"Sweat the Small Stuff" to Keep Your Marriage Healthy

October 3, 2011 by

Major relationship issues like infidelity, abuse, or addiction get a lot of press, but the truth is they aren’t the culprits in most divorces. In fact, it’s often hard to pinpoint exactly when these relationship went south. The deterioration happens over time. Our lives get busier and busier, there are more and more distractions, and we start paying less and less attention to our significant others.

The good news is that we can prevent these relationship issues by “sweating the small stuff.” You may not realize you are drifting apart from your partner, so evaluate your lifestyle.

Cut back. Being too busy means you don’t have time for intimacy. You may have to turn down an opportunity to serve on a committee, take a class, or coach a team, but that time might be better spent focusing on the small stuff, like just spending time with your partner.

Talk about relationship issues. Are you feeling like you need more from your relationship? It’s not an easy conversation to have, but in the end, it will be worth it. If your partner isn’t aware there’s an issue, it can be hard for things to change, but if you work together towards reconnecting, you can fall in love all over again.

Think creatively. Start imagining changes that can improve your marriage. They can be huge changes or small ones. Just the act of imagining can help reignite the brain chemicals that strengthen your connection to your partner, such as dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin.

Put your plan into action. Of course, acting on those changes you imagine takes it one step further. The idea is to get excited about spending time with each other again to revitalize your marriage.

Having trouble? It’s not always easy to reconnect with your partner. It can be helpful to seek Portland marriage counseling to learn new ways to work on your relationship issues.