This week is National Marriage Week; a time to celebrate the institution of marriage as a whole and our own marriages as well. The editors at YourTango.com decided to mark the occasion by asking 50 different marriage and relationship experts for their one best marriage tip. That adds up to 50 tips that experts think are the most important for us to follow. Here are just three of our favorites and some ways to apply them.
1. From Lori Lowe, MA
Research consistently shows that touching more creates a stronger bond by releasing oxytocin. Hold hands, rub shoulders, hug, kiss, give high-fives or even fist-bumps or bottom pats. When you give a quick hug or kiss, try to lengthen it to at least 5 or 10 seconds for more effective results!”
2. From relationship coach Dr. Rick Kerschner
The biggest waste of effort in a marriage is trying to change your spouse, since the problems you have with your spouse are generally problems you have in yourself. When you try to change your spouse you come across as a nag and wind up sending the message that ‘who you are is not enough.'”
Think back to a situation in which your spouse tried to change something about you; maybe your cleaning habits, your tendency to procastinate or your disdain for football. Didn’t it make you feel a little bit that if that was what he wanted in a mate he should have married it? And Dr. Kerschner is right – we often nag our mates about things that bother us about ourselves. Take a look at the things you’ve tried to change about your spouse and see if that applies.
3. From Mary Kay Ade, MS
Have regular times, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, to check in on your relationship and what you appreciate about each other. No talk about kids, schedules, etc. allowed.”
This is one of our favorite tips. It seems so simple and takes so little time but can have a huge impact on your marriage. This isn’t about asking if the dry cleaning was picked up or if the bank deposit was made. This is about checking up on how your spouse is feeling, what’s going well and what’s not going so great at the moment. It not only shows that you care enough to ask, it also keeps the two of you from losing touch in the midst of busy schedules.
There are forty-seven other great marriage tips in the article, so go check them out. Imagine if you committed to focusing on or trying one each week for the next fifty weeks. What might your marriage be like this time next year?