If you feel like you and your spouse aren't as happy as you could be, a few simple strategies can help you get back on track. Here they are, courtesy of the Bottom Line Personal:
- Don't start a serious discussion until you have your partner's full attention. If you're ready to talk and they're distracted, you'll just end up getting angry. That's the word from Barton Goldsmith, psychotherapist and author of the forthcoming book Emotional Fitness For Couples. And on the flip-side, he says if your spouse springs a conversation on you when you're busy, explain that you want to talk, but now isn't a good time. Then suggest a time that IS good. But that being said, stopping what you're doing to listen to your spouse is always a winning move.
- Find alternate ways to say "I love you." A lot of people are self-conscious about saying these 3 little words - especially in public. So come up with a secret code. For example, you might squeeze your partner's arm 3 times to send a silent message.
- Do nice things. It's easy for a spouse to feel taken advantage of after years of marriage. But if you want your relationship to last, Dr. Goldsmith says you have to find ways to make small, loving gestures on a regular basis. For example, guys, you might fill your wife's car with gas once a week. And ladies, try buying your husbands favorite brand of coffee and brewing some for him every morning.
- Give 100% under ALL circumstances. Some couples think the spouse who created a problem is entirely responsible for solving it. But that's a recipe for DISASTER! Both partners must give everything they have whenever there's a problem, no matter who is to blame.
If you wanna go further, check out Dr. Goldsmith's website EmotionalFitness.net.