When my second daughter got married I texted her one “Daily Marriage Tip” each morning preceding the big day. Now you might ask after having one failed marriage what makes me an expert. I’m not. I just know from being an executive coach that what we prioritize we realize. And what we don’t pay attention to gets neglected.
When I give precedence to self-care, my value of connected relationships and my commitment not only to my love for my husband but to our commitment to each other it creates steadfast currency for happiness. When I do these things, my life is rich. When I don’t, I start to fill that the bank is depleting. (Leadership Note – You can substitute “team” for “spouse” or “marriage” in most of these tips.)
12 Marriage (Team) Tips:
• Always follow your gut. Your head is too analytical and your heart is too emotional.
• Tell your spouse that you appreciate him/her every day.
• When at odds, go for a walk together. Walking outdoors at a steady pace can melt away tension. Avoid saying, “I know how you feel. Calm down. You shouldn’t feel that way. Here’s what you need to do.” Use only “I” statements. “I feel hurt when…” Never begin a sentence with “You.”
• Love your marriage by first taking care of yourself. Write down one thing each day that you appreciate about yourself.
• Savor silence. Sometimes the best way to address a problem is to just walk away and let it go. If you stay silent and still harbor bad thoughts, that’s where ulcers come from. As the Beatles told us, “Let it Be.” Release it like a butterfly in the wind before it dies in your hand.
• Say thank you for the little things. He/she will smile that you notice.
• Leave love notes. Nobody gets them if someone special doesn’t leave them.
• Show interest. Every morning ask, “What’s on your calendar today?”
• Learn how to disagree and still respect each other. Accept that you will never agree all the time. That’s ok. It’s not a contest.
• Budget and allocate time for a consistent date night. Time is the “currency of relationships” so consistently invest time into your marriage.
• Agree to hold hands when arguing. Choose to love each other even in those moments when you struggle to like each other. Love is a commitment, not a feeling.
• Remember that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for each other in the moments when the other feels weak.
Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and corporate CEO who helps busy leaders get off the treadmill to nowhere to be more effective, earn more, be calmer and enjoy connected relationships with the people who matter while it still matters. Watch her FREE Master Class training on Three Things to Transform Your Life and Career Right Now .