5 ways to maintain your marriage in your later years
Posted on: 12 February 2016 by Alan Philpot
You would automatically assume that the longer a marriage lasts, the stronger it becomes. However, there has been a rise in divorce rates amongst seniors since 2014. We need to learn how to effectively maintain our marriage in our later years.
The longer a couple is married, the more challenging it is to maintain the relationship. It is an inevitability of life that the spark will begin to go out of a marriage if you do nothing to strengthen it and keep things fresh from day to day. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. A marriage demands constant work to keep the bond between husband and wife as strong and unbreakable as possible – different couples are able to maintain a long marriage in different ways.
Relive your first years
People tend to make more effort with their partners in the early years of a relationship – they do more together, try to iron out their faults and generally try to present the best possible version of themselves at all times. As the years pass, however, they let standards slip and can begin to display less patience and understanding. Think back to the early years of your courtship and what your approach to it was, and then try to recreate it.
Take some “me” time
Many couples are able to maintain their relationships by ensuring that they take time away from each other on a regular basis. The pursuit of different hobbies and interests is important in order for both parties to give each other some space. Not being in each other’s faces all the time is healthy – it allows you time to refresh and return in a more relaxed frame of mind.
Try “playing” at your relationship
The word “work” can make something feel like a struggle or that it’s too much of an effort to get to grips with. “Working” at a relationship is a phrase that can suggest it’ll be a long, hard slog that won’t necessarily end in success. Instead, try “playing” at the relationship. This encourages you to focus on the good times and the fun things you do, rather than expending lots of effort on making things work. This will allow strengthening to happen naturally, and thus allow you to reach a healthy state more quickly than otherwise possible.
Think of the relationship as seasonal
Many people think of a relationship as an arc – beginning, middle, end – when it can be more helpful to think of it as a seasonal cycle (spring, summer, autumn, winter). Whereas some people might see a relationship’s later years as you the beginning of the end, you could consider the beginning of this new period “spring”, so it’s just a cycle starting again. The possibilities are endless and anything could happen – it’s an exciting thing to be part of, and can help reignite any part of the marriage that might be becoming stagnant.
Confide in friends
When there are things that you don’t necessarily feel you can tell your spouse, try confiding in a close friend who you trust. A little empathy goes a long way, and if you’re struggling with a certain situation within your relationship, taking advice from a friend can be extremely helpful. It takes the pressure off your marriage if you are able to vent to a third party, rather than bottling everything up. Think of it as free therapy! This shouldn’t necessarily mean that you tell them everything, however – there’s always a chance something could get back to your spouse that you’d rather they didn’t know.
Every couple is different, and what works for one couple might not work for another. Work to keep your spark strong in your own way if you think it would be more beneficial – whatever’s effective will be the right course of action to take for a healthy marriage.