Keeping a Marriage Healthy

Spousal communication is the key to a happy marriage and, if kids are involved, a healthy family life. Writing for Psych Central, Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S sought insight from family therapist Ashley Thorn, who shared several of the pointers she often gives clients.

Making Time

This is, understandably, the foundation on which all other goals are built. Between children, careers, and personal maintenance, spending quality time with your spouse can be quite a challenge. Thorn provides several suggestions for meeting a base-level of quality time with your partner. For starters, she mentions that you should make time once a week to discuss upcoming schedules. Being aware of major activities throughout the week means you know when to ask for help and when to give them some alone time.

Thorn also tells her clients to set apart two hours per week for quality one-on-one time, allowing them to reconnect and rekindle. Presumably this is time spent alone, or out on the town. But every few months it is necessary to really let go and plan for an extended getaway. You chose your partner because you enjoyed their company, so continue to make that a priority.

Your Spouse is Your Friend

“Friendship is a large part of the basis of a good committed relationship,” writes Thorn. Think of your spouse as your best friend first. This means reflecting on what a good friend means to you, and then pursuing it in your relationship. Don’t be shy to probe and ask questions— you never know someone 100%. What are their likes and dislikes? There’s always more to find out!

Get a Handle on Stress

Instead of dealing with stress effectively, Thorn notices that sometimes clients lash out at each other. In order to prevent this, you need to take a closer look at you. Find out what stresses you out, then learn to deal with it in an productive and mature way. Maybe meditation works for you, or perhaps it’s retreating to a place of quiet. And of course, there is always exercise.

Knowing how to cope with everyday stressors will lead you to positive interactions with those in your family.