In a world where technology allows us to be reachable by anyone 24-7, maintaining an intimate relationship with your spouse is tough. You come home from a long day at work, put down your bag (or bags), maybe exercise, scarf down dinner, check and respond to work and personal emails, continue to do any work leftover from during the day, and maybe, if you have time, talk to anyone living with you. This would make maintaining a friendship with your roommate difficult, nonetheless your husband or wife. You may find yourself struggling in your marriage or relationship as a result. But what can you do? Time is finite but what we do with it is what matters. When you are with your spouse, follow these 5 simple rules to improve your relationship.
When You’re Upset, Talk About It
If something is bothering you, bring it up to your partner. Sometimes it may be a large issue and other times it may just be that something about the way they spoke to you rubbed you the wrong way. The key point here is that if you are having a feeling it is important to communicate about it. Not everything has to be an argument, though. In fact, sometimes bringing up how you feel in the moment can prevent an argument. For example, telling your spouse that you are sad they are spending too much time at work might lead to him/her sharing they are overwhelmed and have been thinking about finding a new job anyway that will allow them to spend more time at home.
Develop A Routine
Pick a few things that you do every day with your partner on purpose. These don’t have to be complicated tasks. It can be something as simple as eating dinner together or asking about your day when you both first get home. Going to sleep at the same time is a fantastic and simple way to develop a routine. This is important because you are able to connect on a regular basis physically and have the opportunity for shared experiences.
Be On The Same Page
In relationships it is always important to make sure you are regularly communicating about your vision of the future. When do you want kids (if at all)? Where do you see your career going and how does that impact your relationship? What type of life do you see yourself leading 10, 15, and 20 years from now? Having these discussions regularly helps ensure you don’t wind up leading lives on two different paths.
Share Household Responsibilities
Being in a relationship means more than just caring for the other person emotionally. Being in a relationship often involves joining lives in concrete ways. There is twice the laundry and dishes. Often people move into a joint home of some kind where rent has to be paid and pipes occasionally have to be fixed. Have active conversations about who will take care of what. However, having an active conversation helps ensure no one winds up doing too much and/or gets resentful. It also ensures a fair division of responsibilities. Work out what makes sense and feels right in your relationship and don’t be afraid to be specific. At times, you may help each other out or re-arrange if someone is sick or had a rough week. The important thing is that both people feel clear on their responsibilities and that the division of labor is fair.
Say “Thank You”
Speaking of household responsibilities, it is always important to say “thank you”. So you just agreed that it is your spouse’s job to do the dishes? Offer them a “thank you” every time they do it. May seem silly, but do it anyway. It lets them know that you noticed they kept up their end of the bargain and that you appreciate them contributing their part. It also gets you into the habit of noticing the positive rather than the negative. You may notice the more you thank your spouse for doing their chores, the less energy you spend focusing on them forgetting to text you they are going to be home late.