"Marriage is when a man and woman become one.  The trouble starts when they decide which one."




Avoid sarcasm

A strong personality is really effective in advancing your career, social achievements and effective leadership.  However, when it comes to a long-term marital relationship you should offer your advice, criticism and suggestions with greater consideration   You should be confident, empathetic and strong, but don't order your spouse to do things your way.  If you want your spouse to accept your advice regarding important issues, don't squabble over small things and avoid frequent sarcasm.  While you may think your spouse and others think your sarcastic tone, gestures or comments are funny, they may just be putting up with you.  When offering suggestions, demonstrate your ability to be compassionate, reasonable and supportive.  Criticism should be provided with solutions.  Don't bolster criticism of your spouse in front of others.   Instead, if something bothers you about your spouse, express your feelings in a confident yet compassionate way when you two are alone.  

Ask questions

One of the worst things you could do in a loving marriage is stop asking your spouse questions.  How will you get to know what your spouse feels, thinks or needs if you don’t ask.  Yes, tell your spouse how you feel, but make sure you show a genuine interest in your spouse’s needs and wants also.  Learn about his likes and dislikes by asking about his day and his dealings with co-workers and clients.  Don’t make it weird by being too specific and probing.   Instead, ask general questions and see where the conversation goes.  Allow your spouse to vent when needed, but if it causes more stress, tactfully move the conversation towards something more positive.  Talk about your day, feelings, likes and dislikes, too.  Eventually your spouse may initiate conversations with thoughtful questions also.  The point is to keep your communication open and positive.  

Avoid unloading

Your spouse is hopefully your closest confidant and friend.  At the end of a long day it's totally ok to let her know you had a bad day.  Tell her why and feel free to vent a bit.  But, don’t go on too long before asking how her day went.  Show genuine interest and get your mind off your problems by helping her with hers. Ask if you can do anything to make her day a good one.  Help her with house chores, dinner or the kids.  You'll start to see mutual sharing will further develop her interest in helping you get through tough situations and days, as well.

Give in 

Disagreements can take many turns.  If you look back at disagreements turned arguments that ruined an evening, weekend or damaged your relationship, you should be able to see many opportunities to decrease the severity of the situation.  Giving in occasionally provides you more than you give up.  It doesn’t mean you have to concede.  It just means you're willing to see that you both have a passionate interest in opposing views. Give in to the possibility that you'll both continue to maintain your opinions, but love each other anyway.  Agree to disagree and be done with it.

Be interesting

As you become more comfortable with your spouse over the years, you no longer place a great deal of consideration over his or her opinion.  You take for granted she loves you and she probably does.  But, don’t get lazy.  You should always care about what she thinks of you and your general behavior, appearance and interests.  To keep your marriage strong you both should always consider your attractiveness to each other.  Attractiveness will include your physical appearance, behavior, communication skills and activities.  If you go to work, come home and do nothing all weekend, don’t be surprised if attraction for each other diminishes. She may become easily irritated with you, despondent or sarcastic in response.  Neither of you may know why the other is becoming less attractive but it helps to start with yourself.   So, if things are getting tense between you two, then it might be time to make yourself a bit more interesting and care what your spouse thinks of you.  Stay active together and make life fun!

Be a doer

People are naturally drawn to effective people.  If you find your marriage is feeling stale and boring then start a fire.  Don’t light your whole world up, that can be overwhelming for both of you and quickly burn down your plan.  You may just need a little heat back in your relationship.  Plan something impromptu, step outside your comfort zone.  Try some new cuisine or take your spouse somewhere a little different.   Wear something that gets your spouse to take a second look sometimes.  Plan a weekend away that will get a spark into your relationship.        -OurDMK.com


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