Are you desperate to make your marriage stronger in the new year?
Let’s face it: 2020 was not good for your marriage. Sure, the idea of spending more time with your husband sounded wonderful a year or two ago; however, when COVID forced the two of you to be home together day in and day out for ten-plus months, things started getting rocky.
As the weeks and months of quarantine dragged on, you and your husband likely began to fight more. Your arguments escalated; harsh words were spoken, resentment grew, and you started to withdraw. By the time the holidays approached, all you wanted for Christmas was to be alone.
Sadly, COVID life has negatively affected many couples and families. The stress of home-schooling, job loss, time away from friends and family, and the pressure of prepping for the holidays amidst record COVID statistics was a lot to manage. We are truly living in unprecedented times, and many couples have found themselves questioning whether their marriages will last.
The good news is that you can begin to repair your marriage and have a stronger marriage in the new year. Below are 5 simple actions that will help put the love back into your marriage this year!
- Put two dates on the calendar per month – If you want to rekindle the love in your marriage, you have to carve out time to have FUN with your husband. Though you are spending a lot of time together as a couple, it is not quality time. The more you enjoy one another and rebuild your friendship, the easier it will be to get along. So, make a habit of scheduling two dates per month. Dates can be daytime or outdoor activities. A date does not have to be inside, at a restaurant. Instead, you can go for a hike, grab takeout and have an afternoon picnic, visit the grounds of a local resort and have a drink outdoors, go for a bike ride, or go standup paddleboarding. You get the picture. Break up the monotony and start boosting the fun factor. The more you mix it up, the more fun it will be, and the more you will enjoy one another. While you’re on your dates, start asking each other open-ended questions to continue getting to know each other.
- Get in the habit of saying “I’m sorry” – Being able to acknowledge and apologize for your contribution to a fight is critical to having a healthy relationship. (READ MORE HERE) When a disagreement occurs, it is easy to point out what your husband did wrong; however, it can be challenging to identify and express your remorse. If you practice saying “I’m sorry” during small daily moments, like when you are short, irritable, or critical, you will find it easier to apologize for your behaviors when a large fight occurs. Understanding the power of both you and your husband apologizing on the regular will help decrease resentment and tension in your marriage.
- Find ways to spend time apart – This is the year to reclaim alone time, to get out on your own, to stop feeling trapped in your house, to miss your husband. When you get out on your own, you feel alive again. You relax, enjoy yourself, and take part in activities that feed you. All of this makes you a better wife and mother. Feeling trapped or stuck with your husband only breeds resentment and contempt, which will erode your marriage.
So this year, it’s time to get yourself back by getting out of the house. Sit with your husband each week and schedule alone time. You don’t need to know what you’re going to do with the time; you just need to commit to getting out. In time, you will realize that spending a few hours apart during the week, taking time for yourself, and letting go of the responsibilities at home helps improve your marriage.
- Let Go – For the past 10-plus months, you and your husband have been up in each other’s business. If someone disciplines a child, the other one is right there to give an opinion. If someone chops vegetables for dinner, the other one tells them how to do it better. If someone wants to work out, the other one argues that they never have time to get their workout in. It’s too much. One crucial step to take this year is to LET GO. Let go when your husband does something differently, “wrong,” or forgets. Instead of always being on his case and criticizing him, take a deep breath and think about whether your feedback is necessary. Most of the time, it is not necessary. And in those rare instances when it is necessary to give feedback, focus on how you give it. Use a kind tone and thoughtful words.
- Get physical – Affection, intimacy, and sex are essential to a healthy marriage. When you keep the physical side of your marriage alive, you maintain a stronger bond, feel more connected emotionally, and feel less stressed and irritable with one another. If 2020 eroded the sexy in your marriage, it’s time to start getting it back. There are many ways to get your sexy back, but sometimes it best to start small and get back to the basics. Hug your husband unexpectedly, hold his hand, kiss him in the kitchen while cooking, turn off the TV and talk for 20 minutes after the kids are in bed, look into his eyes. Aim to be affectionate once per day with your husband.
2020 was a challenging year, but this year can be better. By focusing on implementing new habits with your husband or getting back to some healthy basics, you can have a stronger marriage in the new year and feel connected to your man again. Your marriage is important, so start the year by putting in the effort to rebuild, rekindle, and reboot the love in your relationship!