1. Be Curious about your partner! Ask them about themselves, their work, what they like, fear, look forward to, etc. Ask them how they see the relationship (when things are calm!). Don’t judge what they say! Be open-minded!
2. Compliment your partner at least one time a day. It doesn’t have to be something Big, it can be that he/she emptied the dishwasher, was helpful to a neighbor, was patient with the children, has a nice smile, etc. At first your partner may be suspicious of what you are doing if they aren’t used to you complimenting, but they will like it! It’s human nature.
3. Connect physically everyday and often. Hold hands while watching TV or walking, hug and kiss when you part, spoon in bed, nuzzle their neck, give mutual massages. Touching increases our personal well being and the positive feelings we have toward our partner!
4. Own up to your mistakes and the things you do wrong. We all make mistakes- we are human, and it’s OK. The more you can be honest about your shortcomings, the safer you make it for your partner to do the same. Defensiveness in your relationship will go down.
5. Make time to have some sort of fun together often. Every couple has their own ideas of fun, but here are some suggestions: walks, movies, dancing, karaoke, hunting/fishing, board games, music, dining, and athletics- what both of you consider fun! Make a list of fun activities and do at least one a week.
Devona L Marshall MS LPC is a psychotherapist who sees individuals, families and couples. She has been married for 18 years and makes a strong effort to follow her own tips on strengthening her relationship! Devona L Marshall is a therapist at Kettle Moraine Counseling in West Bend WI and she has two teens in high school and a 21 one year old. She has been married for 18 plus years (to the same man) and enjoys writing, walking her dog, nature and travel.
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