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 so, consider rethinking your actions.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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!
Tags Marriage After 60
Great article, thank you. We are approaching 60 and looking at retirement in a year. We live in a small town in Montana and love the outdoors. I’m more of a socialite and he knows that brings me joy so he’s starting to join some gatherings of friends from the gym with me and genuinely having a good time getting to know people. He’s more of a quiet stay to himself person and I appreciate him doing this for me no for him, I keep the weekends for him and time for just us because that’s his preference. It’s a balance game. I like the suggestion of spontaneous day trips and saying thank you. We have also turned our driving to the “big city” to run errands like Costco & Home Depot into a date day by choosing a restaurant and making it a lunch date. Thanks for your tips. Relationships are work and I’m starting to realize we are all we have as our grown children are making their own lives as well with their partners.
Great article! My husband & I just did a day trip today to the Gulf of Mexico and had lunch overlooking the water! Beautiful! Another thing we do…is add traditions to share, like tea time when he has his Chai and I have my Earl Gray. Sometimes we have a dessert and sometimes just one one piece of chocolate or a small cookie. We will do an Advent Calendar box and take turns through Dec. Since I have big health issues, my husband has learned to help me with juicing and other kitchen tasks so that I can still do as much cooking as I can. We enjoy sharing our day…gardening together and cleaning house together. He vac’s, I dust.
Great post! i read a book on how to not get triggered by things your partner says/does and I found it helpful. I also remind myself of how sad some of my widowed relatives/friends have been, and remind myself to appreciate my husband while we’re still alive and well.