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Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Marriage


Whether your marriage is in trouble or you're just dealing with the normal ups and downs of coupled life, it's easy to see what your partner is doing wrong. It takes two to create a problem, though, so looking at your own role in your marriage is key to getting back on track. You're the only component of your marriage you can control, and when your behavior changes, your spouse's actions may change for the better, too. 

Make Time for Physical Affection

Research has repeatedly shown that the simple act of kissing your partner every day can work wonders for a marriage. It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but physical affection outside of the bedroom can help solidify your connection. Kiss your partner every day, and reach out to touch him or her as much as possible. Offer massages and hugs, and maybe a gentle rear pat as your partner walks by.  

Apologize – and Mean It

After years of marriage, it's easy to hang on to resentment as if it's some sort of investment that will eventually pay out a massive yield. But hanging on to resentment only makes you both feel miserable. Apologizing doesn't mean giving up your power. Instead, apologizing when you're wrong is the first step toward rebalancing your relationship. Don't shy away from apologizing. Doing so not only makes your spouse feel more valued, but can help encourage him or her to take responsibility when you're the victim and they're in the wrong.  

Change Your Perspective

Years of conflict can make you totally intractable, but stubbornly clinging to your own viewpoint is the very worst way to improve your marriage. Instead, commit to taking your partner's perspective at least once a week. Sit down and actually contemplate what your partner's day is like, how your behavior appears to him or her, what stresses he or she is facing, and where your relationship is lacking from your partner's perspective. Doing so can make your partner more sympathetic while encouraging you to make healthy changes.

Do Something Nice

Sometimes years of marriage make it easy to forget the most obvious advice of all: do something nice for your partner. It doesn't have to be big or expensive, but a small act of love each day can steadily move you back toward happiness. Try sticking a sweet note in your wife's purse, straightening your hubby's tie, or offering a quick back massage. Kindness tends to breed more kindness, so don't be surprised if your acts of love encourage your spouse to begin taking positive steps of his or her own.  

Ask Your Partner Meaningful Questions

Some relationship experts believe that simply asking the right questions can lead to lasting love. By asking your partner to share more about himself or herself, you show your love and concern. And when you listen, your partner will feel more valued. Feel free to ask anything that's not accusatory, but this list of 36 questions for lasting love is a great start. 

How To Date Your Spouse


If you're like most people involved in long-term relationships, you probably long for the romantic spark you once felt. Maybe you're not sure why the spark is gone. Or perhaps, like many people, you blame your spouse. The truth, though, is that your life was much different when you first met your spouse. And like most newly-dating couples, you probably did much to impress one another. With the changes of time, the challenges of a shared life, and the inevitable frustrations of living together, romantic love can steadily shrivel until there's nothing left. By dating your spouse as you did once upon a time, you can relive the early days of your relationship and get back that spark you thought was long since gone.

Romance Your Spouse

When was the last time you took flowers to your spouse? If you can't remember, you've got a serious problem on your hands. To have romance, you have to offer it, whether you're a man or a woman. Commit to three months of romance, and you may be surprised to see how happy you end up feeling in your relationship. Some things to try:

  • Dress in a way you know your spouse loves. And listen to your spouse's beauty and fashion advice (so long as the tips aren't mean-spirited or unreasonable, such as demands to lose weight). Is your wife begging you to get your hair cut? Do it. Hubby ready to see your hair long again? Put down the scissors.
  • Do something nice for your spouse every single day. No exceptions and no excuses.
  • Commit to a weekly date night, and put it on your calendar; we take our commitments more seriously when they're written down, and research suggest that date nights really do work.
  • Give your spouse small gifts, such as flowers or candy, once per week. Strapped for cash? Try picking flowers outside, giving your spouse a back rub, or even writing a weekly love letter.  

Get to Know One Another (Again)

In the early days of your relationship, you probably talked about everything imaginable – values, goals, sexual desires, plans for the future. As you've gotten to know one another, though, you've probably begun taking basic facts about your spouse for granted. Knowledge about one another is the cornerstone of intimacy. Want to get to know one another all over, reliving the mystique of those first intimate conversations? Try working your way down this list of questions.  

Do Something Adventurous

In the early days of your relationship, that “spark” you felt was actually a pang of anxiety. As your certainty about your relationship has grown, though, the spark has likely waned. Studies suggest you can get it back by experiencing the anxiety of adventure together. Capitalize on the gorgeous year-round climate in South Florida and go water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or hiking. When you face – and surmount – unfamiliar challenges together, the challenges of marriage suddenly seem less daunting – and perhaps even a little fun.