6 things married couples should be doing but probably aren't
Couples, if your relationship is feeling a bit off lately, try strengthening your bond with these 6 things!
You're probably no rookie when it comes to relationships or being in a happy marriage, but if you feel like something's been off with your relationship lately...you've come to the right place.
The problem could be a number of things, but it's safe to say that if you've been feeling a little strange lately, then there's something that needs to be done. Specifically, six things.
Bustle posted an article that aimed to help couples learn the things that they aren't doing, that they really should be doing. We used the foundation of their list to craft our own in an effort to help married couples!
You may do one, two, or even three of the things on this list, but research shows that if you're doing all of these things, then your relationship with your spouse is sure to improve.
Check out our list of things married couples should be doing...but probably aren't:
1. Assure each other that you love/care
We figured we'd start with the basics. If you aren't affirming or expressing your love for your partner as often as you can, then you should probably start doing so as soon as possible. Psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne confirms that spontaneous signs of affection yield very positive results in a relationship. This can be as simple as a "just because" gift, to surprise dinners, or even a simple hug and "I love you" when you see they're a bit down. A little (and frequent) affection goes a long way in a relationship, and you should be putting in the effort.
2. Be open, even if it means getting embarrased
In her book, Heroic Love, psychologist Randi Gunther suggests that "It can be all too easy to keep our thoughts and feelings inside when something bothers us or when we're worried it will upset the other person. However, making a concerted effort to be open and pride-free when it comes to communicating is a much healthier route. It will minimise mind games as well as unnecessary misunderstandings."
No matter what, a good couple should be willing to share what's on their mind, and do so with little to no shame. It's very important that you throw your pride out the door, and be willing to communicate with your partner.
What else should you be doing in your marriage? Find out by clicking next!
3. Keep your partner's private life private
Our wise friend Randi Gunther, Ph. D., also noted that a major component of solid relationship stems from being able to treat your partner's private life with respect. Most notably when it comes to mutual friends and mutual acquaintances. In Gunther's words, "It may be tempting to share something about your partner with a friend as if it were your own secret or issue, but at the end of the day, respecting your partner enough to respect their boundaries will make for a more solid relationship overall."
Just as you've been lead to believe your entire life, talking behind someone's back is wrong. Regardless if it's innocuous, harmless fun about your partner, you should respect your partner's right to keep their private life...private.
4. Watch movies together
The University of Rochester once conducted a study about couples who watched a movie together once a week. The numbers suggested that couples who watched a movie together at least once a week were half as likely to get divorce! Now before you let your husband force you to watch Die Hard, you should be mindful that the movies in the studies were ones focused on relationships. In the study. researchers found that "watching and discussing movies about relationships is as effective in lowering divorce rates as other, more intensive early marriage counseling programs."
If you want to work on your relationship in a constructive (and entertaining way) you should be watching movies with your partner!
5. Try engaging in "self-expanding" activities together
Popular relationship blogger and clinical psychology student Emma Higgins posted on her website, The Fishy Bowl, that good couples in strong relationships often try and engage in "self-expanding activities". These can range from traveling to new, exciting places, trying new and exciting things, or just generally spicing things up. The point is to try something new if you haven't caught on yet.
If you want to build on the foundation of your marriage, you should add variety and create a unique bond with your partner through these experiences.
6. Always use the phrase "I feel" when in a fight
Preston Ni is a communication expert and coach who could very well save you the trouble of overextended, needless fight. his advice: "Most of us don’t like to be told what to do, and when we use 'you' language plus a directive, it’s easy to arouse in other people feelings of resentment and defensiveness."
In other words, instead of screaming "We always do whatever it is that you want to do!!!" Try calmly saying, "I feel as though the things we do are the ones that you prefer to do as opposed to something we can agree on."
If you want to communicate in a more efficient, and clear way in your marriage, you should be using "I feel" statements when applicable.
If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them with us!