5 Marriage-Saving Tips from Someone Who Has Screwed It Up Before

When you want to keep your marriage strong, you might not know where to turn. You can ask friends or family for advice. You might even ask a marriage counselor. But we think you may be overlooking a resource that can be very helpful: people who’ve made mistakes in their own marriages! Below are five tips to help save your marriage.

5 Tips to Save Your Marriage from People Who've Made Mistakes

1. Avoid nitpicking.
Instead of focusing on your spouse’s annoying habits, such as smacking her lips when she eats or leaving his jacket on the couch, look for opportunities to praise them. For instance, if she goes out of her way to be nice to your meddlesome sister, at the end of the evening, in private, kiss her and say, “I appreciate how nice you were to my sister. I know she can be difficult.” And if your husband picks up his shoes that are usually in the way, thank him for hugs and kisses immediately. These small gestures have lasting, positive effects, and they will further encourage positive behavior.

2. Reignite your !nt!macy.
It’s wonderful how when we first fall in love, we can’t keep our hands off each other. The honeymoon phase of a relationship involves getting to know the other person through talking and being intimate. After we get married, have children, and settle into our work-a-day lives, it becomes more difficult to sustain the !nt!macy we had at the beginning you have to work at it.

You have to make your spouse a top priority, as important as one of your children. This is why couples hire babysitters and set up “date nights,” or take a weekend getaway. It’s a lot easier to reignite !nt!macy when you’re not feeling the stress of children underfoot and seeing dirty dishes in the sink.

3. Respect each other’s parenting styles.
You and your spouse grew up in different houses with different parents and parenting styles. It could take a lifetime to learn all the nuances that have shaped your biases and methods.

And since parenting doesn’t come with a booklet, most of it is thinking of your feet and common sense. The best thing you can do for your kids is to present a united front.

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