Guide Making Marriage Last

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The ability to admit you're wrong can strengthen your relationship and allow small fights to end more quickly than they would if you were too stubborn to let it go. At the end of the day you have to realize that you are happier now than you were before … even if they annoy you that day. We think that being authentic with appreciation keeps the fire alive because the couple is always focused on the best in each person. With three kids, careers, and a full life, we make appreciation a top priority. It's fun and sexy always to be appreciated.

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If yoga is not your thing, find out what is. Finding an activity as simple as coloring together at night can give you time to reconnect and feel close to one another. Part of nurturing a constructive and healthy relationship means that you don't always have to go it alone. Partnership does not stop personal growth, so if you're with someone for a long time, chances are the person you're with now won't be the person you're with 20 years down the line. And that can be a great thing. Pfeffer credits keeping ugly thoughts to herself for keeping her marriage strong.

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People tend to assume that once you commit to each other, the hard part is over. But no matter how long you've been together, growing together and bettering each other is an important factor in keeping your relationship going. We are best friends and great lovers. We always come back to the foundation — 'what can I bring to the relationship? We can all learn something from couples like the Rippeys. They have important lessons to teach us.

Karl Pillemer is a gerontologist and professor of human development at Cornell University. He and his team interviewed more than Americans, ranging in age from 63 to , about their views on love.

Married for an average of 43 years, these couples weighed in on everything from how to find the right person to what keeps the spark of love alive. The word communication can describe several important types of talks that couples should have regularly. First, we engage in small talk — shooting the breeze, sharing facts and relaying our daily experiences. This creates a connection without deep, emotional vulnerability. These talks keep our marriage running smoothly. Third, we need to work through arguments that inevitably arise — conflict management.

Successfully managing disagreements keeps small problems from becoming bigger issues in our marriage. These first three types of conversations usually dominate our communication. They happen pretty naturally.

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It gives life to your marriage. Couples in long-lasting marriages adopt a lifelong commitment mindset. For example, the other day my alarm went off at 5 a. I pulled myself out of bed and staggered toward the bathroom — not turning on any lights, of course, for fear of waking Erin. I closed the door to the pitch-black room and then …. I was so startled I screamed back — probably the only thing that kept me from passing out from fright.

She had gotten up a few minutes earlier to use the bathroom and, when she heard my alarm go off, she decided to wait for me to come in. I almost died from fright. Humor gives a marriage a sense of safety and togetherness. When marriages hit difficult seasons, humor can keep us connected. But be sure you know your spouse well — and any potential heart conditions he or she may have — before you scare him or her as a joke. Follow Redbook on Pinterest.

7 Research-Based Principles for Making Marriage Work

Too many people think only of what they can get out of a relationship, rather than all of the good that goes into it. You can love someone and still not like them very much. Exhibit A: Your toddler in full meltdown in the grocery store. But when it comes to relationships, you want to be just as "in like" with your partner as you are "in love" with them, says Sunny Rodgers , clinical sexologist, certified sex coach, and ambassador for the American Sexual Health Association.

Just because you're married doesn't mean you should do everything together.

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  • Maintaining your own individual interests, activities, hobbies, and friends also helps you maintain your own sense of self. Plus, they give you more to talk about at the dinner table. This is a good sign, because research shows that interdependence, not dependence, is associated with successful relationships, they add.

    Sex is an important part of any relationship but it shouldn't be the basis of your marriage, Rodgers says. Being able to laugh both at yourself and at a situation is a powerful way to prevent little arguments from turning into huge fights — and a great way to repair your relationship if you do end up arguing. Humor creates a special bond that, in my experience, makes couples happier and more resilient when they face the challenges of life," says Sameera Sullivan, professional relationship coach and CEO of Lasting Connections.

    Marriage counseling is helpful for couples in serious crises, sure, but it's also great for helping with your everyday issues. Couples who have done some therapy together show their willingness to be open to their partner's concerns and to work on the relationship, says Wendi Dumbroff , licensed professional counselor and sex therapist. Disagreements are an unpleasant, yet fundamental, part of any marriage — you don't love that they happen but you recognize they'll help you both learn something important. People who have long-lasting relationships have conflicts but they discuss those conflicts and solve them together, she adds.

    Many people think that being a good problem solver is one of the best attributes they can have. The reality, however, is that being a good listener is far more important to the people around you. A willingness to hear what the other person is saying, even especially! Date night makes every "How to have a good relationship" list for a reason — the couple that plays together, stays together. But it's not enough to just default to dinner and a movie once a month. You need to plan and prioritize your time together. This doesn't have to be extravagant; it can be a television show that you both really enjoy and always watch together.

    Or you can take up an activity for just the two of you, like paddle boarding or a certain game," says Libby James , a family law attorney with Horack Talley in Charlotte, N. Ever had an entire fight with your partner — completely in your own mind? It's normal to dwell on things that are upsetting, but letting them fester can wreck your marriage.

    Instead, partners in successful long-term relationships speak up immediately when something's bothering them, James says. On the flip side, they also check in regularly with their partner to see if they can help them in any way. It takes both the asking for help and the helping to make a happy couple. No more simmering and stewing — speak up!

    Respect is the one thing that has the power to make or break your marriage because it underlies everything else you do, says Charlynn Ruan, Ph. Does your husband want to start his own kite surfing business? Does your wife want to go to art school? Even if his or her goal doesn't seem important or realistic to you at first, supporting them in their hopes and dreams is key to a lasting relationship, Morin says.