Keeping a marriage healthy isn’t that difficult. Counselors get paid a lot of money to help you do this, but there are many things couples can do for free or very low cost that will make a big difference. Here are my top three.
1. Buy John Gottman’s book, The Seven Principles for Making Your Marriage Work. Gottman is one of the most respected and credible authorities on marriage in the country. This book contains a lot of fun and healthy things you can do together that will deepen your connection. If your spouse is resistant to working through it, you can easily find creative ways to approach the activities. Don’t make it bookish!
2. Spend five minutes together every day talking (gently) about what you each liked and didn’t like in the relationship that day. If you prioritize a brief conversation about the relationship every day it will defuse the bomb that always goes off when one of you tells the other, “We need to talk.”
3. Find at least one way to compliment and one way to serve your partner every day.
If you do these things it will go a long way towards maintaining your positive perceptions of, and feelings about, one another. As long as you feel positive about each other and perceive each other in positive ways, neither of you will be interested in splitting up or engaging in the kinds of behaviors that often make things worse.