Marriage is a constant negotiation process. The more you get to know each other, and discover your unique personalities and traits, there will certainly always be something for the two of you to work on. Embrace the tough conversations and learn from them. Ebbs and flows take place in every area of life – but this is especially true in marriage. Over the years working as a top-rated divorce lawyer in Bergen County, New Jersey, as well as a family law mediator in Bergen County, New Jersey, here are three ways I have witnessed couples find balance within their marriage through negotiation:

Stick To A Family Schedule

Life is busy, and we can sometimes get swept away in the day-to-day tasks. This is understandable, however, try not to live your life on autopilot. To avoid burnout and to connect better with your family, it is recommended that you negotiate to schedule weekly events and spend quality time with each other. Agree to a date that makes sense for everyone. It doesn’t have to be a weekend, and each event doesn’t have to be extravagant or “over-the-top.” You can simply take a walk to the park, run errands together, get ice cream, or enjoy a movie as a family. Also, if you don’t have children, remember you and your spouse are still considered a family unit.

Check-In With Each Other Regularly

In the midst of everyday life, things can get busy. Conversations that you once had at the beginning of your marriage might not be happening as frequently. The spark has dwindled down and you’re needing to reignite it. Also, the two of you might work completely different schedules, which make it difficult to converse thoroughly. Whatever the case, you will need to discover ways to balance your work and family commitments. You can do this by texting each other to check in and ask how their day is going, and you can also send a spontaneous, thoughtful gift to their job. Find creative ways to keep the spark alive in your marriage through conversation and random acts of kindness. This will help to alleviate any resistance when it’s time to negotiate about larger issues that may arise in the future.

Make Decisions Mutually

Remember, you have to make important decisions together as a married couple. Understandably, this could be difficult if you have been used to being single for a while and made your own decisions without the input of others. In a marriage, as you may already know, communication is key. Important decisions such as purchasing a home, managing finances, or accepting a new career (especially if it’s out-of-town) must be discussed with your spouse first. Take your time and consider alternative options. I recommend taking your time with complex decisions; you might even want to sleep on them and have the conversation the next day. Then, you can negotiate and make the decision that best suits your needs mutually.

All in all, spouses who are attentive to each other’s needs, willing to spend quality time, and keep the lines of communication open find the most success with balancing their marriage. When negotiating these things, take into consideration each other’s schedules and tolerance, and mannerisms. What works for you might not work for your spouse, and because of that, you will have to be willing to meet in the middle. 


This article contains general information and opinions from Sheena Burke Williams and is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information included in this article without seeking legal advice of counsel. Sheena Burke Williams expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any content in this article.