Mental Wellness in a marriage is not often discussed, yet crucial to creating a strong and healthy partnership. Healthy mental wellness keeps a married couple better connected and increases productivity, energy, quality of sleep, and feelings of support and love while reducing stress and uncertainty, opening time for creating deeper conversations and understanding of one other. Here are five tips to improve mental wellness in your marriage starting today:
DEVELOP A SAFE PLACE
Ever walk into a restaurant and feel like you missed the dress-up memo? That same feeling goes for having a conversation, emphasizing the importance of knowing the code and reading the room before opening up. Remember, it’s OK to ask your partner if it’s a safe place to share or better to connect later after some space.
SEEK TO SEE, HEAR AND UNDERSTAND
Humans have a straightforward yet complex set of needs: to be seen, heard, and understood. When we go into a conversation with our partner looking to achieve these three as a goal, our partner is more likely to feel loved, supported, open, and connected to you, the listener. This only strengthens with time, creating a stronger bond between you. Seek to see, hear and understand instead of being right, and you’ll almost instantly see your relationship improve.
DEFINE WHAT INTIMACY IS
The first word that probably came to mind reading this subhead was “sex.” You’re not wrong — sex is one of the ways to define intimacy. However, it’d be short-sighted to leave out the other areas, including deep conversation, touch, trust, activities, and active listening. All these categories of intimacy play a more significant role in strengthening each other and, in turn, experiencing mental wellness.
KNOW YOUR ROLES
The roles of King and Queen, masculine and feminine, or lion and lioness, are essential in any relationship to function with greater ease. This isn’t limited to gender; it’s about knowing roles and responsibilities early on and showing support when the other needs emotional space or vice versa.
HAVE A SET OF RECONNECTING TOOLS
Even our best intentions and approaches can fall by the wayside, and conflict can arise. What happens next is the most important, and it’s how to reconnect. Having a set of tools to deploy is incredibly impactful. Our favorite approach? Take a 3-5 minute pause and breathe separately before returning to one another. Then, lightly touch arms or hold hands, making eye contact. Breathe together, then hug. Feel each other’s breath for one full minute. Then, let each other know out loud, “I’ve got you. My goal is for you to be seen, heard, and understood.” Then, without interruption, hear the other person’s perspective without judgment or reaction and remain open and curious. Counter with your side as well. Then, seek a collective solution to learn from what happened, then have a deeper understanding of what to do better moving forward.