The overall divorce rate in the U.S. has declined, which is good news. Unfortunately, despite the latest relatively good news, the divorce rate for couples 50 and over has doubled in the last two decades.
Regardless of age, that’s huge news for any married couple, primarily due to why these folks are getting a divorce.
As it turns out, they are searching for more happiness. Of course, this makes sense, especially considering that life expectancy has increased. So why not spend that extra time happier?
These 50+ couples are all of us, or soon will be. So, to prevent boredom in your marriage, which can, unfortunately, lead to divorce, consider some tried and true methods
Keep reading because, after some research, we found habits that can help you avoid divorce and help you find happiness. Check them out below.
Regularly Focus On Gratitude
In the beginning, you focus on the positives of your relationship because it’s fresh and new, and you are still learning things about each other.
However, after many years, you may feel your connection wilting, and from time to time, you can catch yourself concentrating on your partner’s faults.
Nobody’s perfect, not even you. So stop focusing on their shortcomings. After all, you wouldn’t want them to do the same to you.
If all you can see is the messy bed, the crumbs on the counter, or the dirty dishes in the sink, you can be sure they feel that criticism and disapproval coming from you. This can cause unhappiness and resentment in your relationship.
After the relationship’s honeymoon phase, you keep stressing about the one irritating thing your spouse does. Or you have trouble getting over minor disappointments. Sadly, most of us are hardwired to be negative.
List their assets and strengths and all the positives they bring to your relationship. Think about things like how your partner contributes to the marriage. What accomplishments have they done that you admire?
Carry the Post-It around with you all day. When you start thinking about all their faults or if they do something you don’t like, pull out that piece of paper and focus on their strengths again.
If you realize another strength or accomplishment you didn’t put on your list, add that, too. You’ll soon have a laundry list of outstanding qualities you admire.
Cheer Each Other on with Your Shared Visions and Goals
During your early years together, when you are at your most romantic, couples have an incomparable energy toward each other.
After so many years of living in the same space, that synergy diminishes. So, to avoid clashing with one another, you must search for common ground on such weighty topics as religion, parenting, career, money, and house cleaning.
The nice thing is that these discussions about the present and the future let your significant other know what you want. It also allows them to voice their concerns while allowing you both to share your priorities.
At this stage of the game, you must focus on the “we” instead of the “I” in the relationship.
These aren’t conversations that need to happen daily, weekly, or even monthly. These check-ins can be yearly or when some aspect of your mission or personal goal has changed. They can also talk place when one (or both) of you feel uncertain that you’re on the same page as your partner.
How to Get Relief from a Boring Marriage (Before It’s Too Late)
Over time, marriages become more challenging. Because you’ve been in it for a while, you tend to feel like you’re in a rut or stuck in a boring situation. If this is you, WAKE UP! It’s time to inject some energy into it.
After several years, you may constantly wonder if you’re missing out on anything or ask yourself, “Is this as good as things will get?” At this point, you must take action before your marriage crumbles and ultimately falls apart.
The issue with boredom in your marriage is that it can lead to divorce, infidelity, and other methods of escape.
But don’t panic. The good news is that you can still save your marriage from the dreaded B-word (boredom)! So rather than searching for a way out of the mundane marriage, start working from within to create a new relationship for you and your partner.
Change Your Outlook
Pause for a moment and take a step back to help you change your perspective on your relationship.
For example, if you view your marriage as boring and stuck in a rut, change your outlook to see it as a sign of security.
Your partner comes home at the same time every night. Isn’t that a reliable trait? Do you know how many spouses would love their partner to be more dedicated in their marriage?
Instead of viewing the situation as dull, figure out how those boredom feelings can be transformed. Look at it as an attachment and deeper intimacy toward your relationship and spouse.
Make Yourself Happy Again by Sorting through Your Personal Issues
You can not make another person happy when you are miserable. So, it would help if you found happiness within yourself. To do so, go through personal thoughts that you thought were hidden.
This doesn’t mean signing up for a therapy session but instead taking time to dig deep and work on any issues you have been avoiding.
For example, if you have been dealing with anxiety, this is the time to face that issue head-on. Or, if you’ve been worried that getting married was a mistake, think back and remember why you initially said, “I do.” This helps you focus on a much happier time in your marriage rather than on the issues you are currently dealing with.
Spontaneity can be fun and thrilling. To do this, try sending flowers to her job or having lunch delivered to his.
Pick them up from work and surprise them for dinner, or whisk your spouse away for a weekend trip in the next town. The goal is to get each other excited, wondering when the next surprise will occur.
Try Something New Together
Rather than ordinary, do things together that are extraordinary. For example, if you usually watch a movie together at night, go on an evening walk, or take a drive together.
Another way to bring back the spark is by doing things you both did together, especially during the beginning of your marriage, but haven’t done for a while.
It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. It could be something small that you used to do daily. For example, if you used to enjoy coffee at the kitchen table in the morning, try returning to that again.
Begin a Morning Routine
Can you imagine waking up every morning and barely speaking to your partner? A recent survey asked couples who have been married for over 15 years how often they wake up and consistently say “Good morning” to each other. Astonishingly, out of 10 couples, only half say they give the two-word greeting regularly.
Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a quick “Good morning” at the beginning of each day? Better yet, wouldn’t it be great to be awakened to the sweet sound of, “Hello gorgeous, you mean the world to me”?
Is that going to happen? It can. However, you must be intentional with it. Imagine how wonderful hearing those words would make you feel.
But, if that’s too much for you at this stage, why not try a two-minute cuddle while whispering, “I am so happy to be with you”? It can make a big difference to your happiness (and theirs) with just the right morning words to set the tone for the day.
In this same study, out of the couples that greeted each other in the morning, some even took it a step further by bringing their partner a cup of coffee in bed.
You can choose what you do, but give more than you get. Form a morning habit that will make your partner smile all day long.
Be Sure to Reconnect at the End of the Day
Life sure gets busy, doesn’t it? But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a few moments at the end of the day and talk to your partner. Connection is the lifeline of any healthy, vibrant relationship, so be sure to cultivate that communication.
You want to live together with each other happily, and only connection can do that. Of course, your relationship can survive periods and seasons of passing each other like two ships in the night, but this is only surviving with one another. Wouldn’t you rather thrive together?
So, schedule a time to hang out when you notice that your last meal together was quite some time ago or you haven’t sat down and genuinely asked how their day was.
It could be dinner, movies, or even a short walk in the park. The point is to reconnect. And remember, quality is way more important than quantity.
Just as you reconnect in the morning, follow that up by giving some TLC and attention in the evening. Greet your partner at the door with a hug or a peck on the cheek.
When they come in from shopping, volunteer to help with the groceries or grab their coat for them. It’s the small everyday gestures that people appreciate the most.
Later in the evening, set aside 20-30 minutes for a deep discussion. No phones, no television, and definitely no kids. This is the part of the day when you listen to the details of their afternoon.
10 Fun Date Ideas to Help You Become a Happily Married Couple
Your relationship has been in a ditch lately, and you’re looking for new ways to reconnect with your partner. No kids, no family, no friends; you want it only to be you and your partner. Don’t worry. We got you! Here are some activities to add excitement to your next date night.
- Restaurant hopping: You love your favorite spot, and you’ve even memorized the menu, but this go-’round, you want to try something different. Check out a few of the new places in your neighborhood. Have appetizers in one place, the main course in another, and pick another spot for dessert to finish it off.
- Play the tourist role in your neighborhood: When was the last time you checked out all the new places in your hometown? If it’s been a while, take advantage of the things out-of-towners come from all over the nation to see. When was the last time you’ve been to the local museum? Take an afternoon or an evening to hit up the local landmarks or the must-see attractions and visit them with a fresh and new perspective.
- Have a picnic: If the weather is nice, there’s nothing more romantic than packing delicious food, grabbing a bottle of wine, spreading out a blanket (or using a picnic bench), and enjoying the wonderful outdoors. If the weather outside sucks, move the festivities to your living room.
- Create a new recipe: This is an innovative idea, and no, you don’t need to be a 4-star chef to do it. Try preparing a new dish. It can be fun, and you get to eat your results. Depending on your skill set, that can be good or bad. No biggie. There’s always takeout. But at least you had fun preparing it.
- Go on a hike: There is just something about going on a nature hike with your partner that gets the heart going. You can head to the local park or even take a brisk walk in your neighborhood. If you have the time, try going on a guided hike. You’ll get the exercise plus have fun connecting with your significant other.
- Play a board game: You might not think this is exciting, but when was the last time you sat down with your partner and played a board game? You can bring out the classics or try something new. Spice it up by tossing in a friendly little wager or, doing a strip version of the game.
- Create a spa night: This is a great way to connect and relax. Do your own spa night at home with face masks, massages, and pedicures. A little DIY pampering is just what the doctor ordered.
- Go on a day trip: Why not hop in your car and see where your full tank of gas takes you? Checking out all the new hot spots in the next town can feel like an adventure, especially when you do it with your favorite traveling buddy.
- Grocery shop: This is another option that may not seem all that fun, but when pressed for time, why not kill two birds with one stone; grocery shopping and hanging out? You have to do it anyway, so do it together? Make it a competition by splitting your list and see who can complete their half first. The loser pays the bill.
- Take a dancing class: This is perfect if you’ve always wanted to learn the samba. If you didn’t, it’s still a good idea. Dancing classes for couples are known to be sensual, so while you’re bonding, you can also burn a few calories.
Spend Time Holding Each Other
Because you’re always busy, there may be little time for cuddling, talking, or doing other activities that brought you both together in the first place.
Unfortunately, there are even fewer opportunities to enjoy any meaningful touch. Even though it only takes a minute (sometimes even less), couples figure, “why bother?”
But to continue bonding, the togetherness, silly play, and gazing keep the relationship strong. These things are part of why you fell in love in the first place, and now that part is gone. But you can get it back.
Touch your partner’s hand or kiss their neck when they least expect it. When you speak to them, look into their eyes. Come up to them from behind and give them a big hug. It’s these little efforts that help rekindle the fire that once was.
Work Out Together
In a recent poll, over 66 percent of couples said that working out together helped improve their relationship for various reasons.
Some couples stated they felt healthier, therefore, more positive. Others say they found each other more attractive. Others described their workout time together as the quality time they might have otherwise used on someone else.
You don’t need to purchase a gym membership. Working out together includes taking a hike, using at-home gym equipment, swimming at the local pool, or any activity that gets your heart rate up, including a little “working out” in the bedroom.
Whether you’re newly married and still in your honeymoon phase or you’ve been married for several years, you must take care of your marriage.
Marriage is not just getting a piece of paper that says your union is legal. It’s also about living with the person you vowed to be with until “death do you part,”–which can be a long time. So why not make an effort to ensure those years are healthy and happy?
If you’re newly single and still considering marriage down the road, there’s hope. But, if you get married for the first time or again, remember these tips, so your union will be happy for years to come.