40+ women will recognise mirror angst "syndrome" where they become acutely aware and overly...
Marriage Guaranteed: 10 Little Tricks To Stay Married –
Here's some advice on how to keep your marriage alive
If you’ve just walk down the aisle everything might feel blissful… then the problems start and I don't have to mention the skyhigh divorce rate for couples to know that a happy wedding day doesn't always have a happy ending.
A recent poll of married couples found that a few key strategies helped keep them happy. Top of the league was something as simple as sharing two hobbies. I've spoken to many couples over the years about their happiness and based on those conversations here are 10 Little Tricks to guarantee you'll stay married.
But first make a pledge to yourself never, ever to forget why you fell in love in the first place - when you hit the hurdles and they seem overwhelming you've got to hang on to this!
1/ The Spark of Spontaneity - spontaneity is terribly important to keeping your marriage alive. But it feels like a tall order, when you're part of a busy couple, to suddenly do something spontaneous. The little trick is to actually plan it! Go through your diary and markdown some dates when you do something "spontaneous" like drop into their office and offer to take them to lunch, pack a little gift into their briefcase, get tickets to a play, etc. You don't have to let them in on your little secret that your spontaneous gesture was planned all along, but they may get the hint and start planning some spontaneous gestures for you.
2/ A Helping of Loving - you can lay the table, sit down to dinner together and barely speak – or you can put on soft music, light candles, and tell them as they sit down how much you've been thinking of them during the day. Compliment them, caress their hand, look them in the eye and tell them you love them. Make a point of making such loving gestures regularly.
3/ Use direct communication -part of this is about eye contact - it's actually in your look - we've become so busy as couples that sadly we don't even look at our partner when they’re speaking. This breaks our immediate bond. Stop, turn, and face them when they're speaking to you. Make this a regular habit. You'll be amazed how much more connected you feel to them.
4/ Praise, praise and more praise - Let them know when they’ve touched your heart, been good, kind, etc. don't fall into the trap of only picking them up on bad behaviour! Also, …wait for it… let them know when they're right about something! – how often do we argue until we’re blue in the face with our partners believing that we’re right - and when they believe that they’re right? No one ever wins. Shock them in the nicest possible way by stating that “they're right” next time you two disagree. This can be a miracle worker. Anyway, is it better to be right (often over stuff that simply doesn't matter) or happy?
5/ Change is Good - we can become very set in our ways and that can have a bad influence on our marital happiness. Surprise your partner by getting a new look - dye your hair, restyle it, or get a wig for fun! Tinkering with little bits of change like that can put some zip back into things.
6/ Do the Unexpected For Them - have some fun and offer to do something they’d least expect like sensually washing wash their hair. Run a candlelit bath, ask them to lie back, and gently wash their hair. Or have a warm towel ready when they step out the shower to gently dry them off with.
7/ A Shrine to Your Love - do something symbolic that celebrates your love. For example, plant a special bush or buy a pot plant that's your partner's favourite variety. Make a point to them that it represents your love. Or have a plaque engraved to go on an arbour or garden chair celebrating a particular anniversary. We easily lose sight of what our relationship means and this can become a symbolic focal point for your marriage.
8/ Do Them a Favour – you're busy and so are they, so you may well fall into the trap that many couples do of one-upmanship. You know the sort of thing, arguments that go along the lines of, "but I've done more than you today," and, "Oh no you haven't, my schedule was packed!" And so on. Turn this automatic response to not lift a finger for them, because you've been so busy, on its head. Do one little chore that benefits them directly. Drop their things at the dry cleaners, or order that item off the Net they’ve wanted to, or polish their shoes, etc. Such things only take 10 minutes or so, but can be another miracle worker for your marriage. Hopefully they'll do the same in return.
9/ Cosy Up To the 'Enemy ' - you know that person in their life that you consider to be your rival, say, their best friend, their mother, etc. Many marriages stumble over the "other people" in the relationship. Instead of arguing about this person why not surprise your partner and invite them over for a lovely dinner. Show some grace and be friendly. You'll certainly impress your partner and you never know, you might enjoy your so-called rival’s company.
10/ The Power in Your Photo Album - relationship research shows that couples that occasionally look at their holiday snaps, family or Christmas photos have a stronger relationship. So get out your iPad or your actual photo album to reminisce together. The basis for this important effect is that looking at happy times, bonds you together. It puts a smile on your faces particularly if you're going through a rocky patch. This is the ideal time to get out your photo album and snuggle up together while you stroll down memory lane - even with recent memories like your honeymoon.
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