Make Your Marriage Happier in 2011

January 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm , by

We know your list of resolutions grows longer by the day.  And while slimming down, getting healthy, reading more books and your other must-dos are definitely important, keeping your marriage strong and healthy should be near (or at) the top of your priorities. Even if last year was a great one for you and your spouse, there are surely still things to improve on, and if you’ve run into some trouble lately, now is the perfect time to get to work on making your partnership a happy one. Because as every couple, young and old, can agree, a peaceful marriage takes a little effort!

The experts behind our Can This Marriage Be Saved? column have seen every issue under the sun, from the serious to the silly, that cause fights between spouses. Here are some of their top suggestions of what to do to make your marriage a solid, happy, loving and lasting one.

1.Trust each other. Trust is the cornerstone of a healthy marriage, and being secure in your relationship will help you fully commit to it.

2. Communicate. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and leave the mind-reading to Madam Sofie’s taro cards.

3. Fight fair. You may win the battle but you’ll lose the war, and your marriage along with it, if you always go for the lowest blow. Anger is inevitable, and what matters is how you deal with it.

4. Quit the power struggles. Respect and accept each other’s differences. Whether your way to get the upper hand is to be passive-aggressive or domineering, one-upmanship is dangerous cycle.

5. Talk about money. Financial issues are often cited as the number-one trigger for divorce, and they often mask other, deeper issues within the marriage. Your money styles don’t have to match, but you have to be honest about them.

6. Have sex. So simple yet so complicated. Though they’re bound to happen to any long-wed couple, sexual issues can influence all other aspects of a marriage. It’s a short leap from questioning a sex life to questioning the health of a marriage altogether.

7. Be parenting teammates. When you undermine each other in front of your kids, you’re setting them up to do the same when they’re married adults. You should be allies, not adversaries.

What’s your secret to a happy marriage? Do you have any tips for getting through the tough times, working together or staying in love? Have anything to add to our experts’ advice? Share them in the comments!

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Marriage tips courtesy of Seven Secrets of a Happy Marriage, by Margery D. Rosen and the editors of Ladies’ Home Journal, Workman Publishing (c) 2002.