Using Mindfulness to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage
One of the best things about marriage sometimes can also be one of the worst things about it: getting comfortable with one another and seeing each other every day gives you a sense of familiarity that is unlike virtually any other relationship in your life. While this is certainly a wonderful thing, it can also be a recipe for boredom, as well as play a key role in declining romance, appreciation, and communication as the years go by. Waking up next to your spouse each morning and going to sleep beside them each night creates a risk that the two of you will begin to take one another for granted over time, which can lead to arguments, frustration, and, in the most severe cases, uncontested divorce settlements. Here's what you can do now to ensure that your marriage stays happy and harmonious in the future. Split Simple, a divorce mediation service in Denver and Chicago, offers these tips:
Listen! (No, really - listen!)
We've seen it all a thousand times before, in sitcoms, romantic comedies, and other movies and TV shows portraying married life. One spouse (typically the woman) talks at length about her day, her challenges, and her overall state of mind, only to realize that the other spouse (usually the man) has had his eyes glued to the TV, and hasn't heard a single thing! This is a comedic exaggeration of the everyday frustration that can come from not feeling heard by your partner. Listening is a critical part of communication, and all people must be mindful of how well they listen to what their partners are saying in order to gauge their true emotions. Simply listening to the words your partner says isn't enough, either. Active listening means asking questions, offering solutions or suggestions (only if your partner has made it clear she or he could use your help), and generally being there for your spouse. You will be amazed at how much you learn and how connected you feel once you begin actively listening to your partner after asking, "How was your day?"
It's the Little Things
As the years go by in a marriage, it can be easy to get a little too comfortable and stop doing the little things you used to do to show your spouse how much they mean to you. This can be especially true once the kids come along- after all, it's hard to make an effort to perform a romantic gesture when you're exhausted and frazzled from a day of caring for a toddler! But it's these times of difficulty when your marriage could use the biggest boost. Doing something simple, like folding the laundry to give your spouse a much-needed break, or arranging for a sitter in order to pop out for a quick dinner for two, can make all the difference between a happy, harmonious marriage and one that may be headed for an uncontested divorce.
Fall in Love All Over Again
Remember the first time you saw the person who would become your spouse? How your heart skipped a beat as you mustered up the courage to ask him or her for that first date? As time goes by, it can become hard to remember how you used to feel when you first fell in love. That's why it's crucial to hold on to those emotions throughout your marriage and to keep those precious memories of your tender beginnings as a couple alive. Keep an old picture of the two of you in a special part of your house, where you are sure to see it every day. Add "your" song to a playlist so you can listen to it while you're driving to work. By staying mindful of the special place your spouse occupies in your heart, you'll be more inclined to show him or her each day how much they matter to you.
Getting married is easy. Staying married can be harder. By staying mindful of your spouse's feelings, needs, and wants throughout the years, you'll be that much more likely to enjoy a "happy ever after" with the person you chose to share your life with long ago.