Get Your Marriage Back on Track
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Find Wedded Bliss1 of 11
By Woman's Day
“Many people think that marriage is about marrying the right person,” says Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After. “Although you do want to marry someone you are basically compatible with, marriage has a lot less to do with marrying the right person than it has to do with doing the right things with the person you married.” These tips will rehab your romance.
Nurture Yourself2 of 11
Marriage is about giving, but don’t make the mistake of giving too much. “Learn how to prioritize and put boundaries around activities that keep you healthy and whole — activities like rest, relaxation, fitness and time with friends,” says Bowman. Scheduling “me” time into your day is not selfish, it’s a necessity.
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Define The Problem3 of 11
Bowman suggests that you take a moment to imagine a perfect day in your perfect relationship. What would this look like? How would you and your partner interact? Then create a plan of how you might get from point A (current reality) to point B (perfect day). Start breaking the issues into pieces and tackling them one at a time. Before you know it, there will only be a few bite-size problems left.
Make a Plan4 of 11
If you find you and your spouse are starting to badger each other over the bottom line, it’s time to have a penny-pinching powwow. “Couples need to make an active plan about how they will manage their money,” says Jenny Anderson, coauthor of Spousonomics. “Whatever the decision, both people have to be part of the decision to do it and then figure out what needs to be done to keep the system humming.”
Speak in Threes5 of 11
When you need to ask your partner for something that could be misconstrued as nagging, keep the request at three sentences — max. “The art of being assertive without coming off as aggressive lies in being succinct,” says Bowman. You might even rest your hand on his thigh as you say, “Honey, the house is a mess and I am exhausted. Could you help me clean this place up? I could really use your help.”
Take the Gloves Off6 of 11
Don’t duke it out. Instead, consider taking a time-out. “There's a concept called 'loss aversion' in economics, which simply means we really hate to lose. And when we think we are losing, we fight like there is no tomorrow to try to win,” says Anderson. “It happens when couples talk about hot-button issues like sex, housework, money or the kids. If either person thinks he or she is losing, he or she will ratchet up the stakes and escalate the issue.”
Just Do It7 of 11
Yes, by “do it” we mean have sex. Sexual encounters can be one of the quickest ways to reconnect and rekindle with your partner. “Of the many forms of couple intimacy—a smile across a room, a kiss, a touch—sex has the potential to be the most powerful positive physical experience most of us enjoy,” says Joel D. Block, PhD, coauthor of Sex Comes First: 15 Ways to Save Your Relationship…Without Leaving Your Bedroom.
Burn Your Grudges8 of 11
Instead of carrying grudges around forever, torch them. “Write them all down on a piece of paper. Give yourself as long as you need to really wallow in the misery of these grudges. Set a timer. Savor them. Get angry. Do whatever you need to do to get sick and tired of them,” says Bowman. “Once you're done, take a match and burn them."
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Confidence Check9 of 11
Overconfidence can lead to complacency, which is not good for any relationship. Don’t let yourself gloss over the little things. Don’t forget to make an effort to keep your romance alive. Don’t find yourself in a situation where you realize that you could have done more…when it’s already too late.
Write His Eulogy10 of 11
This one isn’t as macabre as it sounds. It’s more of an exercise in appreciation. “Think back over the years you’ve known this man. When did he make you laugh? When did he make you cry tears of joy? When did he surprise you? When did he feed the cat because the smell of cat food makes you want to hurl? Put it in the eulogy,” says Bowman. “[It] will help you remember to appreciate your spouse.”
Know Your Choices11 of 11
Many people stay in troubled marriages because they believe they have no other choice. Choose to either be married or not. Make a choice. And wake up every morning and make that choice again. The surest path to happiness is knowing that you are not a helpless damsel in distress, but rather a woman who can make her own decisions.
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