What routines do older married couples have that strengthens their marriage?
I’ve been married 16 years, so not sure if that qualifies as “older” but I’ve learned some personal lessons along the way. I’ll explain what works for Silvia and I:
- We call each other uplifting names that continually change but show love, gratitude and affection. My favourites are “beautiful”, “my lover”, and “gorgeous”.
- Remember what she likes and act on her likes, particularly the small likes. Silvia has favourite chocolates, fruit, sweets, drinks, movies, underwear and I know these and surprise her with them.
- Celebrate the wins and losses along the way and talk about what to do next when these things happen. We always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge.
- Keep your own integrity. Decide what you should do in advance of regular occurrences and keep your word to yourself. For example I agreed with myself to always go for a run with Silvia when she asks me to. It doesn’t matter how I feel, whether I’m “motivated” or in the mood. Whenever Silvia asks, I say “yes” and accompany her on a run. I know it’s good for us and our fitness and more importantly our relationship. She knows I’m always there for her and can rely on me.
- Never wash dirty laundry in public. We never talk ill of each other to others. Not parents, siblings or friends. It’s too easy to undermine your relationship and cast your partner in a bad light. You may get over whatever you were upset about but others are more likely hold on to your negative sentiment for longer and reflect that negativity back to you over and over in time.
- Learn what you are each good at. And either work together or relinquish to your partner. I’m a breakfast cooking specialist. I love preparing a nice cooked breakfast. Silvia is a cleanup, chopping and prep expert. Defer to the better partner for each activity in life.
- Share time together regularly. Silvia and I have coffee and breakfast together. Have time each day where you enjoy being with each other.
- Silvia and I run our marriage. No one outside of us tells us what to do, not parents, siblings, friends … no one. Don’t let others get between you and your partner. For example we paid for our wedding, decided on who attended. We accepted no money from parents to create a commitment to defer to their preferences. (Sure listen with respect and hear what others suggest, but agree with your partner)
- Keep the physical side of your marriage going and talk about each other’s needs. Continue to hold hands when you go for a walk, kiss with passion and make love regularly.