4 Habits For A Happy, Healthy Marriage

Most married people know that divorce is preventable, as long as we adopt the right habits. And while it's an extremely rewarding adventure, there is a lot of hard work that goes into a successful marriage. Relationship coach Laura Doyle, author of Six Lessons that Lead to Lifelong Love, has some great advice on cultivating habits that maintain intimacy, passion and trust in a marriage. And I want to share those helpful tips with you:

1. Do at least 3 things a day for yourself. When we treat ourselves well, it helps teach others how to treat us. Doyle says that when we do things to make ourselves happy, it takes some of the pressure off our spouse. And while some people may believe it is their spouse's job to make them happy, that mentality can hurt the relationship. Doyle encourages you to do something for yourself and watch as your good mood inspires your partner to do more things that encourage your happiness!

2. At least 3 times a day, express gratitude for your spouse. We all like to be appreciated. So, thank your spouse for washing the dishes, taking out the trash, or just doing a job that helps pay the bills. It doesn't matter whether you thank them for a big gesture or something seemingly small - Doyle says gratitude will inspire your spouse to keep doing the things you appreciate. And, in turn, will make you feel more cherished and grateful.

3. Don’t try to control your spouse. Like when you’re always dropping hints trying to change the way your spouse dresses or drives. Our expert says all those helpful “hints” come across as criticisms, saying “you’re not competent” - even if that's not your intention. It's important to remember that no matter how well-meaning you are, those comments are going to push intimacy away! Doyle says when you accept your spouse for who they are, you can relax and be yourself again.

4. Let yourself be vulnerable. Doyle says being vulnerable is not the same as being weak. Being vulnerable means saying things like “I miss you,” instead of “You never spend time with me,” or admitting when you’re embarrassed or hurt, instead of starting a fight. Try saying what you really mean, rather than skirting the issue. Is being honest scary at times? Sure. But it usually comes with a big payoff for your relationship. Doyle says there’s a direct connection between vulnerability and intimacy. Because when we’re vulnerable, it changes the way our spouse responds to us, and makes them want to be the spouse we fell in love with.

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