Marriage Goals Help Marriages Last A Lifetime
The New Year is coming and instead of becoming one of the statistics on what solicitors have dubbed “divorce day” (the first working Monday after the Christmas break), become one of the success stories instead.
A relationship is the sum of its parts and that means you can and should take charge over what you can control, i.e. the role that you play within the relationship.
I know it is super frustrating at times when you feel like you are putting in more effort than your partner but remember:
- It’s always better to lead by example.
- Once you have resolved anything that your spouse can level blame at you for, all that is left is the stuff they need to work on and this then becomes much more evident.
- Once you have done the work on yourself, you can better support your spouse in achieving anything they need to accomplish that will help get the marriage back on track.
The great news is, according to the Marriage Foundation’s analyses of the Office for National Statistics’ divorce statistics for England and Wales, divorce rates have plummeted back to pre-1975 levels defying the negative rhetoric suggesting the contrary.
Treat your marriage like you would anything of the utmost importance, work on it daily, weekly and monthly. Relationships are integral to our health, happiness and longevity and there is no room for complacency. To help redirect any waning focus, here are some marriage goals that you should consider working towards.
Creating Your Marriage Goals
That’s right, you ought to have time to yourselves each week to do as you want to do and spend some time reflecting and introspecting so you can learn from life and move more swiftly towards your personal and marriage goals.
Suggested dose: once a week, minimum.
Quality one-on-one time with your spouse
This is a must as it helps couples maintain connectedness, intimacy, empathy, a feeling of security and inner peace. It should be fun and preferably novel, without real world or digital distractions, and can be spent at home, in the park, doing a fun activity, going for a meal, going for a coffee, exploring somewhere new, and so on. Let your imagination help you.
Suggested dose: once a week, minimum.
Small, frequent tokens of appreciation are vital and whilst some research suggests that appreciation may be one of the main reasons marriages last a lifetime, common sense would suggest so, too. We can show our genuine appreciation over anything they do for us or bring to our lives, physically or psychologically. Someone choosing to spend their life with you is no mean gesture.
Suggested dose: three times daily, minimum.
Frequent emotional intimacy
Spend at least 15-30 minutes daily, connecting emotionally, listening, sharing, supporting, laughing. We rarely have emotional intimacy with anyone the way we do with our spouse so appreciate it and nurture it, daily.
Suggested dose: once a day, minimum.
Frequent physical intimacy
This can be simple touching, kissing, cuddling, hand holding, frisking, playful bum smacking or squeezing and of course, intimacy in the bedroom. The simple stuff is where to start if you’re feeling completely disconnected and make sure it’s frequent. We only have this level of physical intimacy with our spouse so appreciate that someone wants to be physical with you, understand the chemical importance of it and nurture it, daily.
Suggested dose: several times a day, minimum.
Spend time discussing shared goals and ensuring you are on track to achieve them. Shared goals keep the vision on the shared unit and give you something to get excited about, and work towards, together. Shared goals keep us growing together rather than apart. Shared goals can be simple things like a goal to eat in a new restaurant together every month or to engage in a new activity every two months or buying a holiday home together.
Suggested dose: every fortnight, minimum.
Spend time working on personal goals as this will help ensure your health and happiness and support one another in achieving your individual goals. Maxwell Maltz: “Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.” A stagnant life often leads to a stagnant marriage. We cannot be happy in a marriage if we are not happy within ourselves. Two happy people make a happy marriage.
Suggested dose: several times a week, minimum.
Socialising with family and friends and acquaintances
Human beings are a fundamental source of support and happiness and thus are integral in helping us to maintain a happy marriage. They also help us to maintain a broader perspective on life, even if you are introverted and prefer your own company most of the time. Lack of human interaction can result in skewed thinking and lack of perspective. If you lack friendships and family members you get on with, seek out new friendships or at least connect with other human beings in a healthy way via meet-up groups and activity clubs.
Suggested dose: once a week or fortnight, minimum, for the extroverts or once a fortnight or every three weeks, minimum, for the introverts.
Use the 8 goals areas above to set yourself some specific goals over how you will achieve the above at the suggested frequency. I have taken into account that some people have very hectic family lives, particularly when there are young children in the home, too. Nurture your marriage daily, take care of your own well-being, and maintain a genuine, deep appreciation for one another to stay bonded for the long-haul.