How you can build a better relationship with your spouse
Can you tell when a relationship is good and when it is bad?
Indeed, you don't judge a book by its cover, and no one can tell for sure what goes on in a relationship or marriage except the couple involved, but to some extent, you can tell when a relationship is sour and when it is a healthy one.
Years of research into people's behaviour, relationship, love, and sex, as well as experiences have taught us that certain actions and signs can tell if a relationship is solidly built or headed for the rocks.
The experiences and love stories we have gathered have also taught us that good relationships just don't happen overnight. They take forgiveness, commitment, compromise; they take lots of effort from both parties.
Read to learn more helpful tips to help you bond more with your partner.
Love and romance
Falling in love is not hard. It is, in fact, the easiest part and step in every relationship. However, most couples' challenge lies in rekindling the fires of love and keeping the romance flame burning from time to time.
Many find it hard to cultivate and develop that mature and trusting love, which is indeed the foundation of a lasting relationship.
Forget that initial spark and butterflies; the feeling might not last if there is nothing substantial to spark it up again on the days the embers seem down. And trust me, those days will surely come, especially if the relationship is the one that lasts to the point of marriage.
Love style: What is your love language?
What exactly do you mean when you say, "I love you?" Studies have shown that each man and woman have a unique love language or love style that is unique for them. What one perceives as love or what one falls in love with might not intrigue another.
Couple who are best friends and lovers
Terry Hatkoff, a sociologist at California State University, created a love scale that identifies six different types of love in our closest relationships.
- Best friends: This is pretty much the platonic love that is borne out of deep affection and fondness.
- Romantic: This is based on passion, intimacy, and sexual attraction
- Logical or mental: Ever heard the words, "It is only logical I marry her?" This type is a practical feeling based on shared values, intellectual capacity, religion, financial goals, etc.
- Possessive: This sort of feeling is built around jealousy and obsession
- Playful: This is feeling evoked by flirtation, playing around or feeling of challenge
- Unselfish: It comes with kindness, nurturing and sacrifice
Researches have shown that the love we feel in our relationships is usually a combination of two or more different forms of love. However, it is not rare to have a relationship where the couple involved have different versions of how they define love.
Understanding your partner's love language can help you avoid conflict in the relationship and can help bring back romance into the relationship.
When the issue of romance is brought up, people's minds tend to drift to sex, but does it just hinge on sex? No, romance is not just about sex.
Romance is that exciting feeling of intimacy with someone. It is the natural addiction that activates the part of the brain that releases the hormone dopamine, which gives one the butterfly feeling.
While that feeling can come from sex, some still get that feeling when their partner displays other romantic gestures like getting them flowers, constantly reminding them they are beautiful, expressing their love to them, cuddling, kissing, reassuring them, etc.
The reality is that romantic feelings fade over time and somehow mature into a more satisfied and committed love. However, it doesn't erase the fact that couples (especially women) long to have those sparks of early courtship rekindled.
Go out, try new things like hiking with with your partner
Some couples get frustrated when things don't seem to be the same as in the early days; they tend to feel the love isn't there anymore. It as such a point that they are vulnerable to falling for any attention they get outside the marriage or relationship.
But, couples need to understand that even that new attention is much likely not to last. How about reigniting that romance and passionate feeling you once had with your significant other.
"Is that possible?" You might wonder. Yes, it is and it is important that you do so. Here are some things you can do to bring back the passionate feeling and build your relationship and marriage into a stronger one.
Mystery and pleasant surprise goes well with romance
Add some element of mystery and surprise to your marriage or relationship. How about surprising with leisure trips, sending yourselves random romantic greeting cards, surprising each other at work, sending random love texts, purchasing lovely things for each other, cooking yourself surprise meals?
Remember to study your partner to know his or her love language, as this will help you plan your surprise. Otherwise, what you meant to be a pleasant experience might end up and unpleasant one for both of you.
Try something new
Engage in new activities with your partner. Try something new that will spark your interests. You can try eating out in a new restaurant, plan for a treasure hunt, go hiking, play games, watch movies together, etc.
Go on mini-vacations
You both can take a mini-vacation (alone). "What about the children?" You might ask. Leave them at grandma's or an aunt's place. Three days of your absence won't kill them. Just ensure you provide everything they will need to be comfortable wherever they are.
It feels good to create new memories together in a new environment, away from home and away from work. Studies have shown that this is important, especially to women who seem much laden with home chores that they lose the romantic part of the marriage.
Playing with 'the love of your life' is not a taboo
Play more with your partner. Why are we so obsessed with playing the adult role? True, we are busy with life issues, kids, and financial responsibilities, but fun shouldn't be left out of it. We shouldn't make life harder than it already is. Who should we laugh, enjoy their company and have fun with if not our partner?
Touch more often
Don't resist the urge to have your hands on your partner often.
Tender touches, holding hands, kissing, hugging keeps the bond between partners stronger
Slight actions in the form of holding hands, kissing, cuddling, and hugging can cause the release of dopamine, which makes you both feel loved and secure with each other.
Tender touches remind you both that you are physiologically and psychologically bonded and shouldn't be overlooked.
Talk about sex
It takes time for most couples to come to that point where they talk about sex, but it is crucial to. It will be too bad for a partner to discuss what happens in the bedroom with a third-party when he or she can reach out to the other party.
Some brood that their sex life is miserable and that has caused discord in some marriages; talk about it with your partner. Ask about what arouses the other, make time for sex amidst the busy life schedule.
Usually, when it comes to marriage, relationships, and heart matters, there is often no rigid manual for it. This is a bond between two different people, and if it will work, then both partners 'must' be committed to making it work.
It is bound to be sour when all efforts to keep it together come from just one partner. It doesn't matter how long a couple has been together, love is a sweet, beautiful thing, and it is possible to keep things that way if both are willing to.