When we think about strengthening our marriage, we should also think abot what we can do with our spouse. We suggest going on more dates or communicating better but we never think of ourselves. We don’t think about finding more “me time” or hanging out with our friends because, that would be selfish, right?
Well, I’m here to remind you that being “selfish” will make you the most generous and giving wife that you could ever be. Here are my favourite reasons for how self care can strengthen your marriage.
6 WAYS SELF CARE CAN
STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Seldom found in women but never found in man. The old saying may be taking a funny dig at men but it brings up a truth: it’s hard to be patient no matter what your gender. Patience is the art of tolerating discomfort without getting upset, the more patience you have the more understanding you are.
Having patience is crucial for strengthening a marriage because, it prevents fighting.
Our day to day lives are filled with constant annoyances, pet peeves and frustrations. You get up in the morning and notice that you’re out of coffee, your co-worker is sick so you have to take on her workload, you get home and realize you forgot to buy onions so you can’t make your dinner. Then your husband comes home and asks you to do laundry because he needs a clean dress shirt for his big meeting tomorrow.
In the midst of frustration, what is your likely reaction? Probably to throw a fit – that’s what I would do!
The rest of the day has sucked up all your patience and your husband is the straw that breaks that camel’s back. Now the two of you are bickering – over the laundry.
Don’t let the laundry ruin your marriage!
When you practice self care, you take some of the straws off of your camel. Then when your husband comes home with a straw, it isn’t the end of the world.
Take time to de-stress and recharge throughout the day so that you bring more patience to your marriage and less bickering.
YOU CAN’T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP
When you take the time to practice self care, you will find that you have a lot more to give. You might have heard this before but I’m going to break it down a little further so it’s clear why the concept works.
These are some negative mental states that you might feel daily:
Since these mental states can rob you of crucial and necessary mental energy, you are more likely to develop negative reactions.
Here are some negative reactions:
- “Laziness” (as a response to fatigue due to lack there of energy)
- Verbally/emotionally shutting down (the opposite of complaining but equally as negative)
Repeating those negative reactions will eventually turn those negative mental states into more serious mental health issues such as chronic anxiety or depression.
See how “feeling stressed” doesn’t just end with you? Your mental state will have an impact on your actions, and your spouse is usually the target of those actions. When you put yourself first and turn those negative mental states into positive ones, your reactions become positive and your marriage will grow stronger.
WHEN YOU FEEL SEXY, YOU ARE SEXY
Marriage is a wonderful bond between two people who love and support each other – it is a very beautiful thing. Unfortunately, it also comes with the negative side effect of becoming “complacent“. Most couples struggle with keeping up the mystery and spice in the bedroom but you can help fix this with a little bit of self care.
When you start practicing self care, you will feel sexier. This is because self care involves many activities that can boost your confidence and allow yourself to reclaim that ever fading libido.
- Getting a professional massage
- Trying out a new hairstyle
- Retail therapy for some new outfits (or something sexy for him)
- A relaxing solo bath
- Getting your nails done
Activities like those will make you feel like a new woman, relieve stress and boost your sexual energy. You’ll feel good, your husband will love it and your marriage will grow stronger.
YOUR “ME TIME” IS GREAT BONDING MATERIAL
When you’re married, most of your time is spent with your spouse. You see each other every evening, you plan dates together on the weekend, you plan vacations with each other twice a year – no wonder you might run out of things to talk about!
One of the most fun parts of dating someone new is that you get to share your stories with them. It’s fun to engage in lively conversation about interesting topics rather than just asking what he wants for dinner.
But how can you get new stories if he’s already heard them all?
Make new memories without him.
Find some time to go out with your friends, join a new sport or even plan a girls trip to a tropical island for a week. If you have kids, even better! Leave them at home with dad or with grandparents because mom needs some “me time”.
When you return, you’ll have stories to tell your spouse, new conversation topics that you picked up along the way and you’ll be happy to be back home spending time with him. Missing each other can be one of the best ways to appreciate your spouse and for him to appreciate you and everything you do when you’re at home.
Let’s see how well he did taking care of the kids while you were gone!
INCREASED HONESTY WITH YOUR SPOUSE
One of the best ways that self care can strengthen your marriage is it can increase your level of honesty. Many self care activities (i.e. meditation or yoga) involve looking inward and processing your feelings. When you have a better understanding of your emotions, you can better communicate those feelings with your spouse.
This is especially important if your marriage is going through a period of struggle. Sometimes we avoid conflict and shut down instead of communicating with our spouse because we just can’t handle all of the stress. Other times we don’t know exactly how to express those feelings so we end up shutting down completely or saying things we didn’t mean – causing an unnecessary fight.
Looking inward and having time to yourself will allow you to express your feelings in a way that is calm, collected and working towards a solution. The words you say will not be fueled by frustration, anger or resentment so you have a much better chance of being honest and having productive communication with your spouse.
YOUR HAPPINESS WILL COME FROM YOU
A common trap that we fall into when we’re in a long-term relationship is that we want the other person to make us happy. We want our spouse to buy us flowers, tell us that we’re special, listen to our problems and cheer us up when we feel sad. Although these are nice things that our spouse should do, that doesn’t mean we can’t also be doing these things for ourselves.
An animal is always in search of food. It is their purpose on this earth.
Humans don’t need to search for food because most of us are able to put food on the table without too much stress. We don’t need to hunt or worry about running out of food and starving to death.
So, if not for food, what is the purpose of a human? What are we always searching for? The answer is happiness. We live our lives in constant search for happiness. We find it, then we lose it, then we search for it again. We find it, then we lose it, again – it’s an endless vicious cycle and it can make life seem difficult.
When you think about it in the above terms, it’s actually a really big ask for you to expect someone else to make you happy. It’s hard enough to make ourselves happy, let alone someone else!
By practicing self care, you take your happiness into your own hands. You control your happiness and you don’t need anyone to help you. This works wonders for a marriage, you know why? Because now anytime he buys you flowers, it’s an added bonus. Anytime he listens to your problems, it’s a bonus. When you feel content on your own, his kind actions won’t just cheer you up, they will make you overjoyed.
This will then make him feel amazing because he will see that he makes you feel more than just happy. This will boost his confidence and make him feel happy as well now that you’ve created an endless cycle of happiness and support.
What better way to strengthen a marriage?
I hope these points made it easy to see how your self care is the foundation and cornerstone of your marriage. Without it, your marriage will struggle so it is up to you to put yourself first – guilt free. Put yourself first and everyone else will thank you for it.