With the approach of the New Year come opportunities to improve everything from physical wellbeing to marriage. In celebration of the New Year and nearly two decades of private practice, our divorce and family law office released a list of the top five ways to improve marriage in 2016.
Over the years we have seen how a marriage can break down, but in these tough experiences there are ways to help maintain a healthy marriage. We want to share those with clients and couples in celebration of a new year.
#1 Be Open About Finances
Many couples have one spouse who handles the majority of financial activity, whether that be paying bills or being the primary financial caregiver. While this dynamic is normal, it is unhealthy to withhold financial information from a spouse. Be open about the status of retirement accounts, bill payments, and salary adjustments. This can foster trust and allow one spouse to take over financial dealings if the other spouse becomes incapacitated for any reason.
#2 Plan Free Time Together
This includes time free of technology, children, and other distractions that can hinder fostering a strong spousal relationship. It sounds odd to schedule time together, but planning excursions and making time for one another on a regular basis, no matter how short, will help spouses be more attentive to each other’s needs and show their commitment.
#3 Expect Inevitable Conflict
Coming to terms with the fact that arguments will pop up over time is a healthy way to view your marriage. If arguments become physically violent or devolve into emotional abuse, then it is time to seek help. But the day-to-day arguments between spouses are both normal and healthy. They are the result of communication and the realization that real marriage is not like the perfect images portrayed on social media and entertainment.
#4 Be Independent
Promoting personal hobbies, friendships, and projects outside the marriage help one spouse appreciate the other. They also create room for personal growth outside the marriage. Our office has seen clients who end the divorce process too few friends and no pastimes to fill their newfound free time. It can be detrimental no matter what stage you are in at in life.
#5 Maintain an Active Sex Life
Physical intimacy, both sexual and non-sexual, can lead to health benefits and an increased sense of connection with a partner. A peer-reviewed article in HealthLine by Dr. Pamela Rogers states that “coupled partners have increased relationship satisfaction when they fulfill one another’s sexual desires,” along with other benefits.
From our office to your home, we wish you a healthy, prosperous New Year!