Relationships are hard work, even challenging at times. Between work, family, finances and autism , it’s easy to feel disconnected from your partner. But a healthy, connected relationship will help you withstand the difficult times and create your own idea of a “happily ever after”. A strong bond with your spouse helps you develop that team mentality needed to weather the storms of autism.
How To Build A Stronger Bond With Your Spouse
- Spend 10 minutes a day connecting to one another. Many couples think they talk to each other too much. How often do you discuss things that truly deepen your understanding of each other? Set aside just 10 minutes at the end of the day to talk about something other than work, family, or autism. Instead, share your hopes, dreams, and goals. Learn something new about your partner every day.
- Change and grow as a couple. Your relationship needs to be nourished in order to grow. The best way to nurture it is to change and evolve. Regular change in a relationship has been shown to be essential to long-term happiness. The changes can be small, but they should be enough of a change to the routine to make your spouse take notice. Get up early to talk with them before work. Make them breakfast and coffee. Something out of the ordinary.
- Keep it light. Laughter is a happiness pill to a marriage. Keep your relationship from becoming stagnant and balance the daily aspects of your life with fun and laughter. Enjoy being together. Remind your spouse of a funny event that only the two of you know. An inside joke makes an instant connection.
- Be a caregiver. Research shows that when you have a partner who is there for you, it provides security and comfort in your relationship. Learn what kind of help your partner needs from you and give it to him or her on a regular basis. Never at the expense of taking care of yourself though. You can ‘t take care of everyone else without taking care of yourself. Put on your own oxygen mask first.
- Spend time with each other’s friends and family. Studies found that men are happier when his spouse has a good relationship with his family. Couples who accept each other’s friends and spend time with them report being happier than couples who have their separate friends. For me, this means that I remember that I am nice to some people out of love for my husband.
- Perform random acts of kindness. Small gestures that say “I love you” are important to keeping the relationship strong. Fill up your sweetheart’s gas tank or serve breakfast in bed. Hold hands and hug. Small gestures are more impactful on your overall happiness when done regularly than grand, less frequent gestures.
- Accept your spouse’s individuality. Maybe you wish your partner was more romantic or enjoyed different hobbies. But accepting someone for who they are is part of loving them. No doubt there are things about you that your spouse wishes were different too!
Strive to connect with your partner every day on some level. We all know that it’s easy to get laser focused on helping your child. But I caution you that it’s not the way to go. Autism is a marathon not a sprint. You want to be a team for the duration. Take time to make your marriage a priority. It will go a long way to building a beautiful, lifelong relationship.