Disclaimer: I’m no marriage counselor nor do I consider myself an expert on the subject. However, through decades of observation, talking with countless others, hearing their stories, and with a work and academic background in psychology, I get the basic premise behind the science. Consider me the “common sense alternative to a pricey shrink;” I just apply my wisdom earned at the “School of Hard Knocks.”
So, with all that said, I humbly offer my 5 tips for a happy marriage:
1. SEX- Yes, its importance cannot be underrated. In reality, it doesn’t matter how kinky, what toys or sleazy lingerie you use. “Just do it.” As much as possible. Simply put: men need it more than us women will ever understand. Yes, we love it, too, but for them, this largely defines their happiness and intimacy. Bottom line: Give it up ladies and see how your edgy man transforms into a pile of mush!
2. Talk Time- Connecting to your partner daily, albeit twenty minutes before bed, will help keep the communication real and flowing. If you could escape weekly for a date night, that’s ideal. If not, just gossiping together about the latest celebrity scandal before passing out at night should do the trick.
3. Common Struggles- If it doesn’t break you up, facing adversity together, as a united front, can catapult your relationship to deeper levels of intimacy. The current economic crisis presents the perfect opportunity for many of us to pull together as a team, and prove to the world “that which does not kill US, makes US stronger.” (No need to pay for expensive therapeutic simulations or embarking on survival missions in the Amazon, just deal with your home front battles- like a team player.)
4. Common Interests- Interests you share, be it music, sports, travel, or whatever are great. But, even unrealized I.O.S. (Interests on Standby,) due to a lack of time or resources, if shared with passion, can have the same effect. If you’ve always dreamed of traveling overseas together, yet are still unable, learning about the places you want to go together and creating shared vivid images about it, are experiences that will bring you closer.
5. Building Memories/History- Whether it’s through raising children, dogs, cats, pet Boa Constrictors, joint business ventures or philanthropic endeavors, the time invested as a couple building memories, evidence of a shared history, will strike the cord of sentimentality and evoke feelings of tenderness toward one another- unless one of you is a sociopath.
That’s all I’ve got. So far, it works for us as we strive to uncover the hidden blessings and lessons buried within each one of life's challenges -using them to strengthen our love and deepen our commitment to each other. Hope it’s helpful!