8 simple pledges happy couples make that keep them in love for life

You’ve read fairytales, watched romantic films, and think that you’ll live happily ever after the wedding.

However, in order to maintain the happily ever after, the romantic tales don’t advise you to work hard and prioritize your marriage.

You can participate in weekly rituals to maintain your marriage extra strong, rather than taking your spouse for granted and expecting everything would work out.

Here are eight simple rituals the strongest couples pledge to maintain for life

1. Pledge to touch and breathe together

Remember you are both human beings, not human doings. Take time to be together and connect daily for a few minutes. Create a weekly ritual together where you are fully present with no screens, no agenda, no rushing, no expectations, just being present with each other.

One of my favorite ways to connect is to touch foreheads and breathe together without talking. Another beneficial ritual is to gaze into each other’s eyes with love and compassion in your gaze.

You can hold hands when you do this if you like. Notice how these simple rituals help you relax and connect with your partner. From a relaxed, connected, and compassionate state continue with one or more of the rituals below.

Valentine's day. Couple gives heart to the Valentine's Day in the room.
8 simple pledges happy couples make that keep them in love for life

2. Share specific words of appreciation

Instead of leading with what’s wrong and what needs fixing, start with what’s right and what you appreciate. Let your partner know they are valued and appreciated to keep your marriage strong. Start with a weekly (or better yet, daily) ritual of thanking and sharing appreciation for each other.

Focus on specific things your partner did or said. Let them know how you feel.

For example, “That special meal you made for us was so delicious! I felt loved and cared for and appreciate you very much for making it!” Notice the effect this has. When you both feel loved and appreciated, you can easily face challenges.

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3. Commit to a weekly conversation using a ‘communications map’

Checkin with each other every week about goals and ideas for the future. What are your plans for the relationship, home, family, vacations, career, or retirement? take time to listen with respect and brainstorm ideas together.

If either of you has an issue, create a safe space to be vulnerable and use the Communication Map to negotiate a workable solution.

This process allows the person sharing the issue to be heard and understood and together to create a win-win solution. The format is to take turns with one issue at a time, where one person shares the issue, and the other listens with curiosity and compassion, focusing on understanding the issue. After sharing the issue and requests, you can collaborate to find a solution.

4. Pledge one weekly activity for just the two of you

Each week, arrange to be alone together, just the two of you, away from distractions, children, work, and other responsibilities. If you have small children, this requires planning, but don’t let weeks go by without sharing quality time. Depending on your interests, you can try different activities and adventures.

You can have a ritual of weekly date nights where you try out different local restaurants — for an added element of fun take turns choosing and maybe even surprising the other with the week’s activity. You can go for weekly walks, hikes, bike rides, or kayaking together.

My husband and I like to go to the gym and play pickleball together. You can play cards or games, read out loud to each other, spend time in nature, have a picnic, star gaze, go to a spa, or plan and enjoy romantic weekend getaways.

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5. Promise to prioritize daily non-sexual touch

Stay in touch with your spouse with daily kisses, hugs, and affectionate touch. Start with non-sexual touch that offers comfort and connection. If sexual tensions have been an issue, take a few days (or even weeks) where sexual touch is not an option to help you remember the wonder of simply connecting.

You can also create a weekly ritual that may include things like relaxed sensual and sexual intimacy and massage. You can create a softly lit, cozy space with candles, string lights, or dimmable lamps. You can add your favorite music and perhaps your favorite scented oils.

Making time for sensual touch helps you connect more deeply with each other. Affectionate, sensual, and sexual touch can help you both reduce stress, feel more secure and satisfied in your marriage, and keep passion alive. This is a vital ritual to help you stay connected through the inevitable challenges and changing life events during your marriage. Support each other on your journey and stay in close touch.

6. Pledge to complete a project together every week

Be a team! Every week, you shop, cook, clean, and more. You can share some of this, perhaps having a weekly ritual of preparing a nice meal together. House and garden projects are a great opportunity to collaborate. Each week, you can find a project to work on together, such as cooking or cleaning, redecorating a room, organizing the garage, or planting or tending to a garden.

You may want to work together on a volunteer project or help a friend or relative. You can brainstorm ideas and participate in activities like planting trees, helping at an animal shelter, or planning a celebration. When you work together, be supportive and appreciative of each other.

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7. Commit to reflecting and growing together

Another fun weekly ritual is to reflect and reminisce on your time together. You can revisit a special memory together and look at photos and videos. This helps you to remember happy times from the past and feel connected in the present.

Then, you can explore how to grow together in the future. Growing together includes planning, learning, and being open to new experiences and connections. This may require adapting to changing needs and challenges. It may be challenging to deal with some issues on your own.

8. Promise you’ll get support if and when problems arise

Sometimes, you might need extra help to work through challenges and get your marriage back on track. One great weekly ritual can be to get counseling or coaching together. This helps you keep your marriage strong, learn the tools, get support to communicate with compassion, work through challenges, and connect more deeply.

Here’s what a couple I worked with recently had to say.

“Before we worked with you, we were not talking, were frustrated, and fought. You’ve helped us so much! We no longer have angry arguments. We speak to each other with more compassion, laugh together more, and are a lot more comfortable. You’ve not only given us tools but taught us healthy patterns that help us connect and appreciate each other every day.”

When you make these rituals part of your weekly routine, you’ll strengthen your marriage and weather storms and challenges along the way.

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