Summer is the second most popular time of year for weddings, with 30 percent of couples exchanging vows during the warmer months. If you are saying “I do” this season, consider establishing a marriage game plan so that you know what to expect before taking your vows. At Laurie Grengs Counseling, many of our clients are couples seeking an understanding of how to maintain a stable relationship. Here we will explore some practical approaches to consider in the time leading up to and extending beyond the wonderful moment when you and your partner begin your lives together.
Communication is imperative. Before you walk down the aisle and long after celebrating milestone anniversaries, it is important that you and your partner are emotionally accessible and understand how to exchange thoughts and feelings with each other. Remember to pause, breathe, and be attentive to one another. Unselfish reflection is needed from both parties to cultivate an agreeable balance.
Relate to your partner in a manner that is forthcoming and honest. Remember that an important part of communication is listening. Do not simply hear what your companion is saying but be willing to take to heart his or her opinions and welcome them for discussion. You have chosen to share your life with this person, so having open communication will help you succeed at growing together in a direction that is beneficial to you both.
The Honeymoon Phase
The first six months to a year of your marriage will be full of passionate expressions and exciting firsts. This “honeymoon phase” is normal, as you both develop and learn more about one another every day. Realizing that all marriages go through this natural progression will help you recognize any gradual and common changes in your relationship.
Though the course of your marital interplay is likely to adjust over time, do not let those slight changes become worrisome. Instead, consider the journey and how truly knowing each other will reinforce the path you are traveling together. Feeling at ease with and around a companion may seem “boring” to some, but the level of comfort you and your partner develop takes time and hard work, and that connection should be cherished.
Date Night Connection
Work, appointments, and additional commitments sometimes can interfere with the time you have available for others, including your spouse. If you and your partner find yourselves feeling as though you are stuck in a routine, consider embracing a more spontaneous dynamic.
Having a “date night” – especially in the years following the wedding – can bring you together and help reset your connection. Make reservations, talk and laugh, and rediscover those butterflies. Think of your date night as the slider on a zipper – that one extraordinary element that intertwines and tightly binds two previously separate entities. Use the occasion as an approach to fall in love all over again.
Random Acts of Love
Another routine we recommend is to show your spouse random acts of love every day. Tell your partner how happy he or she makes you or show affection with an unexpected hug or kiss. Hold hands if you are out for a stroll or simply watching television at home. Asking your spouse how his or her day went may seem insignificant, but that synergy shows how much you care. Meaningful actions, no matter how small, will empower you and your partner to continue to strengthen the relationship you have worked so hard to establish.
The Best Version of You
Perhaps the most important thing that can be done to maintain a healthy and caring union before and after the wedding is to concentrate on yourself. The idea may sound selfish but knowing how to work through personal struggles in a composed way will provide direction when it comes to handling marital strife. Conflict is inevitable, but how you deal with it often can make or break your spirits. Ultimately, the stability of your connection begins with each of you, so be the best version of yourself for your partner and your relationship.
At Laurie Grengs Counseling, it is our goal to encourage togetherness for you and your partner to have a healthy, fulfilling, and prosperous connection. We hope these ideas for a marriage game plan will help guide you on your path to enrichment for a lifetime of happiness together. If you are eager to learn more about maintaining a loving relationship and the ways in which we can help, contact us today.