3 Small changes that lead to a happier marriage

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Even the strongest of marriages can use improvement. Find out the 3 simple changes that can make your marriage stronger than ever!

Even the strongest of marriages can afford to be refined.

William J. Doherty, Ph.D., professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul and founder of the Doherty Relationship Institute, believes that a little improvement can go a long way. Even if you feel as though you're in the most stable of relationships, there are a number of simple ways that a married couple can perfect their bond, and liven up your marriage.

"Creating stress-free time to connect on a regular basis is vital to the inner workings of a healthy relationship," Doherty says. "The happiest couples have found a way to fit rituals into their lives—even if they have children."

The stress of the world of parenting may be nothing new to some married couples. However, Doherty recently shared 3 (via Women's Health Magazine) of the best ways that married couples and proud parents can tweak and bolster their marriage!

Check out his suggestions, and see if his tips and tricks are exactly what the doctor ordered for you and your partner:

1. Start thinking small

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Sometimes, the best way to tweak something is to chip away at the little things to make a bigger, better picture. "Don't change what you're already doing. Just do it together," Doherty suggests.

A number of little things can be done together to help invigorate your relationship with your spouse. Doherty's top suggestions include: starting the day over a cup of coffee, going on early evening walks, or simply talking for as little as 15 minutes before shutting off the lights at night.

In any case, Doherty advises against incorporating the big issues during these bonding experiences. You don't need to try to fix the big picture when enjoying the little things. Bringing to light and arguments, creating disagreements or tension are highly frowned upon during these times. "Things like that kill couple rituals," he says.

The ultimate goal in thinking small is to kick back, enjoy time with your lover, and bond.

Find out more ways you can fortify your marriage with help from this love guru! Visit the next page for more!

2. Schedule a night for romance

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"Romance", in this case, is a euphemism for sex. It sounds silly, considering that sex is usually thought of as a passionate and spontaneous act between two people. So, to refer to it as a date on a calendar may seem a bit strange. However, many long-lasting couples recognize the importance of maintaining intimacy, and committing (at least) one night a week to doing so isn't as silly as it's made out to be.

"By making a regular date to do it, you'll be able to plan for sex and build excitement," experts at the Doherty Relationship Institute claim. "With all your other obligations, you can't rely on spontaneity."

There's nothing wrong with scheduling a "sex night" with your spouse, and in many cases, it leads to a rejuvenated sex life between married couples.

 

3. Never overreact to a fight (whether during or after)

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Fighting is a perfectly normal part of the married life. In fact, many say that the reason you fight your spouse is because you care about them. Moreover, fights are not an indication of a decaying marriage.

But don't take it from me. According to a University of Michigan study, feeling irritated with one another is almost always a sign that you're healthfully engaged, not drifting apart. "It means you've become comfortable expressing yourself over time," says coauthor of the aforementioned study, Kira Birditt, PhD. "Relationships that are close and positive can also be very irritating."

It goes without saying that the fights to which we're referring are of the civil kind. That means that there should be no name calling, toxic language or sentiments, or harmful actions being imposed. If your marital spats follow those guidelines, think of them as a pathway to a stronger marriage, and not a problem worth seeing a marriage counselor.

 

This article was based on a post from Women's Health Magazine in cooperation with Prevention

READ: 5 things you can do to make your wife want you

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