With very less real interaction in the bedroom and with rising interaction in boardrooms, a marriage becomes a bond of convenience.
Every marriage experiences ennui once in a while. The foundation of every relationship, especially marriage is friendship. And the foundation of every friendship is acceptance. When we're in the company of friends, we tend to throw up our feet and let our hair down. While most couples take the liberty of becoming complacent, we must also remember to create an atmosphere where our partners also have the liberty to be on their own.
Listening to spouse's woes can certainly create a strong bond. Even if a spouse is lamenting over one's own parent's behavior, listening and understanding can cement the bond. Being indebted to one's parents doesn't mean we refuse to see them in the light our partners perceive them. Our parents have walked a great length along with us and the rest of the journey has to be completed with our partner.
Pitching in daily affairs like caring for toddlers, like taking turns in changing nappies, looking after schoolwork of grown children, attending to convalescing in-laws, joking with a spouse's siblings or friends are things that can forge a stronger bond.
Joining in dinnertime conversations, discussing office politics, world affairs etc can also create a friendship. After all listening and conversation are the foundations of any good friendship. Here, non-judgmental listening is what is needed.
Like the way we never leave anything under the carpet, nothing in a relationship should be kept secret. Past issues, like hurts, insecurities, lies, etc should be brought out into the open and discussed. Couples must vow never to carry the previous day's hurts into a new day. Every day is a new day and yesterday's hurts should never mar today.
While it's easy to criticize a spouse, the best solution is to find a solution for a problem. While complaining, give a solution, an option too. Let it sound like a brainstorming session at work. And once in a while, it's wise to let the spouse let off steam. However, ensure that each partner gets to let off steam.
Communication is the keyword. Marriage requires an investment too. Exactly the way any friendship needs. Communicating appreciation, anger, joy etc can fortify a marriage. Dating each other without the children can be fun and revive your romance.
Like a plant that requires water, sunlight, soil, pruning and weeding, your marriage needs all these too. Marriage is the soil and love is the manure on which the plant flourishes. Sex is the regular watering that is essential for the plant to grow. The warmth of your appreciation cannot be underestimated. When you weed out, remember to weed out the third party from your marriage that includes your own parents and unwanted rivals. And when you prune, see that you don't uproot, and remember pruning always heralds new and luxuriant growth.