Singaporebrides | Relationships

October 2022

5 Daily Rituals to Make Marriage Last

Build these five simple rituals into your daily routine for a strong and lasting marriage.

When you’re married, you’ll probably be spending most of your days with your partner. They’re the first person you see in the morning, and the last person you see at night. But once the mundanity of your harried working lives sets in, do you actually spend any meaningful and intentional time together? Or do you live more like roommates in the same house than the passionate couple you were before you tied the knot?

According to Bill Doherty, professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Minnesota, it’s natural for marriage’s to decline in romance, affection, appreciation, and communication over time, not because couples love each other less, but because they simply become too comfortable together. In other words, they start taking each other for granted.

Being intentional about your marriage can help create an intimate and long-lasting relationship, instead of one where you feel like you’re going through the motions. Making small changes to add connection rituals to your daily routine can make a big difference to your level of relationship happiness. Building regular relationship habits into your lives will help ensure that other things don’t suck up all of your time and energy, leaving little for each other. As Charles Duhigg writes in his book The Power of Habit, “There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.” You can have an intimate and happy marriage simply by intentionally inserting a few quick and easy habits into your daily routine.

Elizabeth and Felix’s Intimate Home Solemnisation with Classic Burgundy and Blush Florals by Pixioo

1. Know what their day will look like

Make a point of asking your spouse what their day is going to be like. Find out if anything important is going to happen later that day, such as a big meeting, or lunch with a friend, or even an errand to check off. Knowing about their day and what it means to them can help you to provide the right kind of support later on, when you check in to ask how their client meeting went, or if they enjoyed their time catching up with an old friend. Being in tune with your partner’s schedule opens up moments to check in throughout the day, leaving you feeling more connected.

2. Kiss goodbye for six seconds

Instead of the perfunctory peck you usually give your partner as you say goodbye to them in the morning, try lengthening your kiss to six seconds. Renowned marriage expert Dr. John Gottman says it’s long enough to make a moment of connection with your partner. It pauses the running to-do list in your brain and focuses on your partner, in that moment. An elongated kiss before you leave for your individual workdays is a great, easy way to connect mindfully with your partner and start the day feeling emotionally and physically intimate. And it only takes six seconds!

Nicole Chang Min and James’s Sky-High, Tropical Floral Wedding at 1-Atico by Androids in Boots

3. Send a gratitude text

The headiness of a new love relationship fades over time, and one of the best ways to sustain and grow your marriage beyond the newlywed phase is to intentionally show appreciation for your partner. Showing appreciation for your partner is simply about saying “thank you”. In the middle of the day, show your partner that you notice and appreciate them by sending them a short text to thank them for something they did. “Thanks for making the coffee this morning.” “I know you’ve got a crazy day today. Thanks for picking up the kids.” You could even take it a step further by appreciating qualities about your partner instead of just their actions. For example, “Thanks for always waiting for me to get ready. I appreciate how patient you are.”

4. Hug when you get home

“Honey, I’m home!” How you greet each other when you get home is a surprisingly important moment in your marriage. According to Professor Doherty, if you consistently greet each other well—with a hug, a smile, or a look of happiness to see your partner—you will look forward to seeing each other. However, if your moment of reunion is habitually a negative one, for example, if you’re always on the phone and ignoring your partner when you walk in the door, then you may dread seeing each other. Be excited to see your partner when you get home. Make it a point to look for them and say hi, greet them with a hug or a kiss, and look happy to reunite with them.

5. Have an undistracted conversation before bed

Remember those long conversations you had on the phone late into the night when you were dating? Or those slow, romantic dinners where you looked into each other’s eyes and talked about everything under the sun? Weeknights may look more domestic now you’re married, with dinners eaten in front of the television instead of across from each other. Make it a daily ritual to have a conversation that’s free of distractions—no devices, no screens, not while tackling a chore. Give each other your full attention for ten minutes, and chat about your day. Empathise with their stress, or ask open-ended questions. Stay connected with what’s going on in each other’s lives.

Many marriages are allowed to slowly deteriorate over time, often without the couple realising it until they become very unhappy. Simple daily rituals such as these can help to protect you from taking each other for granted, and build romance and connection into your married life, so that your love keeps burning brightly.

Credits: Feature image from Cindy and Tuan Hung’s Wildflower Garden Wedding at 1-Atico by Pixioo

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5 Daily Rituals to Make Marriage Last