Make Your Marriage 25 Percent Better
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Step By Step1 of 11
By Alison Singh Gee
Maybe you've been married for a few years now and, while you truly care about your guy, time has ebbed your feelings of complete adoration. Get them back with these tips from psychiatrist Dr. Eva Ritvo, author of The Beauty Prescription: The Complete Formula for Looking and Feeling Beautiful, and Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage.
Prioritize Love2 of 11
"Focus your attention on wanting to rekindle the fire," says Dr. Ritvo. "So many couples move from day to day without thinking about their relationship." One night after the kids are asleep, pour two glasses of wine and tell your husband that you want to invest more energy in what you have together. It's the first step to revving up the romance.
Get In Your Head3 of 11
To be happy with your husband, you may have to re-train your brain, says Achor. For 21 days in a row, write down one new thing you're grateful for about your husband. "Research shows that by the end of those three weeks, you will have taught your brain to be more appreciative and loving toward your mate," he says.
Reflect On Your Life4 of 11
Break out the wedding and photo albums and reminisce over all the good times you've shared together. "It's important to stop and think about what brought you together and what you've achieved as a couple," says Ritvo. Consider the life you've built—the trips you've taken, the home you've created, the children you've raised. Taking stock of your past will deepen your desire for a glowing future together.
Brag About Your Man5 of 11
When you're out with your friends, make sure the first few things you say about your plus-one are positive. "Many people lead with the negative, and your brain gets stuck there," says Achor. Try the positive instead. Your friends will see the good in your relationship, and so will you.
Take A Dance Class6 of 11
It takes two to tango, as they say, and shimmying with your partner can strengthen your bond in so many ways. "It puts you back in touch with each other physically, gets your hormones pumping, makes you feel better about your body, even makes you feel more feminine (and him more masculine)," says Ritvo. Dancing with your hubby is also an opportunity to play together—and a huge part of being deeply in love.
Rewrite Your Vows7 of 11
Go back to where your marriage started. Examine what you love about your marriage and what you'd like to see evolve. Write it all down together. Maybe even consider a small backyard ceremony and recite your new vows with close family and friends around you.
Have Girls' Night8 of 11
Yep, that's right. If you want to love your husband, then love your friends, says Achor. "The greater your social support, the better you are at being patient and happy when you're with your husband."
Tackle A Joint Project9 of 11
It could be remodeling the kitchen, re-landscaping the front yard or building a killer CD collection. "Working on a joint project that helps you feel successful and creative is a great way to strengthen your bond," says Dr. Ritvo.
Read Together10 of 11
We feel the greatest love when we feel as though we're growing with someone, says Achor. Find a positive, engaging book and read five pages a day. In the evenings, chat about the book. "This will give you a shared ritual, fuel deeper conversations and train your brains for a greater happiness together," says Achor.
Have More Sex11 of 11
"When you have sex, your brain releases oxytocin, a hormone that will make you feel more attached to each other. Frequency is key to making intimacy a constant in your relationship," says Achor. "The more, the merrier."
NEXT GALLERY: Put the Spark Back into your Marriage