinking about them. Or call to ask if they need anything from the store on your way home.
If you’re out in company, or even at the supermarket checkout, catch your partner’s eye and smile or wink. It tells them you might be caught up in conversation with someone else, but they’re still your priority.
3Express your gratitude
If someone holds a door open for us, we say thank you – right? What about if you’re busy in the evening, working or playing on the XBox, and your partner brings you a cup of tea? Do you even look up? It’s easy to let small gestures go unnoticed, but that’s the first step towards taking someone for granted.
Say thank you for everything – for the meal they cooked, for putting fuel in the car, for collecting the dry-cleaning. Let them know you appreciate the little things they do that make life easier.
4Support their dreams and goals
We all have ambitions. Some are more realistic than others. Maybe one of you has always wanted to take up a particular activity. Perhaps you’re going for a promotion at work. It could be something a little tricker to attain, like writing an award-winning novel.
It doesn’t matter. The best thing you can do for your partner is to support them. Show that you believe in them and are cheering them on. Not only will they be more likely to succeed, it’s another way to make sure you stay close as a couple.
5Give each other your full attention
We all know how technology has taken over our lives. People barely seem to have a conversation without at least one of them being on a smartphone or tablet. We’re not saying happily married couples never succumb to such distractions, but they do make a point of focusing fully on each other sometimes. Sit down, put the phones on ‘do not disturb’ and talk to each other. Listen and respond. The rest of the world can wait.
6Have fun together
Happily married couples make this a priority. Booking a dream holiday or going out to an expensive restaurant are nice things to do, but that’s not what we mean.
Having fun is kicking piles of fallen leaves during autumn walks. It’s having a quiet night in on your own with a favourite movie. Teasing each other and laughing at stupid jokes. Being yourselves and enjoying it. Life can be humdrum sometimes. Remember what makes it special.
There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ relationship. But there are a few things you can do that will mean you’re more likely to stay happily married.