By Natasha Sharma
Marriage is a (hopefully) long and deeply fulfilling relationship that many of us choose to embark on. But a good marriage – indeed a great one – is not all strawberries with cream. In my practice, I often work with couples in long-term relationships, and one of the key points I am always emphasizing is that marriage is a journey, consisting of times when we feel incredibly connected . . . and other times when we feel less so.
Many couples find that over the years, and particularly after children come along, their marriage turns from ‘fun’ . . . to ‘mun.’ As in, mundane. Whether it’s the sheer level of routine involved in raising kids that’s leaving your marriage feeling monotonous, or simply reaching a point on that journey where you feeling less connected to one another, here are some of the best ways to inject energy into and revitalize your relationship:
1. Do something (anything) together. If you have kids, the key here is to do something alone. This may seem obvious to some, but parents these days spend far too much time with their kids and not enough time without them. Research has shown that this is one of the main causes of decline in the quality of the marriage. If you’re housebound, no problem! Watch TV, cook, play cards . . . whatever. Just make sure you’re doing it together.
2. Do something apart. Another thing we don’t do enough of these days is spend time on our own. Don’t forget that you are a separate person with at least some separate interests from your partner. Go see movies you like, participate in sports you enjoy, spend an evening with your friends. Keeping a good sense of your independent self will prevent feelings of codependency in the relationship, and raise your consciousness – and appreciation – for the time you do spend together.
3. Learning something new. In the words of the famous comedian Chris Rock, go out and have some new @#$! happen to you! When we learn new things, we evolve and grow as individuals. And when that happens, we can start new and interesting conversations with those around us, including our partners.
4. Spend time with other couples. This is sometimes tricky to coordinate in the era of busy-ness we live in, but it is well worth it. Research has shown that our happiness is almost exclusively correlated with the quality of our friendships the older we become. You are fostering your future ‘extended family’ when you nurture shared friendships together.
5. Call each other at least once per day. Remember the days where you would call your sweetie from work for no other reason than just to say hi? Keep doing that! It’s a simple, but meaningful, way to let the other person know that even though you’re apart, you are still thinking of them.
Make a concerted effort to integrate these 5 things into your relationship, and you’ll feel more connected, more present and get more satisfaction out of it.
NKS Therapy offers services such as Career Counselling Toronto, Couples Counselling Toronto, Relationship Counselling Toronto, Family Counselling Toronto, Psychoeducational Assessment Toronto, Toronto Mental Health Services, Psychotherapy for Depression Toronto, Toronto Psychologist Services, and Child Psychologist Toronto Services. Call us today at 416-745-4745. We love to help.