Since today is Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fitting to stop and consider what a couple can do to improve their marriage. I am always curious about the marriages of “older” couples; specifically, those that seem to have a terrific marriage. I know great marriages exist; I have witnessed them. But I also know having been married 13 years, that having a wonderful marriage isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be quite challenging. Human beings can be very selfish and they find comfort in repeating the same patterns of behavior!
After reading this article by Cheryl Saban Ph.D., I have hope that I can have what she claims to have- a great marriage at age 60. She gives some practical advice that I have read in previous articles or books on marriage. Give love and respect, speak no harsh words, do what you can to stay attractive to each other, spend time with each other doing things you both enjoy, maintain your individuality and keep the spark in your sex life.
One of the greatest gifts we have in life is the ability to change. Here is a suggestion: make a list of 3 things you can do this month to improve your marriage. For example, focusing on those qualities you really appreciate about your spouse, versus those you can’t stand about him or her. Remember, you can’t change your spouse, only yourself (what a hard lesson to learn). But consider this- even a few degrees difference will eventually take you off course… and land you in a marriage that is more fulfilling. Even if one spouse makes small improvements in behavior, there can be real improvement in a marriage. Imagine what would happen if both spouses made little changes to their daily patterns of behavior or way of thinking. Happy Valentine’s Day!