Here are a few tips that I have found helpful on my journey of 25 years.
What can you do?
1. Remember that you make a choice daily. Each day you chose to be "all in." You are not looking for an easy out, you choose to work together and move through the struggles.
2. Communicate with one another! Do not let hurts pile up. Talk about your feelings and use solid communication skills. Listen without seeking to justify yourself. It is important to validate your partners feelings so they feel heard and understood. We all have family of origin issues! Own up to your own triggers and be honest.
3. Set firm boundaries with one another about acceptable, respectful behavior. Use humor to remind each other of these boundaries. Focus on lowering co-dependency in your relationship. We all have varying degrees of co-dependency, recognize yours and work on it!
4. Keep up support systems that are healthy to help you through challenging times. Encourage each other to maintain outside supports and self-care behavior. We need to be a whole person to have a whole relationship.
5. Take time to recharge as a couple too! It is easy to get disconnected with life happening all over the place! Stay in touch with each others dreams and visions for life. What is truly important to your partner? What is your greatest goal as a couple?
6. Dont sweat the small stuff! Okay so a towel is on the floor? End of the world, perhaps not. Negotiate about things that drive you nuts and learn to let some thing go. One hundred years from now is that really going to matter at all? We miss so much by getting caught up in small battles.
7. When you cannot let it go look underneath to see what you are truly feeling, most likely it is not about the towel on the floor. Perhaps you feel resentful, overwhelmed or unappreciated.
8. Marriage is a partnership. Treat it like one! Work on cultivating an atmosphere of respect and admiration. You both have amazing talents and skills you bring to the relationship that the other does not have. Learn to utilize your partners strengths in the relationship.
9. Be mindful! Practice just "being" with your partner. Take time to slow down and enjoy the space you create together. This is hard with so much life happening. Take a few moments in the morning or evening. Sensory activities together are great for this. Cuddle, massage, hot tub, cook...
10. The most important thing to remember is to keep your sense of humor! Life is serious enough! If you can learn to laugh at yourself and with your partner you will elevate stress and move through many potential triggering times.