Key Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

Key Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

by Kara Ferreira

As divorce rates amongst younger married couples have declined over the past decade, an uptick in divorces in the 50-70 year age range illustrates the importance of staying connected.

As adults live longer, staying in a mediocre marriage for another twenty years becomes untenable. Many of these divorces, sometimes called ‘gray divorces’, end marriages that have lasted for many years and not because of any major betrayals or incidents. The couples report no longer feeling connected to their partners and hoping that there is more out there for them.

While there is not one consistent cause for the rise in divorce rates for those over 50, there are some simple practices that married individuals hoping to avoid divorce might start to employ.

Greg Matsos, PsyD, writes in Psychology Today that there are three things couples can do to foster a stronger emotional connection:

  • Evaluate the way that you share influence or power in the relationship. Do you make key decisions easily and fairly together? Does one person have a greater power to influence the decision consistently?

  • Check in with your partner to make sure that you understand their hopes and fears. Shared goals and a commitment to a shared lifestyle and the ability to support one another is key.

  • Ask your partner how you can love them better next week. See what small needs your spouse is looking to have met on a weekly basis. If ignored, the small things can add up to an unsatisfying relationship over time.

Some other tips to increase emotional connection are:

  • Relationships expert and couples therapist Harville Hendrix, PhD, suggests getting curious about your partner. When you come to them with an open mind and without the assumption that you already know everything about them, you display interest in your partner, increasing your bond.

  • In alignment with the practice of seeing how you could better love your partner next week, ask for what you’d like –nicely, Harville Hendrix adds. If there is something that you are not getting, make gentle requests of your partner.

While nothing is guaranteed, if you and your spouse commit to maintaining your emotional connection and spend time building it up, your connection will be more satisfying and more likely to stand the test of time.

If you’d like to explore working with a therapist, contact us at (734) 323-4897 or for more information. Our practice, based in Novi, Michigan, is home to a team of psychologists with a wide range of expertise. We also offer teletherapy and can see anyone in the state of Michigan.

Kara Ferreira is a G3 Contributing Writer


Psychology Today, A Divorce Trend That May Shape Marriage Forever

Everyday Health, Why More Couples Are Divorcing at Older Ages