“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope,” wrote Maya Angelou. Love is, indeed, a powerful thing. It seems able to overcome any obstacle.
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Why, then, do marriages so often fall apart?
What is the most common cause of divorce? Money problems? Infidelity? Incompatibility? These are all big ones, but there is a problem more common and insidious than the three of these combined. It occurs, to some degree, in nearly every marriage.
It’s marital neglect.
Most of us consider ourselves too busy to make our marriage a priority. We feel secure, and put our energy into other areas of our lives. We don’t feel a need to intentionally invest in our marriage. It’s not in danger.
Until it is.
When we do not invest in our marriage in an intentional way, we allow it to weaken. We tend not to worry about the hard times. They seem so far off. We invest in our career, our children, and our home. Marriage remains on the back burner, ignored.
Then disaster strikes.
This could be in the form of a job loss, an illness, or a heated disagreement. Whatever the reason, your marriage doesn’t feel so safe anymore. What you left happily simmering on the back burner starts to boil over, or stews down to nothing at all. You weren’t paying attention – and things changed.
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If you want to keep your marriage strong and resilient, you can not wait until trouble comes to invest your time and energy into saving it. You need to start when things are good.
Here are five things you can do each day to keep your marriage strong:
1. Hug for thirty seconds.
Hugging is good for your health, as well as your connection. Thirty seconds is a long enough hug to feel intimate, but short enough not to impose on your day.
2. Share an inside joke.
Laughter connects you to your spouse and relieves stress. Laugh together during the good times, and the bad times will pass more easily. As Joanne Woodward said,“Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.”
3. Share your day.
Before you go to bed, take turns telling your partner the details of your workday. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn.
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4. Check in at lunch.
Have a quick face-time chat, send a sweet text, or forward a funny email. Show your partner they are on your mind.
5. Kiss often.
Kissing is magical in its ability to bond two people. Kiss hello. Kiss goodbye. Kiss please and thank you. Just kiss!
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person,” explained Mignon McLaughlin. Strive to fall in love with your spouse every day. Soon, your relationship will be bulletproof.