Secrets of Super-Happy Couples
7. Boost your compatibility. Couples in crisis focus on all the ways they are different, whereas those who are in love zero in on their similarities and think their differences are cute. Build compatibility by taking turns planning activities to do together. If you don't like your partner's choice, don't complain; it's your turn next.
8. Do not place blame. Replace blame and criticism with solutions and tenderness. Problem-solve together -- sit close, hold hands, touch each other's face or hair. Be playful. When was the last time you laughed together? Rent a comedy movie to tickle your funny bone.
9. Plan for sex. Spontaneity is great but smart couples know that good sex doesn't just happen. Like everything else, it takes time and planning.
10. Fact-find -- don't mind-read. You may think you know but you can't assume. You may believe he should know, but that's not fair, either. Always clear up misinterpretations and misunderstandings to make sure they don't throw you both off course.
11. Fight fair -- and by appointment only. Schedule a limited time to discuss a problem and confine your comments to that issue only. It's easier to relax and feel free to enjoy each other when you know you won't be ambushed by a litany of complaints and criticisms.
12. Prepare for checkouts. Even in the closest marriage, everyone needs time alone. Don't take it personally and don't make each other feel guilty if you need to spiritually and emotionally regroup. Just be sure to tell each other when you are checking out (max, one day) -- and when you're checking back in.