Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I have been married for 6 years and my marriage has been rocky every since I said I do. My husband and I have problems with communication, intimacy and connecting all together for various personal, interpersonal and family reasons. I love my husband to the moon and back and I want our marriage to thrive, not survive. As we approach the New Year I made a promise to myself that I would do my part to make my marriage thrive. But to be honest I do not know what to do. I am not one to put a lot of energy into developing New Year Resolutions because I do not know how to create ones that work or last. I would like to enhance my marriage in the coming year and beyond, but I am stuck. What Resolutions Should I Adopt To Make My Marriage Thrive in 2018 and Beyond?
New Year, New Wife
Dear New Year, New Wife
I am glad to hear that you want to enhance your marriage in the coming year and beyond. Like you, I do not put a lot of energy into developing New Year Resolutions because I believe that people should strive to develop resolutions throughout the year, not just at the beginning. Some people think of a resolution as a decision to do or not to do something. I think of a resolution as an act designed to solve a problem, dispute or contentious matter. Given this, below are seven resolutions that you can adopt to make your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
Resolution 1: Be Creative. We all get excited about new things, especially if the new things are pleasing to us. Change is difficult, but can be very rewarding. Your marriage can be your creative zone. Try new things sexually, physically and emotionally. Change your routines and your marriage will change. By doing this work, you will keep your spouse curious and excited, thus making your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
Resolution 2: Rekindle the Fire. You are one in marriage because you spent time becoming one. In order to remain as one, you must strive to rekindle the fire that once burned. Repeat behavior that got you to the altar. Schedule couple time outside of family time. Focusing attention on your spouse demonstrates that you care about his or her needs. By doing this work, you will feel rejuvenated and motivated to please your spouse, thus making your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
Resolution 3: Maintain a Positive Mental Image. Actively engage and train your mind to see the positive aspects of your spouse and marriage. Schedule positive reflection time and identify five things you really love about your spouse. Spend time reflecting on them. By doing this work, you will be conditioned to hold your spouse in high-esteem during good and bad times, thus making your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
Resolution 4: Keep Positive Company. Interact with friends and family members who support your marriage and have positive things to contribute. Remember misery loves miserable company. Be mindful of the people whom you socialize with and make sure that they want what is best for you and your spouse. By doing this work you will eliminate negative energy and people from your life, thus making your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
Resolution 5: Manage Conflict Effectively. You can disagree with your spouse without being disrespectful. Learn to agree to disagree. Conflict is not bad unless you cope with it ineffectively. By doing this work, you will create an environment that is free of negative tension and energy, thus making your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
Resolution 6: Use Positive and Uplifting Words. Words of kindness please the heart and soul. Gifts are nice, but do not have the same effect as kind words. Apologize with words. Inspire with words. Empower with words. Use your tongue as an empowerment and motivational tool. By doing this work you will enhance your spouse’s self-esteem, thus making your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
Resolution 7: Monitor Your Pride and Attitude. Too much pride is unhealthy and can prevent you from humbling yourself. Arrogant individuals see the value in themselves. In contrast, humble individuals see the value in themselves and their spouses. Eliminate prideful attitudes and practice humbleness. By doing this work you will be able to see the value in your spouse, thus marking your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond.
As you strive to enhance and improve your marriage remember that temporary thinking leads to temporary resolutions. Developing New Year resolutions are good, but the word “New” should be in your mind throughout the year. Always look to do something “New” for and with your husband. When you decided to get married six years ago, you did so with the thought of being married forever. If you continue to struggle with making your marriage thrive in 2018 and beyond please visit my website www.realhorizonsdlb.com and secure a copy of my book entitled, “99 Strategies For Making Your Marriage Last Forever: How To Give and Get The Very Best In Your Marriage”.
Happy New Year!
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.