AT the start of a new year we make resolutions for our work, personal life and fitness, and tend to forget our family, spouses, marriage and intimate relationships.
But in truth, the New Year presents an opportune time to sit with your spouse and set goals to improve the relationship and increase the bond that exists.
Many people, especially those who have been married for an eternity, may disagree and think things are beyond fixing or it makes no sense, but regardless of whether your marriage or relationship is thriving or on the rocks, setting goals as a couple is crucial for success.
The same goes for our families. If the bonds are neglected, resentment and distance will creep in over time, until you find yourself living almost with virtual strangers.
Below, Reverend Dr Carla Dunbar, marriage, family and sex counselling therapist, shares seven tips to nurture healthy marriage and family relationships during the year ahead.
1. Make your marriage and family your number one priority
“Everything is important, but not everything has the same importance,” she pointed out.
2. Stay connected throughout the day
“Don't wait until it's dark. Rather, communicate effectively and with respect for others,” she said.
3. Look for creative ways to treat your spouse
This will show that some thought was given and it was not done just for the sake of doing it.
4. Discuss with family members everything pertaining to the family
Open discussions allow for honesty and will reduce the apprehension family members may have towards being completely honest with each other. It also helps to understand the different personalities and builds trust among members.
5. Have more sex
“Sexual frequency speaks to a healthy marriage. Unless you are ill, do NOT withhold sexual pleasures,” she urged.
6. Be purposeful and intentional about your marriage
“Nothing ever just happens, so make resolutions about where you want to see your marriage in December 2018,” she advised.
“Love forgives, so forgive your loved ones. Anyone can be forgiven [as long as they are sincere]. Think about it,” Dr Dunbar said.