5 Ways to Show Our Parents the Love They Deserve

We all love our parents no matter what age they are but our relationship with them evolves just as we do and the way we show them our love also changes with time.

When we are younger, we are more focused on what we can GET from our parents (emotional and financial support, guidance, etc) but as we get older, we must shift our mindset to what we can GIVE them.

For most of us, our parents have been there through thick and thin. Even if we’ve had some ups and downs with our folks, we must acknowledge all that they have done for us and as they step into a new phase of their life. It’s time for us to show up for them.

Here are some ways to show we care.

1. Patience
As our parents get older, memory sometimes fails or the speed at which they move might be slower than ours (speaking, walking, driving). If you think about all that they have put their bodies through during their life (including giving birth and taking care of YOU), it’s only normal that with age it doesn’t always function at its optimal level. Avoid making hurtful comments, deal with it and remember that they don’t enjoy having to ask you that question for the second or third time either.

2. Presence
It’s easy to get caught up in our hectic lifestyle and let distractions take our attention away when we are with our parents. I’m sure some of us have been guilty of fiddling around on our phones while our parents are chatting with us (this is actually impolite to do with anyone, not just your parents) and we should make a conscious effort not to do this anymore. Just as we like people to be fully present when we are speaking to them, show that same respect to your parents.

3. Compassion
It’s difficult for us to see our parents’ age but it’s even harder for them to experience these changes themselves. They really don’t need our grief in addition to adapting to how they are evolving. Put yourself in their shoes any time you want to comment on something that annoys you. We must remember that we will be in the same situation one day and we should think about how we would like to be treated.

4. Gratitude
Take a moment to think of everything that your parents have done for you. It’s almost impossible to wrap our brain around the love they have given us over the course of our life. Showing them gratitude (in words and actions) is such a lovely way to return the favour for all the generosity they bestowed upon us. Plus, they are still rockin’ it so tell them when they do something awesome!

5. Support
Because our needs can be different, we don’t always know when our parents require our support. It might be a listening ear, some help to move the furniture around or perhaps an errand to run. Remind them on a regular basis that you are just a phone call or a phone message away if they want a hand with something. Sure we’re busy, but not too busy for them.

We are thankful and we love you, Mum and Dad!

Credit: Geneviève Colmer Photo: Pixabay

10 Proven Ways To Improve Your Relationship

Do you feel like your relationship isn’t quite what it used to be? To help you revive your relationship, we’ve reviewed a serious body of research to bring you the 10 most powerful, scientifically proven ways to improve virtually any relationship. These tips also happen to be the key ingredients that go into making a good relationship work, so even if you think everything’s great, you can use this list as a diagnostic tool to make sure you and your partner are on the road to relationship bliss.

Science says these 10 tips will improve your relationship. So here are the countdown:

1. Solidify your friendship
How satisfied you feel in your relationship has to do with how connected you feel to your partner. Research suggests that our ability to connect with others is influenced by our childhood experiences.

As an adult, an insecure attachment style is associated with a slew of relationship troubles, including jealousy, obsession, and emotional highs and lows. The good news is that, regardless of your present pattern, you can become more securely attached, or connected, to your partner by developing a deeper friendship. To do that, incrementally spend more time with her doing something you both enjoy. Also, regularly ask for updates on your partner’s likes, dislikes, current stressors, and new interests, as people change over time.

2. Appreciate each other
Remember when you first started dating, how you used to go that extra mile to impress her? Well, one of the secrets to a long, fulfilling relationship is to continue to actively appreciate your partner. You don’t necessarily have to pull out all the stops the way you did back in the day, but regular efforts to show your partner that you appreciate her will do wonders for improving your relationship.

If you’re not sure where to start, a good place is by doling out daily compliments. Tell her she looks fabulous or thank her for organisational abilities when she reminds you to call your mother. The only rule is to make sure that you genuinely mean what you say.

3. Concentrate on the present to ensure your future
Interestingly, the ability of your relationship to weather tough times has a lot to do with your mutual availability in the here and now. Unfortunately, over time, for a variety of reasons, many couples move further apart from each other, meaning that when a rough patch hits, their relationship doesn’t survive.

To build a rock-solid relationship, start by acknowledging rather than ignoring the ordinary moments in your relationship. If your partner wants to share something she’s reading on the net, for example, take a minute to listen, even if you simply grunt in response. It may sound strange, but if you accumulate enough of the little things, when you really need your partner, you’ll find she’s there for you.

4. Don’t distort
Researchers have known for a long time that unhappy couples focus on the negatives in their relationships. An early study found that unhappy couples underestimated the occurrence of pleasurable events in their relationships by 50%. Also, they found that individuals in distressed relationships were prone to attributing negative intentions to their partner’s behaviour.

If you find yourself stuck in this rut of distorted thinking, the next time you have a negative thought about something your partner has done try to come up with a more neutral explanation for her actions. Another strategy is to consider whether you would judge yourself so harshly if the situation were reversed. Finally, remind yourself often of the good times you’ve spent together recently.

5. Share power
When a man is not willing to share power with his relationship partner, there is a chance that his relationship will self-destruct. While hoarding power may have got you ahead in your career, this strategy will backfire in your relationship because your partner will end up feeling like her opinions aren’t valuable and she doesn’t matter to you.

To help save your relationship, develop a more accepting attitude toward compromise. Practice by giving in on issues you don’t feel extremely invested in.

6. Find common goals
A study conducted found that 13% of couples reported no longer having the same goals. This situation represents a ticking time bomb, as research has shown that couples who share dreams and goals have longer-lasting, more satisfying relationships.

If you feel like you’ve been out of sync lately with your partner on this front, discuss your philosophy of life together. The aim is for both of you to share what you want your life to be about, where you want to end up and what these things mean to you. Look for anything that’s common between the two of you and talk about ways to work toward that aspiration together.

7. Understand anger
While outbursts of anger are common even in healthy relationships, when anger becomes an entrenched part of your couple life, you should be concerned.

Think back to the last argument you had with your partner and use this new knowledge to look for hidden messages in what you and your partner were each trying to communicate. Attempting to disregard the angry tone you both used and trying to tune in to what you were each really trying to say will help you to see that you both have needs in your relationship that make sense. For instance, “You’re a workaholic!” might really mean “I miss you and want to spend more time with you.”

8. Break negative cycles
Troubled relationships tend to follow a demand-withdraw pattern. That means that one person tends to be more critical and demanding, while the other tends to withdraw or shut down in response to conflict. The reason may be biological — men’s cardiovascular systems are more responsive to stress, so tuning out your mate is an attempt to avoid uncomfortable sensations.

To break the negative pattern of conflict in your relationship, next time things get heated, let your partner know what’s going on with you by saying: “I can see this issue is important to you. I’m feeling too angry to discuss it right now, though, so let’s come back to it once we’ve cooled off.

9. Focus on what’s fixable
As long as an argument doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve been through an emotional roller coaster, consider it fixable. One major area that causes tension in relationships is finances, with a longitudinal study finding that 33% of couples have seriously divergent views on income, wealth and debts. In particular, the initial stages of living together may be especially fraught with monetary concerns.

To ensure that this problem doesn’t spiral out of control, sit down with your other half and craft a detailed action plan, consulting any resources that might help to get your finances on track. You should both be able to live with the new arrangement or it won’t work. Use this method to address any other problems in your life that you deem fixable.

10. Accept the unsolvable
According to a study, 69% of relationship conflicts are persistent problems, meaning they revolve around issues that tend to resurface no matter how long you’ve been together. If you find a problem that seems to call up painful emotions, you’re looking at one that’s persistent.

To stop this trouble from ruining your relationship, you’ll need to address the bigger issues underlying your difficulty. Take turns discussing with your partner what this loaded issue really means to you. When your partner is talking, your job is to listen, be non-judgmental and find something in her perspective that makes sense to you. When it’s your turn to talk, she should be doing the same thing. By treading more gently into touchy areas, you should at least be able to agree to disagree or make some small concessions for one another.

Credit: Farah Averill Photo: Tookapic

Ways to Appreciate Your Wife and Show How Much You Love Her

Appreciate your wife they say, but they conveniently forget to say ‘how’? What can one do to show his love? Let’s find out.

Appreciation cannot be calculated word for word and action for action. Love her like she’s meant to be loved, and she’ll know just how much you appreciate her.

She’s always doing something; and you’re so used to her doing that ‘something’ that in the rut of things, you rarely give it a thought. Which is understandable, because both of you have settled into a comfortable place where your roles are defined, and your work is cut out for you. But what needs to be understood (and understood really well) is that when this phase comes about, there are high chances that a person might slip into a taking-the-other-person-for-granted phase, and that’s where things might get unpleasant. Arguments may erupt, and a couple of ‘you don’t care about me anymore’, or the more potent―’you have changed’ may be thrown at you. Which is of course not true, right? It’s just that you haven’t really done anything concrete in a long time to show that you appreciate all that she does for you.

What we say is, why wait for things to get to this stage? Why not just take a little effort and show her what she means to you? And when you show her your appreciation, you’ll be pleasantly blown away with the unparalleled joy and excitement she will be beaming with. So, what are the ways to appreciate your wife?


1. Acknowledge What She Does

What to Do
In simple words, let her know that you know what she does for you and your family, and that you appreciate it. The most direct way of doing this is to acknowledge her efforts whenever possible. For example, if you loved the chicken she made you at lunch, make sure that you tell her that. Or maybe you had your buddies over for a work thing, and she stayed up and made coffee for all of you―thank her for the efforts she took. In fact, praise her efforts in front of them if possible.

Why Do It
Why is it important to acknowledge her efforts? Because this will let her know that you’re aware of the things she does around the house for you and others. Feeling appreciated is like an elixir that makes you want to do things because you want to, not because you have to.

And More
Use these words as often as possible―’Thank you’, ‘I really appreciate what you did’, ‘I’m glad you’re a part of my life’, ‘I could not have done this without you’.


2. Say it Through Words and Actions

What to Do
Women love to speak, and they are more vocal of the two sexes. So, when you tell her how you feel, that’s pretty much rainbows and meadows for her. But we are aware that men are not really into vocalizing their thoughts … so, then what? Then we use actions to portray what we feel. Leaving little notes around the house or surprising her with small gifts shows that you not only appreciate her, but also think of her, and want to do things for her.

Why Do It
Women love being complimented, and if expressing it through words is not really your forte, then make it happen through actions. This, like we said, will let her know that you care for her and appreciate her.

And More
The thing with women is they love spending time with the man in their life―so, even if you are not a man of complex or simple notes (like the one in the image above), you can most definitely make it up to her by doing small things, like bringing her flowers, taking her out to dinner, or surprising her with a gift.


3. Do Things She Likes

What to Do
So, when you go out of your way and do things that she enjoys, irrespective of whether you enjoy doing them or not, it is a clear indication that you love and appreciate your wife, and are, therefore, willing to do those things. So, going over to a family gathering when you’d rather not, or watching a film that she enjoys is a great way to show her you care.

Why Do It
This is as clear as it can get―you’re clearly putting her needs before yours. You may or may not enjoy doing these things, or given a choice, you might not necessarily do them, but you’re doing them for her and her happiness.

P.S.― Make sure that you’re not sulking about it or taunting her in any way, once you decide to do these things. Do it happily, only then will it mean something.

And More
Make a list of things that she enjoys doing, and you’ll have a whole list of things that you can do for her.


4. Be There for Her

What to Do
It is said that a woman instinctively cares and nurtures. So, what happens when the woman is sick? You take care of her. That’s what. And why just when she’s sick, be there for her in her time of need, always―whether that is emotional or financial support, or maybe support in the way of just providing a listening ear.

Why Do It
What better way to show that you appreciate her than to be there for her when she needs you? What better way than to let her know that she can depend on you at all times? No other, really.

And More
So, she’s had a really stressful day at work. Here’s how you make her feel better―draw her a hot bath, make dinner, and just let her off all her duties. But the thing is, you don’t really have to wait for her to have a bad day to do these things; in fact, you should do them without any reason. That’s the real deal.
Because you love her, that’s why you should appreciate her. Simple and straight. You don’t need reasons and excuses. All you need is to understand her, and be there for her. A woman does not expect anything more, anything less.

Credit: Rujuta Borkar Photo: Valeria Boltneva

7 Romantic Phrases To Stay Crazy About Each Other

The briefest of phrases can make a huge impact in a relationship. At times, keeping things short and sweet does a lot of good and greatly contributes to a couple’s happiness. The 7 phrases below can keep a relationship going strong because they cover what matters. This includes attraction, desire, accepting each other’s flaws, establishing yourselves as a team, understanding, support, and love.

“You Look Amazing”
Physical attraction is important in a relationship. When your partner looks good, tell them and they should do the same. Physical attraction is a driving force behind passion so in order to keep the fire lit, tell him/her that you like what you see and perhaps follow the compliment with a kiss or a little more. That kind of passionate exchange is fun for couples. It builds self-esteem. At times, it can just make you think, “Wow, how did I get so lucky?” A relationship does not get much better than that.

“I’m Crazy About You”
We all want our partner to be crazy about us. That is a huge contributor to a couple’s happiness. According to scientific research, compliments make us strive to improve because the brain wants to experience that type of social reward over and over again. That drive will, in turn, make individuals better in relationships.

The secret to a successful romance is constantly striving for improvement and this is an easy way to encourage that. Along with the social reward aspect, the effectiveness of the phrase has to do with people wanting to feel attractive, desirable and wanted.

At the start of a relationship, both halves shower each other with attention because the connection is new and exciting. You can’t keep your hands off each other and exchange sweet words often but this can fade over time.

To keep those good vibes going, tell your partner that you’re crazy about him/her on occasion. Why keep all your good thoughts to yourself? A strong relationship requires expression so express away! Some think that wanting that reassurance is needy but everyone wishes their significant other will tell them how awesome they are every once in awhile. When both halves of a couple are confident, they find it easier to open up and that openness promotes a strong bond.

“I Love You Anyway”
This phrase expresses acceptance and acknowledges that you take your partner for who they are. A biggie in relationships is acceptance and making it clear that you plan to stick around through the good and bad is heartwarming. Everyone has flaws and faults. When those become apparent, tell your significant other, “I love you anyway”.

This phrase is a simple way to say, “I care for you so much that I take you as you are”. A happy relationship is one with an established level of emotional safety and security. When both parties feel safe, they don’t feel the need to pretend to be someone they aren’t and the love is more authentic as a result. Honesty and openness are two requirements for any healthy, happy relationship.

“We’ll Get Through It”
This phrase establishes a couple as a team (it is a partnership after all). Tough times are part of a relationship. No one likes them but couples face at least a few during their time together. Just remember that going through hard times is one thing and getting through them is another.

Whatever the challenge is, the goal is to come out stronger than ever. Saying, “We’ll get through it” makes you and your partner more inclined to successfully work as a team to overcome difficulties. In addition to establishing two people as a team, it offers support. This is perfect for those that do not know what to say when a challenge is presented.

“I Understand”
We all want to be understood and get quite peeved when we aren’t. Agreeing doesn’t matter as much but being understood is like this deep desire everyone has. Hearing the words, “I understand” maintains the happiness in a relationship and keeps couples in love because it directly expresses understanding. It also yields this emotional response, whether contained or expressed, that brings a couple closer.

The two words are actually quite comforting and people want to feel that with the person they love. As said, this is not about agreeing with your partner but letting them know that you get it will greatly contribute to the relationship.

“I’m Here If You Need Me”
This phrase makes people fall in love over and over again. Its significance lies in the fact that the words offer a helping hand without being asked. That is a beautiful display of care and support for someone and ensures that a person knows who they can turn to if support is needed. Being a couple involves being there for one another. One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that your significant other has your back. That is a key part of a healthy romance. When you do say these words, also commit to following through if you are needed.

“I Love You”
Yeah, this is an obvious one but is still surprisingly underused or said without much feeling. The three words hold a lot of significance and meaning so they should be said in a more heartfelt way. As for those that stray away from these words, say them more often! Saying, “I love you” reveals that you are thinking of your partner. It is an unselfish phrase that puts the attention on your significant other even if just for a few seconds, and verbally expressing love let’s a person know that they are valued, appreciated, and cherished, all of which improves one’s view of themselves.

Who knew a few words could mean so much? Be sure to use these 8 phrases in your relationship and take in all the good they bring. You too can be one half of a happy duo that is absolutely crazy about each other.

Credit: Marriage Photo: Scott Webb

10 Legit Ways to Make Your wife Happy Every Day

You’ve probably heard that a happy wife equals a happy life.

Here are ten simple tips that are certain to yield high returns when it comes to your wife’s happiness.

1. Tell her you love her
Cliché, you say? I beg to differ. We may think expressing our affection verbally is unnecessary; but she thinks the opposite, and will love you even more once you realise that.

2. Build her up
Building your wife’s confidence in her abilities is certain to lead to her happiness. In particular, avoid sarcasm with her. It is demeaning and will not build her up.

3. Give her some space
While your wife loves your company, she also values her independence. Sometimes what she really needs is a little time to herself – without the kids, and yes, even without her hubby. She will appreciate you being aware of her feelings, and recognizing that some alone time is needed.

Offer to take care of things while she has some personal time – be it a walk in the park, some quiet reading time or a visit to the salon.

4. Look nice for her
Whether on a dinner date or a day out without the kids – Shower, style your hair and put on something nice. Your wife will notice and appreciate when you look good.

5. Don’t make her hungry
Good food can change a mood and be the perfect pick-me-up. Wise husbands with happy wives keep the chocolate stash well-stocked.

6. Be faithful to her
Knowing she’s your one and only is sure to bring your wife much happiness. Show her that commitment through your actions, when you’re together and when you’re not. Be true to her, even in your thoughts. Don’t ever make her feel inadequate or unloved.

7. Know what she (really) likes
“Her favourites are sunflowers. And I would bring her breakfast every day. Six loaves of wheat bread with butter on both sides. No crusts. Just the way she likes it.”

Happy wives are married to husbands who have taken close note of what their wives really like.

8. Think about her
How often throughout the day do you let your wife know she’s on your mind? A quick call at lunch, a text message in the afternoon or even a special delivery will let her know you’re thinking about her.

I can relate to husbands who get sucked into their work and lose track of time without checking in; but I’ve also heard of other husbands who set alarms on their phones to remind them to send a thoughtful email or note.

9. Provide for her
I know of a daughter who asked her father what he thought she should look for in a husband in order to have a happy married life. The father’s advice surprised her.

He didn’t tell her to find someone that was rich, handsome, strong, funny, smart or anything that she might have expected. Instead, the father said, “Marry someone that will get up and go to work for you every day.” Whether your work involves donning a hard hat as you head to the construction site, or getting the kids out of bed and ready for school while your wife heads to her job, get up every day and go to work for your wife.

10. Make her a priority
Your wife needs to know she is your priority. This is often accomplished by spending quality time with her. Set the phones aside, and let her know you are focused on her.

Credit: Chandler Tanner Photo: Froken Fokus

20 Great Questions to Ask Your Spouse

It’s easy to get in a rut with our spouse and stop moving forward in our relationship. On the contrary, if you want to move your way into a great marriage, it takes work!

A couple should constantly be working on their communication and learning how to love each other better. As we move into marriage, the more we will discover how different we are. As you can imagine, different expectations can make for some misunderstanding.

Ask questions. There more we ask, the closer it will bring us. We can learn things about each other that we didn’t know before, or how spending quality time with your spouse had actually brought him/her more joy than anything else.

The key to asking these questions is to keep an open mind, take off your defensive hat, and make sure both of you are in a good place. Time and place is key in having a deeper discussion

Note: (Do not ask these questions when your spouse is in a bad mood or has their head on the pillow).

Here are 20 great questions you can ask your spouse and improve your relationship. Enjoy communicating and let us know if these bring on good discussion!

1. How can I love you better?
2. Do you feel “heard” in our relationship?
3. What has brought you the most joy recently?
4. What is your biggest goal for this year? How can I help you achieve this?
5. What do you need my help with?
6. Do I give you enough space to be you?
7. How’s our sex life for you?
8. What’s one thing I can do to take a burden off you?
9. What hobbies do you wish we could do together?
10. Do you feel respected when we’re in public?
11. Do you feel loved when we’re together?
12. What is your favourite thing about yourself?
13. Do you think we have a good division of labour in our marriage?
14. What can I do to make you feel more understood?
15. Am I doing anything that is driving you crazy?
16. Is there anything we need to discuss?
17. Where would you like to visit for our next holiday trip?
18. What is one thing you’d like to do before we have kids?
19. What desires do you have that we haven’t discussed?
20. Am I meeting your expectations?

Credit: Ruthie Dean Photo: Stokpic

5 Tips to Increase the Fun in Your Marriage

Putting the fun back into your marriage is easier than you think.

Studies have also shown that the most happily married couples are happy because they have a lot of fun together. How much fun do you have in your life? How much fun do you have in your marriage? Do you prioritise opportunities to be playful and have fun together?

1. Increase Positivity
Conflict is inevitable in long-term relationships and there is a need to be careful not to allow the conflicts to erode relationship satisfaction.

2. Prioritise Your Relationship
When couples are dating or engaged, that means carving out time to have fun together, especially if they are busy working, studying or planning events. When couples are married with or without children, having fun together is essential for relationship satisfaction and longevity. Make a weekly date together where the focus is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. Try to inject fun and playfulness into your daily interactions too.

3. Protect Fun Times from Conflict
It’s important to protect your fun and romantic times from conflict. If you go on a date with your spouse and one of you brings up an area of conflict, a strong suggestion is that you “protect your fun time from conflict.” Discuss this approach ahead of time. When one of you starts an argument the other can remind them and say, “Let’s protect our fun time from conflict.” Agree to discuss the issue or problem in the morning over breakfast. Then take advantage of the opportunity to go out and just enjoy each other’s company.

Many couples have ruined Valentine’s Day, anniversaries and birthdays because they allowed themselves to indulge in an argument or problem focused conversation. In the beginning of a relationship, you likely had many opportunities to fully enjoy each other’s company. Recreate those possibilities no matter how long you have been together.

4. Try Something New
Studies found that just spending time together is not enough for relationship satisfaction. Ideally, couples need to spend time together around novel and different experiences.

New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine, which are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love. Couples that participated in “exciting” date nights showed a significantly greater increase in marital satisfaction.

5. Brainstorm Together
Be proactive and intentional about having more fun together. Make a list of activities that you can do together. Be conscious about increasing the fun quotient in your relationship. Be more open to new experiences.

Try an experiment by getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new together. Maybe this is the time for trying dance lessons, renting a tandem bicycle, taking a cooking class or reading a book together.

Credit: Michell Gannon Photo: Karolina Grabowska

12 Things You Can Do Together As A Married Couple

Most time after your marriage, you probably spend more time thinking about work, budgets, kids, schedules, and just getting through the day. A date with your partner is equally important, but it doesn’t happen often enough.

Here are some things to consider doing together that can give you an opportunity to learn, stretch yourselves, and have fun!

1. Try a different restaurant.
Try a different national cuisine or a unique coffee house.

2. Go through old family pictures.
Pictures can tell stories. Use those pictures to tell each other about the years before you met, or remember some of your early days together.

3. Take a class together.
Learn a foreign language, learn how to dance or learn how to bake together.

4. Drive somewhere you’ve never been.
Even if it’s just a local road that’s new to you, you’re likely to see new things and enjoy the freshness of a new experience together.

5. Plan a new meal, shop together for the ingredients, and cook it together.
Shopping, cooking, and eating together can be quite intimate, and decidedly fun.

6. Go out for breakfast.
A different time of day can completely change how you feel about the time you spend together.

7. Volunteer for the same worthy cause together.
Helping others together can help you understand the power your couple-ness can have when focused in the same direction.

8. Get physical.
Hike a new trail together. Get bicycles and go riding together. Go swimming or jogging, or work out together.

9. Read each other’s book.
What we like to read says a lot about our personality. Each of you read something the other enjoys, and see if you can understand why they enjoy it.

10. Try a different event together.
Check out a music concert, a car show, a tech convention, a play, or a dance festival.

11. Write out a list of questions you would like your spouse to answer.
Trade lists and spend some time talking about your answers together.

12. Wash the car together.
A water fight can be fun for adults as well!

You probably have some other ideas as well. The point is to do something together that is fresh, fun, and sometimes challenging. It’s worth the effort.

Credit: Dr Carol Photo: Pexels

5 Signs That Show You Are In A Long Lasting Relationship

What can make a marriage work is surprisingly simple. Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day-to-day lives, they have hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other from overwhelming their positive ones.

Here are the 5 signs that show that you are in a long lasting relationship.

1. You are courteous to each other
You talk to each other in a way that is cordial and friendly. You treat your partner as your equal. When you speak to each other in a manner that reflects respect, this fosters a long lasting relationship.

2. You complain, but you do not criticize
Your complaints have an “I” tone rather that a “You” tone. You do not take complaints against each other to another level and start saying critical statements about your partner’s character or personality. You understand that forgetting to pay the rent on time means that there is an opportunity to work on time management skills, rather than thinking they are a failure.

3. You are not contemptuous towards each other
You speak to each other in the language of love. Name calling, sneering, eye-rolling and hurtful comments are not a part of your daily conversations. You understand that the words you do not like to hear from your partner, you should also not say to them.

4. You do not put each other down
You focus on conflict resolution in an amicable manner. You understand that conflicts are not a battleground to establish your power over one another, but an opportunity to hear out a perspective that is different than your own. When differences in opinions emerge, you remind each other that you are a team and you are on each other’s side.

5. You do not ignore each other
You acknowledge each other’s feelings and hear out each other’s frustrations. You do not use silent treatment to ignore what your partner has to say, especially after a confrontation.

Credit: Rachita Joshi Photo: Pexels

10 Tips to Living a Mindful Marriage

Being the right mate involves living mindfully. It means being conscious about what’s happening in your marriage and taking charge of your own marital happiness.

Here are 10 ways you can be more mindful in your marriage.

1. Plan to have time with your spouse.
This sounds like an obvious one I know but I’ve got to list it. It’s often said to go on a date once a week with your spouse. If you have kids, this is especially important. It’s also important to find time together each day. No TV. No phones. No books. Just each other.

2. Your spouse is your priority.
Whenever your spouse requests your time, make sure you give it. Ultimately, nothing will be more important in life than your relationship with your spouse. If he or she needs your time, perhaps the company meeting or the soccer game can wait?

3. Continually learn about each other.
Take time to ask questions. Even if you’ve been married for decades, there are still things you don’t know about your spouse. Take the time to find out his or her thoughts, feelings, memories, and future goals.

4. Take time for affection.
Have you ever been guilty of going a day without kissing or hugging? It happens a lot if you’re not consciously remembering to do so. It’s important to take time throughout the day to spontaneously show affection, like holding hands or a back or foot massage. You can even try just looking into one another’s eyes for an indefinite amount of time. A little affection goes a long way.

5. Learn something new together.
How about learning a new language? Or perhaps you could take cooking lessons? Or maybe you’d prefer to get your scuba certification? Couples who learn together, grow together.

6. Do your partner’s favourite thing often.
Doing your spouse’s favourite thing like painting or dancing, means connecting directly with something that he or she values. It’s also a great way to physically show you care.

7. Share a genuine compliment.
How many times have you thought your husband or wife looked stunning but didn’t say anything? How many times did he or she do something amazing and you forgot to mention it? Take time often to actively look for the good in your spouse and tell them! The catch is that it must be genuine.

8. Say “Thank You”.
Sharing a compliment, thank your spouse for something specific. Everyday there are things that he or she does that makes your life better in some way. Thank them for it! Even if it’s something as mundane as, “Thank you for picking up the groceries”. The little things turn into big things. A healthy side effect is a marriage full of gratitude.

9. Plan together.
When you were first married, you had big plans for your life. Are you meeting those goals? Take time together often to make plans. Plan the everyday tasks and also the big things like vacations and holidays. This is also a perfect time to work on your life vision. What does it look like and how well are you doing in realizing it?

10. Service.
Enough cannot be said about the value of serving your spouse. This means the little things like getting up with the kids, preparing a meal and doing a chore you normally don’t do. If everyone simply focused on this single concept of serving their spouses and putting their needs first, there will be more happiness in the world.

Credit: Sean Marshall Photo: Katrin Baustmann