Positive examples of marriage and long-term relationships abound — they are everywhere! The institution of marriage is the single greatest contributor to social order in the world today.
Successful marriage, love, and relationships all require simple acts. Simple gestures. Simple conversations. Success in love and marriage depends upon an accumulation of the doing the simple things to form the foundation for building a love that lasts.
The key ingredients that define a successful marriage are easy to understand, yet difficult for many couples to practice in their relationship. Here are 14 simple ways to help you begin building a love that lasts so you can live the American Dream of having a lifelong happy marriage:
- Be the number one cheerleader for your spouse. Let your partner know just how important they are to you and to the rest of the world.
- Compromise is a part of daily living in a marriage. No one can have it all his or her way. Establish a plan to work through important issues until the two of you can find a mutually agreeable solution.
- Carry the burdens of your marriage on four shoulders, not just two. Helpfulness should become such a matter of habit that you will feel and act like a winning team.
- Couples must talk about anything and everything. In successful marriage there are no sacred cows – no secrets.
- Never go to bed mad – talk it over first and settle things before sleeping. You may have one very long night without sleep, but you have to get the problem solved together.
- Successful love and marriage is about mutual love and respect. Everyday treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated.
- Use common sense about what you put into your body. Eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while cutting way down on salt, sugar, white flour, fat and alcohol.
- Smile and laugh together often.
- It is not your money and my money. In successful marriage it is OUR money. Be a one checkbook family.
- Never make a major purchase without talking it over with your spouse and then sleeping on it.
- Make a point of touching your spouse in some way at least ten times a day.
- Use touching as your Morse code to make an exclamation mark of your love.
- Don’t always do that which is predictable. Upend expectancies. Variety is the spice of life!
- Surprise your spouse with flowers when it is not a special date.
By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
**For hundreds of practical tips to strengthen your love and the answers to the questions you should discuss about your marriage, read the best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley). Available wherever books are sold. Learn more about America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts