arm. If you’re in the car, lightly touch his or her shoulder or arm. You’ll find your
conversation becomes warmer and more caring.
4. Try laughter.
If something frustrating is happening, try easing the tension with a bit of humor. After a difficult interaction in a stor
e, on the way out, you could say ―That went well.‖ with a touch of irony. Or, when someone drops something and makes a mess, you could say ―the gremlins are here again.‖ Or use comedienne Gilda Radner’s line ―It’s always something‖ Or Judy Tenuta’s ―It could happen‖ to change stress to silliness. Don’t poke fun at your mate, but use shared humor as a way to say ―I know this is tough, but we’ll get through it.‖ Your
mate will think of you as someone soothing and helpful to have around when problems happen.
5. Use pleasant surprises.
Try a love note in your spouse’s briefcase, a post
-it with a smiley face on the underside of the toilet seat, a flower, plant, card or balloon for no reason, or an unexpected gentle pat on
the rear, a hug or a kiss to say ―I’m thinking good thoughts about you, and I love you.‖
6. Ramp up the sweetness.
Married life has its unavoidable stresses and strains. To keep things in balance, we need to
put a bit of energy into increasing the sweetness between us. Thoughtfulness, ―thank you’s‖
and gestures of politeness and affection are the WD-40 of your marriage. Keep things running smoothly by remembering to add a spritz of sweetness frequently.
7. Devote time to your marriage.
No matter how crazed you are with work, kids and bills, it’s essential to put aside regular time each week for the marriage. Have a ―date night‖ which includes a ―state of the union‖
discussion (include the positive things going on) or take a pleasant walk or drive. Keeping
connected means things don’t build up to fighting status, and you’ll remember how good you are together. Don’t forg
et to celebrate and appreciate each other. Motivation comes from celebration and appreciation.
8. Focus on Partnership.
Remember that first and foremost, before anything else, you’re partners. Keep that in mind and check frequently to make sure you’re act
ing like partners, and not competitors or
avoiders. You’re in this thing together, and partnership is what it’s all about.