When you first enter a relationship, showing respect for your partner and your relationship might seem easy: you make time for each other, you call or text each other throughout the day, you send flowers or buy dinner for one another.

After years of being together, it’s easy to get lazy. You might put time with your children or friends ahead of time with your spouse, or you might feel like you’re too busy to text them during your work day.

How can you get out of that funk? How do you reestablish respect in your marriage?

Strengthening your Marriage

You don’t have to tell your partner that you are trying to strengthen your marriage. Sometimes, one person’s effort can change the momentum of a marriage, says relationship expert Mort Fertel. And it’s that effort that often motivates the other spouse to join in the process of doing things that strengthen your relationship.

Stop and think about how much your partner means to you. Besides saying “I love you,” how can you convey your feelings towards them? Give them a compliment on something that you know they’ve been working hard on the last few months; if your spouse has been hitting the gym hard, acknowledge where you see improvement. Let them know that you made it through a rough day at work because you were looking forward to spending time with them that night.

Take action. Hide a note in their back pocket or briefcase for them to find later in the day. Run an errand for them that you know they have been putting off. It’s the little things that mean the most to a majority of people. Showing respect toward your marriage often doesn’t require any money; it just requires your time.

When Kids are in the Picture

It can be difficult to focus on your marriage when you have a seven-year-old who needs to get to school on time, a four-year-old refusing to eat breakfast, and a one-year-old who’s cranky and teething.

It’s important to remember that you and your partner are a separate entity from your children. As Ashlee Gadd explains in an article on Huffington Post, it would be easy to let their kids overtake their husband-and-wife time. However, she stresses that it’s important that her children see them as a husband-and-wife duo.

If you want your kids to respect your marriage, you have to let them see your marriage. Let them see your love towards each other, the fights, and how you work through them. Your children will learn to respect your marriage, and you are teaching them what a marriage is like. You are setting the tone for how they will enter into their own marriages.

How do you make time for your marriage and show respect for it? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook. If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125 or by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com.

photo credit: Seats 8, I don’t even know 8 people. via photopin (license)