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e-book The 10 Minute Marriage Manager: Daily Maintenance for Couples on the Grow

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Switch roles: If he always makes the dinner reservation, let her do it. Or interrupt routines: Play hooky from work and do something fun together, like visiting a museum or tourist spot nearby. Or try something new: Take a water-skiing class together, or go on a mediation retreat. Get to know each other's friends and family. My research found that men, in particular, are happier when the female has a good relationship with his family.

Also, couples who accept -- not necessarily love -- each other's friends and make an effort to know them report being happier than couples who have separate friends and separate family lives. Be a caregiver. One of the three things couples need for a happy relationship is support the other two needs are reassurance and intimacy. The happy couples in my study uniformly said that having a partner who was "there for them" was one of the most important aspects of their relationship.

Men often like to give instrumental support -- the kind of support that fixes or solves a problem. Women often like to give emotional support -- empathetic listening and constructive feedback. Find out what type of help your partner really wants first, and then give it to him or her -- often and consistently. Keep it light -- and full of light.

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Laughter is a spiritual practice. In marriage, it acts as happiness medicine. To keep your relationship from slipping into a rut, you need to balance the rational aspects of your partnership with the fun parts. Yes, you need to do certain things to keep your life orderly and your partnership secure. But don't forget to play. Try to rediscover the pure delight of playing a game, acting childish in the snow, watching a silly movie, dragging her onto the dance floor, and so on. Find a healthy way to communicate. The happy couples from my long-term study of marriage all said that good communication skills were what kept them together and thriving.


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This means not only asking your partner what he or she needs, but telling your partner what you need. I think most newlyweds do this — ask for relationship advice, I mean, not shit the same bed part — especially after a few cocktails from the open bar they just paid way too much money for. See, I have access to hundreds of thousands of smart, amazing people through my site.

1. Be Together For the Right Reasons

So why not consult them? What is working for you and your partner? The response was overwhelming. Almost 1, people replied, many of whom sent in responses measured in pages, not paragraphs. It took almost two weeks to comb through them all, but I did. And what I found stunned me…. Not to mention, a relief. These were all smart and well-spoken people from all walks of life, from all around the world, all with their own histories, tragedies, mistakes and triumphs….

Which means that those dozen or so things must be pretty damn important… and more importantly, they work. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. It really is that simple. When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third or fourth marriages what they did wrong.

Where did they mess up? Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending on why and how you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself, love is never enough to sustain a relationship. They go into relationships with these unrealistic expectations.

And more importantly, sticking it out is totally worth it, because that, too, will change. It expands and contracts and mellows and deepens. Love is a funny thing. In ancient times, people genuinely considered love a sickness. Parents warned their children against it, and adults quickly arranged marriages before their children were old enough to do something dumb in the name of their emotions. We all know that guy or girl who dropped out of school, sold their car and spent the money to elope on the beaches of Tahiti.

We all also know that that guy or girl ended up sulking back a few years later feeling like a moron, not to mention broke. It generally only lasts for a few years at most. It does for everybody. True love — that is, deep, abiding love that is impervious to emotional whims or fancy — is a choice. That form of love is much harder. But this form of love is also far more satisfying and meaningful. And, at the end of the day, it brings true happiness, not just another series of highs.

Every day you wake up and decide to love your partner and your life — the good, the bad and the ugly. Many people never learn how to breach this deep, unconditional love. Many people are instead addicted to the ups and downs of romantic love. They are in it for the feels, so to speak. And when the feels run out, so do they. Many people get into a relationship as a way to compensate for something they lack or hate within themselves.

This is a one-way ticket to a toxic relationship because it makes your love conditional — you will love your partner as long as they help you feel better about yourself. You will give to them as long as they give to you. You will make them happy as long as they make you happy. That is the truth. But you never want to lose respect for your partner. Once you lose respect you will never get it back. As we scanned through the hundreds of responses we received, my assistant and I began to notice an interesting trend.

Talk frequently. Talk openly. Talk about everything, even if it hurts. But we noticed that the thing people with marriages going on 20, 30, or even 40 years talked about most was respect. My sense is that these people, through sheer quantity of experience, have learned that communication, no matter how open, transparent and disciplined, will always break down at some point. Conflicts are ultimately unavoidable, and feelings will always be hurt. You will judge their choices and encroach on their independence.


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You will feel the need to hide things from one another for fear of criticism. And this is when the cracks in the edifice begin to appear. Of course, this means showing respect, but that is too superficial. You have to feel it deep within you. I deeply and genuinely respect him for his work ethic, his patience, his creativity, his intelligence, and his core values.

From this respect comes everything else — trust, patience, perseverance because sometimes life is really hard and you both just have to persevere. I want to enable him to have some free time within our insanely busy lives because I respect his choices of how he spends his time and who he spends time with. And, really, what this mutual respect means is that we feel safe sharing our deepest, most intimate selves with each other.

You must also respect yourself. Because without that self-respect, you will not feel worthy of the respect afforded by your partner. You will be unwilling to accept it and you will find ways to undermine it. You will constantly feel the need to compensate and prove yourself worthy of love, which will just backfire. Respect for your partner and respect for yourself are intertwined. Never talk badly to or about her. You chose her — live up to that choice.

Respect goes hand-in-hand with trust. And trust is the lifeblood of any relationship romantic or otherwise. Without trust, there can be no sense of intimacy or comfort. Without trust, your partner will become a liability in your mind, something to be avoided and analyzed, not a protective homebase for your heart and your mind. We have so many friends who are in marriages that are not working well and they tell me all about what is wrong. I receive hundreds of emails from readers each week asking for life advice.

A large percentage of these emails involve their struggling romantic relationships. A couple years ago, I discovered that I was answering the vast majority of these relationship emails with the exact same response. Then come back and ask again. This response became so common that I actually put it on my contact form on the site because I was so tired of copying and pasting it. If something bothers you in the relationship, you must be willing to say it.

Saying it builds trust and trust builds intimacy. It may hurt, but you still need to do it. No one else can fix your relationship for you. Nor should anyone else.

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Just as causing pain to your muscles allows them to grow back stronger, often introducing some pain into your relationship through vulnerability is the only way to make the relationship stronger. Behind respect, trust was the most commonly mentioned trait for a healthy relationship.

But trust goes much deeper than that. If you ended up with cancer tomorrow, would you trust your partner to stick with you and take care of you? Would you trust your partner to care for your child for a week by themselves? Do you trust them to handle your money or make sound decisions under pressure? Do you trust them to not turn on you or blame you when you make mistakes? These are hard things to do. Trust at the beginning of a relationship is easy. But the deeper the commitment, the more intertwined your lives become, and the more you will have to trust your partner to act in your interest in your absence.

What if she is hiding something herself? The key to fostering and maintaining trust in the relationship is for both partners to be completely transparent and vulnerable:. Trust is like a china plate. If you drop it and it breaks, you can put it back together with a lot of work and care.

If you drop it and break it a second time, it will split into twice as many pieces and it will require far more time and care to put back together again. But drop and break it enough times, and it will shatter into so many pieces that you will never be able to put it back together again, no matter what you do. Figure out as individuals what makes you happy as an individual, be happy yourself, then you each bring that to the relationship. You are supposed to keep the relationship happy by consistently sacrificing yourself for your partner and their wants and needs. There is some truth to that.

Every relationship requires each person to consciously choose to give something up at times.

A DAY TOGETHER

Just read that again. That sounds horrible. A healthy and happy relationship requires two healthy and happy individuals. This is the person you chose. It will only backfire and make you both miserable.

Queen Victoria’s Wedding | History Today

Have the courage to be who you are, and most importantly, let your partner be who they are. Those are the two people who fell in love with each other in the first place. But how does one do this? He accepted immediately and they kissed over and over again. There were those who did not relish the prospect of paying for a penniless foreign princeling and there were also false rumours that Albert was a Roman Catholic. Matters were sorted out, however, and Albert was invested with the Order of the Garter and escorted back to London from Gotha in January Victoria arrived in a procession of carriages from Buckingham Palace, to which she had moved to get away from her mother.

She wore a white dress of heavy silk satin, trimmed with Honiton lace. She had a white lace veil and wore a diamond necklace and earrings as well as a sapphire brooch given her by Albert and she carried a wreath of orange blossoms, a symbol of fertility. Twelve young bridesmaids carried her train. There was not remotely room in the chapel for the huge crowds that had gathered and which cheered the young couple at every chance. The wedding breakfast was held at Buckingham Palace and the wedding cake weighed pounds.