3 Components Couples and Marriages May Overlook

When we think of successful marriages, we often wonder about the ingredients that help couples achieve such feats. The givens in these relationships are seemingly obvious: trust, loyalty, respect, interest and anything else that positively contributes.

But what about features that aren’t mentioned as much?

Three powerful pieces can potentially increase the relational satisfaction in your marriage – and they work for anyone thinking about marriage later.

Think about your childhood dreams for a moment. What did you want to do when you got older? Did you want to be an astronaut, a doctor or something else? More importantly, who told you that you couldn’t do it?

You see, these dreams seem to stick around longer than we think — well into our adulthood — and when you involve another person in your life, that could potentially shake things up.

1. Support Their Vision

This brings me to my first point: do whatever you can to show your spouse you support their dreams. Too often I’ve seen couples sacrifice their vision so their partner could thrive with their dreams first, which is quite noble.

But, when was the last time you approached your spouse with their dream in mind, too? If your answer is not often enough, then I’d wonder what would happen if you were to begin to ask.

Every relationship will have its sacrifices, but that doesn’t mean sacrifices must be permanent. Communicating is important in understanding each other’s dreams and visions. What a wonderful feeling is it to know your spouse fully supports your life vision.

2. Small Things Add Up

Next, I want you to imagine Valentine’s Day. Picture the moment you receive flowers, chocolates, a handwritten card, or any desire on that day, and think how wonderful that feeling is.

Let’s call these feelings gratitude and love, and imagine you felt this every single week and not just on that one special day.

That would be amazing, but expensive, right? Well, it depends. There are other investments that are pretty much free, too. This brings me to my second point: do small positive things for your spouse often.

How hard is it to lift a 300-pound boulder once a year to prove your love when you could carry one-pound pebbles everyday as a gift — puts less stress on your back if you ask me.

The point is to celebrate togetherness daily as if Valentine’s Day were to happen multiple times a week. No, I am not endorsing that you spend thousands of dollars in purchasing love. What I am highlighting is the value of performing small positive tasks daily, like:

Doing the dishes. Walking the dogs. Picking up the mail. Cooking dinner. Opening the car door. Giving a compliment. Get creative and you’d be surprised what this could do to your relationship over time.

3. Why Stop Now?

Lastly, and this is more focused on married couples: never stop dating.

It’s interesting how motivation and milestones work in relationships. For example, a young man meets a girl, develops a friendship with her, takes her out on dates, they become best friends, go to college together, and then one day he pops the question for marriage.

She says yes, engagement time passes, you both say “I do” at the alter and voilà, mission accomplished. Another woman has a good man, and they lived happily ever after. Well, sort of.

Motivation could generally slow down once accomplishments have occurred, especially in the realm of marriage. You and your spouse have mastered what it takes to survive as a couple, but what about thriving in a marriage — that’s what shouldn’t slow down.

This is what I mean to never stop dating. Just because you’ve got the person of your dreams doesn’t mean the dream is over yet. It’s just the beginning. Just like a flower needs enough water, sun and care to sprout, now it’s up to the gardener for the upkeep.

So, what were to happen if you were to continue dating your spouse? Perhaps they will be reminded of the person they met in the first place.

Learn. Live. Thrive.

CouplesJacob Kountz