Your marriage relationship is one of the most important treasures you will ever have in life. Every single day, you make choices about what will occur in your relationship. Some of those choices are small and inconsequential while others turn out to be extremely important.

Regardless, it is a good idea to check in with yourself regularly. Are you frequently making the right choices in your relationship? If you don’t think you, consider rethinking your actions.

Listen

Do you pay attention when your partner is talking to you, or do you prefer to blow them off and pretend to be listening when you really aren’t?

 
 

It’s easy to take your special person for granted, but put yourself in their shoes. Would you want them to treat you the same way? Choose to listen to your partner. You might be surprised at some of the things they say when you are really listening carefully.

When you are paying close attention, you will have some questions of your own. Moreover, you will be giving each other a great gift when you use your words to say something like: “I’d like to hear more about that,” or, “Please help me understand. I’m not quite sure I get it.”

When you take those extra minutes, you are demonstrating that what your mate says matters to you. Listening is a gift for both of you. It has the potential to further enhance closeness and connection and feelings of well-being for you both.

Say Thank You

Do you say “thank you” when your partner does something nice for you? Do you say it when they take out the trash or load the dishwasher? If you don’t, why not start today?

Let your partner know that the little things they do matter, too. Make the choice to say “thank you” more often, and chances are, your partner will begin to do more and more of those little things.

Do you have the bad habit of trying to have the last word in an argument? Or do you, sometimes, pleasantly agree to disagree with your partner?

Being the one to walk away from an argument or disagreement will sometimes make you the bigger person. When you agree to disagree with your partner, it reduces the stress level and you can move on to something else.

Walk Away

Choose to be the one who walks away, and both of you will be happier for it. It’s ok if you don’t always agree because you are two different people, each with your own history, upbringing and life experiences.

It can be helpful, though only if you want to, to offer: “Some time it would be interesting if we could share with each other how we each came to different conclusions on this subject. I’m sure it would make a lot of sense to us both.”

Surprise Each Other

Do you and your partner still do things out of the blue? Do you just get up in the morning and decide to take a day trip to spend some time together? If not, you give it a try.

When you choose to do things spur-of-the-moment it can keep you both on your toes and will keep your relationship fresh. Choose to do something out of the ordinary once a week, and your relationship will continue to grow. This will keep you from falling into ruts or bad habits.

Drop the Guilt

Do you do things to take care of yourself and then feel guilty about it? Do you feel like you are taking time away from your partner when you do something on your own? If this is happening to you, you really need to make the choice to care for yourself – without the guilt.

I’ll bet your partner doesn’t feel guilty when they decided to do something on their own. We all need to take care of ourselves so that we can be a better partner and a better person.

Why not start today by choosing to do a few of these things? You will begin to see changes, big and small, in your relationship.

When you make a few small changes in yourself and the way you think about your relationship, you are making the choice to be a great partner. I would be extremely surprised if you don’t experience some big payoffs. These payoffs from your new, relatively-small efforts will very likely surprise you!

Why not take a free one-minute marriage assessment today?

What things do you do with your partner to keep your relationship happy and positive? Do you ever do things on the spur of the moment or have you ever taken a surprise trip or excursion together? What do you think is the secret to longevity and happiness in a marriage? Please join the conversation below!

Waverly HansonWaverly Hanson is a coach, counselor, author and military consultant. Her positive, nurturing and gently challenging style works well with her mission to save marriages and help people find life choices. After 25 years, she is still awed by the hundreds of “miraculous turnarounds” experienced. Check her Relationship Quiz here.

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