Article first published for The Greenhouse Therapy Rooms
In a world where technology evolves faster than we can swipe right, and societal norms shift like the latest viral meme, what does it take to build a good marriage in 2024? As a relationship coach, I’m here to spill the tea on the secrets (though I’m sure you know some already!) of a modern and exciting matrimony.
Through these sometimes common sense tips, the idea is to be aware of instant and immediate self- satisfaction versus long term benefits for you relationship.
Are you ready for the 7 tips? By the way, choose what applies to your marriage. Pick and mix:)
Communication still a winner:
It is still the number one! In the age of emojis and abbreviations, communication still remains the undisputed monarch in a successful relationship. Yes still! What does that mean? It’s not only about talking but about truly listening, understanding, and creating a safe space for open dialogue for you and your spouse. Do you really know what is going on for your spouse? Be curious!
Talk honestly and openly
What environment, mood or timing can you create where you both feel safe expressing your thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. We are often scared to express our needs and desires or we don’t know how. Practice together, be honest with each other. Both verbal and non-verbal cues are important to truly grasp each other’s emotions:)
Sure, we live in a digital age, but that doesn’t mean your smartphone should be the third wheel in your marriage. In the past I was so upset with my partner as he was on his phone a lot in the evening. It certainly didn’t lead to intimacy. Establish tech boundaries. I know it’s hard! Think bout your last date night, were you half present half on your phone scrolling mindlessly? What is the short term and the long term benefit and cost in changing your habit.
Listening, I mean active listening:
It means fully engaging with your partner when they speak. Looking into each other’s eyes, nodding, and responding appropriately. It shows that you value what they’re saying and helps prevent misunderstandings and misinterpretation:)
A lot of the time, when women come to me the thing they need most from their partner is attention and acknowledgement. Feeling heard and acknowledged is key to a good marriage in 2024.
Check in regularly
We are all so busy in today’s world, it’s easy to neglect checking in on each other’s emotional well-being. The solution? Schedule regular check-ins to discuss how you’re both feeling and to address any concerns or challenges. This approach can prevent issues from escalating. Don’t wait until you bottled up for too long your emotions!
Change and Growth: The essential drivers
Change is inevitable. We evolve at different pace, we may not have the same priorities anymore, the key is not only to accept changes in each other but also actively supporting personal and collective growth. You don’t want to have two parallel lives where you hardly ever meet!
You goals, my goals, our goals:
Growth is life! And we want to feel supported by our partner. Encourage each other to pursue personal goals and dreams. This could involve career aspirations, hobbies, or educational pursuits. I find talking about shared goals a massive bond in a marriage. travel plans, home projects, or family aspirations. Dream together and dream big!
The ability to adapt to new circumstances is vital. Your partner was working and is not anymore, or they are changing career and won’t have as much time as before do take care of the family’s logistic. How can you adapt and avoid a crisis? Major life transitions, such as career changes, relocations, or family expansions can affect your mariage greatly. Flexibility and a willingness to compromise is essential. It’s about the end goal and how to make it wok together.
Quality Time Together:
Our agendas are full, remember the instant gratification and the long term’s? Prioritising quality time is essential for maintaining a strong connection long term. How can we make the time?
Create your rituals and traditions:
Create rituals and traditions that are unique to your relationship and family. Whether it’s a weekly movie night, a monthly adventure, or an annual holidays. It dosent have to be extreme:) I personally love rituals It’s something to look forward to when we are having a stressful day.
It really works. I hear you; you don’t like the same things. Brainstorm together, it doesn’t have to be your favourite hobby. Whether it’s cooking, gardening, or a mutual interest in a particular sport. Think of the long term benefits and get out of your confort zone: Painball why not:). Challenge each other and dare! For me it is danse lessons, a great way to be close and to create intimacy too.
We tend to avoid meaningful conversations, women like to talk about their emotions, men prefers facts so they try to avoid these “we need to talk” moments. It doesn’t have to be about the negative. Discuss your dreams, fears, and aspirations. Ask questions to understand your partner’s perspective on life, creating a sense of emotional intimacy. Curiosity once again is key.
Have you ever argued about money? Probably. Proactive financial planning and open communication about money can make a huge difference in a marriage. Another tip is to be both involved in the common finances and assets. Below are some ideas:
Your financial goals:
Sit down together to establish short-term and long-term financial goals. This could include saving for a home, planning for retirement, or setting aside funds for travel. Sharing a future together as opposed to having parallel lives is what makes a good marriage.
Create a realistic budget that considers both partners’ financial priorities. Be transparent about your individual spending habits and financial obligations. Regularly review your budget together and make adjustments. Yes it can be fun too! Get some help if it’s too complex!
Financial Check-Ins: The solution?
Schedule regular financial check-ins to discuss your financial status, upcoming expenses, and progress towards your financial goals. It’s much better than an unplanned heated discussion about the latest bill!
Intimacy of course the utmost and indispensable item in a marriage. Intimacy is encompassing physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual connection. After 20 years of marriage or more, let’s explore how to reconnect.
The sense of touch, not only sexual intimacy but also affectionate gestures, hugs, and kisses. Physical closeness fosters a sense of security and reinforces the emotional bond between partners.
Personally receiving a hug from my partner when I feel stressed if enough to help me relax. Often that’s all we need and it will avoid us being triggered by the smallest remark that lead to an argument!
Emotional intimacy deepens the connection between spouses. Some people don’t like sharing their feelings, if it is important for your partner, thing of the long term benefit for your marriage. Remember the feeling of being heard and understood:)
Create intellectual discussions and activities together. Discuss a topic, read the same book and discuss it. Personally I love being challenged and exploring another perpective. Stimulating each other’s minds contributes to a sense of intellectual connection.
Who doesn’t like a little surprise gesture? It could be as simple as a handwritten note, a surprise date, or a thoughtful gift. How can you show appreciation for your spouse? Remember that attention is what we human often need and create moments of joy in the relationship.
Responsibilities: it’s all about sharing!
Fare distribution of responsibilities is essential for a balanced and harmonious marriage. Finally you may say:)
What are your roles?:
Expectations of what each of us is supposed to do can lead to frustrations, anger or resentment. “ I’m baring the mental weight of all the organisation of the family!” Discuss and define each partner’s roles and responsibilities within the marriage. This includes household chores, parenting duties, and career commitments.
What are your respectives strengths and how to split the chores and responsibilities less fun to do to say the least?
Flexibility and Adaptation:
Flexibility can be learned! Adapting to changing circumstances and your roles may need to be adjusted over time. Review your roles regularly, nothing is set in stones! Review what works and what doesn’t . There isn’t one solution.
Teamwork in Parenting:
If you have children, approach parenting as a team. Share the responsibilities of childcare, decision-making, and emotional support. If the actual organisation is not working for you, if you are forgetting yourself and you feel frustrated, talk about it. See the section on boundaries if one of you is not willing to make a change. Remember what is the end goal: have a successful marriage where you both feel heard and acknowledged.
Express gratitude for each other’s contributions to the marriage. Whether it’s a well-cooked meal, a tidy home, or support during a challenging time, acknowledgement and appreciation. We are coming back to them!
Cultivate trust and respect:
It’s obvious you may say. In reality maintaining these qualities require conscious effort and commitment.
If you are in a long term marriage, you know what triggers your partner. Be aware of your patterns, what triggers an argument and defensiveness. Find out about Non violent communication, it works:)
The so important boundaries
Are you putting strong boundaries or are you over helping and forgetting about your own needs? If you feel frustrated it’s often because one of you essential needs is not validated. You can work with a coach to learn about implementing boundaries.
Discuss and establish boundaries that ensure both partners feel secure and respected.
Forgiveness and letting go:
If you still love each other and want to make your marriage works you can overcome the hardest challenges like infidelity, loss death. Forgiveness is a powerful tool in maintaining a healthy marriage.You can save your marriage, get some help work with a coach or a therapist.
Remember, the best marriages are those where laughter is a frequent guest, and love is the host.
In conclusion, a successful marriage in 2024 involves juggling between effective communication, adaptability, quality time, financial planning, intimacy, shared responsibilities, and cultivating trust and respect. It seems like a lot! You don’t have to change it all at once. Choose one thing you would like to improve and experiment for a few months.
You marriage is unique, you and your partner are unique. Pick what works for you. You are not alone, you can get help, it is not a sign of failure, it is about seing the world through your partners’ lens, it is about understanding each other and what works for your couple! Learning is an ongoing process, give your marriage the chance to have a good marriage in 2024.