Hey couples: did you know that divorce is preventable, if you and your spouse adopt the right habits? In fact, here’s a list of some habits guaranteed to help foster intimacy, passion, and trust in your marriage. They come from relationship coach Laura Doyle, and her book Six Lessons that Lead to Lifelong Love:
- Do at least 3 things a day for yourself. That’s because treating ourselves well helps teach others how to treat us. Plus, Doyle says that when we do things to make ourselves happy, it takes some of the pressure off our spouse. And our good mood will inspire them to do more things to encourage our happiness!
- At least 3 times a day, express gratitude for your spouse. For example: thank them for washing the dishes, taking out the trash, or just doing a job that helps pay the bills. Doyle says gratitude will inspire your spouse to keep doing the things you appreciate. And in turn, that’ll make you feel more cherished and grateful.
- Remember that your spouse is someone you chose. Doyle says that over time, a lot of us get bogged down focusing on our spouse’s imperfections - which causes us to criticize or dismiss them. But when we do that, we stifle intimacy - and encourage hostility. So, remind yourself to be more respectful. Because as Doyle puts it: “You’re too smart to have married a dumb spouse!” And marriages need respect in order to thrive.
- Don’t try to control your spouse. Like when you’re always dropping hints trying to change the way your spouse dresses or drives. Our expert says all those helpful “hints” come across as criticisms, saying “you’re not competent.” And no matter how well-meaning you are, your comments are going to push intimacy away!
- Let yourself be vulnerable. Doyle says being vulnerable is not the same as being weak. Instead, it means saying things like “I miss you” instead of “You never spend time with me,” or admitting when you’re embarrassed or hurt, instead of starting a fight. Doyle says there’s a direct connection between vulnerability and intimacy. Because when we’re vulnerable, it changes the way our spouse responds to us, and makes them want to be the spouse we fell in love with.
Have you tried any of these suggestions? Do they work for you and your spouse? Tell us what you think!