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6 Things a Marriage Counselor Would Tell You

We have celebrated 38 years of marriage, and we still read these articles. 🙂 It’s all true – marriage takes work. I found this today on AOL Everyday Health

6 Things a Marriage Counselor Would Tell You

Every relationship has its bumps — but these expert tips can help feuding duos smooth things out again.

By Jennifer Acosta ScottMedically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

A relationship free of spats, scrapes, and squabbles? That’s a thing of fairy tales (though we’re willing to bet that even Cinderella and Prince Charming had their problems).

Real-life matrimony — that has its ups and down. And while it’s certainly not fun to clash with your sweetheart, disagreements don’t signal the demise of your relationship. “There are always ways to resolve issues, overcome obstacles, and build a stronger bond because of it,” says Lori Bizzoco, a relationship expert and founder of Cupid’s Pulse, a Web site that provides relationship advice to couples.

What’s more? Each relationship (even the best of the best) has room to grow. But not everyone can afford to see a professional marriage counselor — and some marriages simply need a quick tune-up. That’s why we went to top relationship experts to find out the best ways to resolve disagreements, keep things fun, and ensure an emotionally health partnership for the both of you.

Here’s your at-home guide to boosting your marriage or long-term partnership (you may be surprised how well these work!).

1. Fight. It may sound contradictory, but arguments between couples can actually be a sign that the relationship still has a good foundation. “Indifference to each other tells me a marriage is in big trouble,” says Susan Fletcher, PhD, a psychologist in the Dallas area. “Couples who care enough to fight still care about each other.” Next time you find yourself in a war of words with your partner, don’t give up and walk away: Use the disagreement as a jumping-off point for coming to a resolution — and then kiss and make up!

2. If you love her, let her grow. Most people develop and change as they get older — but according to Bizzoco, this often comes as a surprise to a spouse. “Often we get so wrapped up in the relationship and think we know someone so well that we don’t allow them the freedom to be anything more than the person they were when we met them,” Bizzoco says. But embracing these changes can be extremely beneficial to a relationship. So if your husband wants to take up golf or your wife wants to return to school for another degree, encourage them to follow these interests (your spouse will appreciate the support).

3. Be the A-Team. It may sound cheesy, but the phrase is an apt term for the “us first” attitude that couples should have when it comes to their relationship. “This means that they consult, discuss, and make decisions as a couple and do not put other relationships, children, or extended family before this primary relationship,” says Karol Ward, LCSW, a psychotherapist in New York. If you put your partner first, he will feel cherished and valued — an important emotion for your marriage.

4. Add some oomph to your “Hello!” When you’ve been separated from your spouse for some time (even if it was just for the work day), greeting him enthusiastically, rather than just glancing up, can be a great way to show you care. “It sounds silly, but think about the feeling that it creates when you give them just a few moments of attention,” Bizzoco says. Your special greeting can be anything from a simple hug to a sexy dance move. Coming home will be even sweeter than before.

5. Don’t forget your manners: Say “Thanks.” It’s easy to get wrapped up in what your partner does wrong — and too often, we lose sight of what they’re doing right. Every night, get in the habit of writing down three good things about your spouse — something nice he did (it really was sweet how he DVR’d The Notebook for you), a fond memory you have of her (remember that trip to the Caribbean?), or one of his many good qualities (that cute butt, of course). “This keeps you feeling more positive toward him, which will benefit your relationship,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, a psychologist and therapist in Wexford, Pa. And it can benefit you, too: When you’re in the middle of a knock-down fight, think back to your list to remember the reasons you’re in the relationship.

6. Get good feedback. Even if your relationship is as old as the hills, it’s never too late to ask your partner this one simple question: “How do you know that I love you?” Listen carefully to the response. If nothing else, Ward says, you’ll discover which of your actions are the most appreciated and which behaviors to maintain moving forward.

Follow these relationship “musts” — and you may never need to call up a marriage counselor.

Last Updated: 10/11/2011

October 26, 2011 - Posted by | Civility, Communication, Financial Issues, Marriage, Relationships


  1. Great Advice! Thanks!

    Comment by JacksonSpeeks | October 27, 2011 | Reply

  2. Glad you liked the article, Jackson.

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 29, 2011 | Reply

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