Many of my clients share with me that they want to strengthen their marriage, improve their communication, react less or learn how to be more present in their marriage.
Time and time again, I notice that they are just two steps away from having a successful marriage. Successful meaning a marriage with open communication, joy, passion and love.
Are you, too, spinning your wheels not knowing what to do next?
Here are the two things you need to start implementing in your marriage to transform it into the dynamic that you have been craving.
What intention do you have for your marriage?
In order to change something, you must first start with an intention. Knowing what you want for your marriage will help you get that much closer to having it. Wanting your marriage to “get better” is too vague of an intention. What does “get better” mean to you? Give yourself the space to define it!
Do you want open communication? What does that look like? Talking every day for at least 10 minutes? Being able to resolve conflict without yelling? Being unafraid to share your feelings?
Do you want to react less? Does that mean less yelling? Does that mean less criticizing? What do you want to do less of? What do you want to do more of? Listen longer before responding? Breathing before responding?
Do you want to be more present in your marriage? How’s that look? Do you want to schedule in quality time together to make sure it happens? Do you want to do little things to show your husband you appreciate him and that you’re there for him?
Once you understand your intention, you now have to set it in motion by creating habits to support that intention.
We all have habits, conscious ones and unconscious ones. Habits are merely behaviors that we’ve started doing because we’ve received some type of reward from it and we now associate it with doing something else because of the reward.
You woke up tired once and decided to drink coffee then it helped you feel less like a mombie (mom + zombie) and now you associate waking up with drinking coffee so you do it every day now.
So you had the trigger of feeling tired, you wanted to change that feeling so you tried drinking coffee and then you were rewarded with not feeling as tired.
Because the coffee helped you, you now have a reason to keep drinking it. See how that works?
So let’s apply it to your marriage now.
I often hear “I don’t have time or energy” when it comes to moms spending quality time, being intimate or going out on a date with their husband.
When I hear that excuse (let’s call it what it is), all I hear is that they are choosing not to. They say they want their marriage to be better, yet they aren’t making choices to fulfill their intention. Instead, they’re running their life on autopilot. They are allowing old habits to continue. Habits that may not even serve them any longer, but because they’re habits, it seems like that’s just how things are and that’s why they don’t have the time or energy.
Take inventory of your habits. Why is it that you feel like you don’t have the time or energy to nurture your marriage? What can you stop doing or do less of?
For me, I had a habit of binge watching TV after I finished the chores once the kids were asleep. The excuse I gave myself was that I was giving myself “me time”. But when I gave myself that time, I would get sucked in and often to go bed way too late and wake up tired. Well, I don’t know about you, but when I don’t get enough sleep, I’m an asshole. Seriously.
So, if my intention to be my best self for me and my family, that meant going to bed earlier and shifting my me time to the mornings. I now have a morning routine that I try my best to do. By making this shift, I now am fine to start the bedtime routine earlier because I’m already filled up and I have the time and energy to connect with my husband. Whether that me talking or being intimate.
Prioritizing your marriage truly is a choice. We all have the same amount of time in the day. Knowing that now, it becomes less about having time and more about making time. What are you choosing to do instead of nurturing your marriage? That will show you what you’re currently prioritizing. Does it align with your intention? If not, it’s time to shift your habits.
To create a new habit, do not wait to feel motivated to do it. You just have to decide. Decide you’re going to have this new habit and attach it to a habit you already have. By tacking on a habit you already have, you are more likely to have success.
One way I show my husband I love him, I hang up his bath towel on the shower door so that he has it ready for him when it’s his turn to shower. So my habit is, I take a shower and then after I put my towel on, I reach for his towel and hang it on the bar. I do this every night.
Another habit we have is to hug and kiss each other before one of us leaves to go somewhere. So when we say bye, we are cued to give each other a proper goodbye.
Lastly, when one of us is filling up our waters, we check to see if the other’s water needs to be filled up too.
Both of our dominant love languages is acts of service so this is what works for us. Don’t know what your’s is? Check out my post to read about what the 5 Love Languages are, how to find out what your’s is and what you can start doing to love each other more effectively. Click here to check it out!
With these two things, you can begin to transform your marriage and your life!
Be clear on what you’re working towards and set habits to support them! You got this mama!