Last month, Micah and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been together for over 12 years and that it’s been TEN YEARS since we said I do. Over the past decade, we’ve bought a house, changed jobs, traveled, had a baby, and navigated everyday life together. As I’ve taken time to reflect on this, it’s important to remember that no one or no couple is perfect. And like anything in life, relationships take a lot of work, dedication, trust, and loyalty. I don’t claim to be a relationship coach, but in honor of our (belated) anniversary, I’m sharing 10 habits that have helped us get to this point!
Before I dive into my 10 habits that have helped us over the years, I wanted to talk about the most important habit that has helped us throughout the years, and that is we’ve worked to put our relationship with God first in our relationship. For us, this has been a critical part of our foundation and has helped us navigate everything we do. I understand that not everyone is spiritual, so I’m counting this one as a bonus and have included 10 additional habits below. 🙂
10 Habits for Healthy Relationships
- Make Time for One Another
- Establish a Budget
- Know-How to Work Through Disagreements
- Me Time
- Have Date Nights
Make Time for One Another
Different seasons of life bring about different schedules and challenges. Through it all, it’s important to make it a priority to spending time together. Here are some simple ideas to make sure you’re spending time together each week:
- Eat dinner together
- Have a weekly game night
- Movie night
- Work on a project together
Establish a Budget
Money can be a breaking point for so many relationships, and rightfully so, navigating finances can be stressful! Both Micah and I are budget conscious, so early on in our marriage, we set up a budget and allocated money into different categories. We set limits for each category and that’s the money we have set aside for the money. Early on, we also tried to set up the majority of our budget off of one income. Doing this has allowed us to pay off more debt and save more.
One of my favorite categories that we set up in our budget is having personal spending categories. That way, we both have money allocated for fun projects, activities, etc. This part of our budget is ours and we don’t need to ask for permission to go on a shopping spree, or out for a girls night if the money was coming from that part of the budget.
Know-How to Work Through Disagreements
No relationship is perfect, you’re going to disagree. What’s important is finding a way(s) to work through conflict in your relationship. For example, does your partner need to work through things right away, or do they need a little time to process and gather their thoughts? Knowing this is important. It’s also crucial to work through things and come to a conclusion without allowing too much time to pass.
Learn How to Compromise
When some hear the word compromise, they’re not a fan, but it doesn’t have to be a bad word in a relationship. If you’re in a committed relationship, you won’t always get your way. It’s important to make compromises – sometimes it’s as simple as watching your partner’s favorite movie because you know how much they enjoy it!
Set Time Aside for “Me Time”
Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, having time set aside for you is important. This can be challenging as your schedules fill up or your responsibilities grow as you have children, but it’s so important. Over the years, your time to yourself may increase or decrease depending on the season you’re in and that’s OK. What’s important is finding small ways to take time and treat yourself. Here are some examples of ways to add some me time to your week:
- Sunday Self Care: Take 30 minutes – 1 hour to allow for some additional self-care time. Throw on a face mask, and listen to your favorite podcasts.
- Take on a Hobby: Do you like to knit or color? These two activities are easy to do in the evenings after everyone is in bed or while watching TV alone or with your partner.
- Go on a Hike: Get outside in nature
Read a Good Book
Laughter is the best medicine. I can think of so many times where I’ve had a difficult day and at the end of it, I’m laughing because of something silly that happens. Having fun and not being afraid of being yourself in front of one another is so important!
Support Each Other
Showing support to your partner is key. It’s important to have each other’s back and to work through any disagreements you may have together privately.
Communication is Key
It’s easy to forget that our partners can’t read our minds. Micah and I laugh about this often. There have been so many times we’ll look at each other and say/laugh, wait – you can’t read my mind? Communication is key and an important part of a healthy relationship. You’d be surprised at how much stress can be elevated if you communicate with your partner on your expectations for weekend plans or if you let your partner know if something is bothering you.
Make Intimacy a Priority
Intimacy plays an important role in any long term relationship and goes beyond what happens in the bedroom. Having a relationship, being vulnerable, and trusting one another is an important part of being intimate. Showing affection to one another both physically and emotionally will help keep the sparks alive.
Have Date Nights
Setting time aside for date nights once a week is important, even if you’re not able to get out of the house or your budget is tight. If you’re looking for ideas, start by making a list of activities you like to do together. Do you like to go on hikes, to the movies, bowling, or out to eat? OR do you prefer to be home? You could have a game night, movie night, or cook together. Date nights don’t need to be extravagant, it’s just making sure you set time aside to spend together.
I hope you enjoyed these 10 habits that have helped us through the years! What are some of your top habits – let me know in the comments below!