Have you ever woken up in the morning, looked over at your wife and thought, “I’m not sure I married this person”? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. She’s definitely thought the same thing about you. For many couples, it begins with a beautiful relationship building. Then after marriage, everything changes. Before you got married, the relationship drove everything else. Then, all of a sudden, the connection you both forged gets pushed back behind a long list of new priorities. Setting up the house, making ends meet, raising a new family, etc. This process changes you and your wife. We always marry a different woman than we knew because she has been changed by the changes in her life. The same is true of you. It’s normal. And it can be a good thing.
But you still may find yourself asking, where is the woman I fell in love with? Well, although you know each other well and love one another, a marriage still takes work and relationship building. Here are 10 ways to build a relationship now that you’re married.But you still may find yourself asking, where is the woman I fell in love with? Well, although you know each other well and love one another, a marriage still takes work and relationship building. Click To Tweet
Lock the door to the house, take a long walk together, or stick two straws in one milkshake like the old days. Ah, there she is! Only now I get to take her home with me!
2. Ask great questions.
You used to be so interested in everything about her. Keep that ball rolling by asking great questions. Stuck? Try our marriage conversation starters.
3. Become an active listener.
Active listening is a learned skill. Be a better listener. Here is an example of one speaker/listener technique that can help you get started.
4. Be willing to talk more about yourself.
Don’t be afraid to share. Hopes, dreams, the details of your day, frustrations, the latest joke you heard. The more you allow her to know you, the more of you there is to love.
5. Try new experiences together.
When was the last time you tried a new restaurant? How about cooking classes– together? What about bike riding, hiking, a game of Scrabble, or cheap tickets to community theatre or a high school play? Use your imagination. Make more and better memories!
We’re not talking Vegas here. Try connecting with your church on a mission trip where you serve others as a team. Did you even know she could lay cinder block? Did she have an inkling you were that good at teaching twelve kids at a time?
7. Commit to learning about the things your wife cares about.
We often drift in separate directions. Ask yourself why your wife loves painting so much. Then learn about it so you can talk intelligently and go on a weekend to that arts festival you know she loves.
8. Take turns selecting recreational activities.
This week you attend the play she wanted to see but you could care less about. Next week she accompanies you to the game. Have an open mind.
9. Schedule a regular relationship check-up.
Plug it into your calendars, once every month: “We spend the day (or a long evening, or an extended morning) comparing notes, sharing plans and dreams, reviewing where we’ve been, listening non-judgmentally, simply learning more about the one we love.”
10. Plan an annual relationship retreat.
Nothing is better for relationship building than romance. Try a long weekend version of the same thing. This won’t be so daunting if you’ve been doing #’s 1-9 all along. In fact, we guarantee it will be a retreat to remember.