Secrets of the Happily Married

Updated: 6/15/08
Secrets of the Happily Married

Happily Married with

1. Spend 10 minutes a day uninterrupted talk time listening and looking into the eyes of your spouse every day.
2. If your spouse doesn’t want to talk spend 10 minutes doing exactly what they want to do.
3. Be curious not furious when faced with the unexpected.
4. Therapy is cheaper than divorce.
5. If you want to change your partner, go to therapy by yourself first.
6. Pick and plan your fights together (very carefully.)
7. Tell your partner they are attractive at least once a day. Be specific about something you really like.
8. Tell your spouse why you’d rather be married to them than the richest, most attractive person you both know.
9. Tell your spouse they are your gift from God.
10. Do one treat for your spouse every day…a backrub, a tender touch, a hug, an errand, a flower, a joke, a card, doing one of their regular chores.
11. Don’t criticize your spouse. Ask specifically for what you would like instead.
12. Brag about your spouse in front of others.
13. Don’t correct or embarrass your spouse in front of others.
14. If you would like your partner to change something, do not describe what they do that you hate. Tell them what you would appreciate or would like to see instead.
15. Make sure your spouse overhears you bragging about them.
16. Never criticize your in laws.
17. Listen sympathetically, if your partner criticizes either of his/her parents. Don’t join in.
18. Never compare your spouse or children to your in-laws except to praise them both.
19. Before you request a change from your partner, get an opinion from someone your trust and who likes your spouse.
20. Find something genuinely nice to say about your in-laws even if it is bland or idiotic.
21. Repeat as needed.
22. If your partner criticizes your parents act like you didn’t hear and forget it. Change the subject if it bothers you.
23. Call home everyday when you travel.
24. Hang out and socialize with other happily married people.
25. Make sure you spend 10-20 minutes doing just what your partner likes to do whether it is watching TV or just listening without interruption to your partner.
26. If you start thinking about an affair with someone else, tell your partner you are afraid your marriage is in trouble. It probably is.
27. If your partner has a really stupid idea, say “I’m not comfortable with that plan,” not, “That is a really stupid idea.”
28. Join groups or do activities that help you meet and make friends with other couples who are really happy in their marriages.
29. Never swear at your partner. Remember curious before furious.
30. Tell your partner if something they do scares or upsets you.
31. Never expect your partner to know what you want.
32. If your partner does surprise you with something you want, praise them extravagantly for being a sensitive, caring, romantic genius.
33. Try one new thing sexually each week, each month, or each year. Decide together how often.
34. If an argument is getting out of had, reschedule it. Make sure you follow up.
35. Take time to plan fun times together.
36. If you can’t talk about something now or it is going badly, reschedule it. Always follow upwhen you call a halt..
37. Frequently remind your partner of fun times you had together.
38. Spend time together just the two of you once a week at least,
39. Tell your partner regularly what pleases you about your marriage.
40. Don’t keep track of mistakes.
41. If your partner doesn’t regularly follow through with something promised, arrange logical consequences.
42. Instead of nagging, remind at a convenient time for action to occur. Or ask them what they would like to see happen, what their goal is, or how they think would be best for them to do it.
43. Remind your partner more often of the good times than you do of the bad.
44. If your partner wrecks the car, tell your partner they are much more important than a car.
45. If your partner drinks too much, don’t drink with them.
46. Generally, men expect negotiation, women expect cooperation. Don’t confuse the two. Learn how your partner thinks partnership works.
47. Don’t blame your partner for anything. Own your part of any problem.
48. If your partner does something obnoxious, first figure out how you encourage it.
49. Learn how to do a really good apology, including the part about how you will do it differently next time.
50. If you are turning into a boring couple take up a new hobby together.
51. When things are nuts, laugh about it together.
52. If you lose a lot of money, talk about how at least you decided together.
53. Have coffee, play good music and pay bills together once a month.
54. When you are frustrated, say you are frustrated instead of yelling.
55. If you have to yell, do it in the car on the way home by yourself.
56. If you are really upset with your partner, write yourself a letter about what happened and what you are upset about, then decide what to do.
57. If you can’t talk about things calmly, write a letter to your partner next. Then clean it up so it isn’t mean and insulting, but clear about your feelings.
58. If your partner gets upset, just listen if they don’t threaten or try to intimidate or call you names. Sometimes they will calm down. Take notes if you need help staying calm.
59. If your partner yells and is mean or rude or you can’t listen, tell them you really want to talk to them about this but you can’t concentrate when they shout and you really want to talk about it when they are calm..
60. Never threaten violence. If you feel threatened, get to a safe place and see a counselor.
61. If you feel like a martyr or that you are being used, you probably are letting that happen. Get counseling.
62. Tell your partner things that you admire about them that they do.
63. Never punish your partner by withholding sex.
64. Never have sex when you don’t feel like it. Tell your partner what you’re upset about. If you don’t know, find out.
65. If you have to reject your partner for sex more than three times in a row, sit down and talk about how it would work better for you.
66. If you can’t talk about something after three tries and come up with a plan, go to therapy.
67. When you are not mad discuss with your partner where and when you each feel best discussing a problem between you. Try it see if it works. Change it if is doesn’t
68. Always make changes tentatively and reevaluate in a week and see how you each like it.
69. Never expect that your partner will change in the way you expect.
70. Never expect you partner to change in ways that you want.

71. Expect your partner to change.
72. Expect that you will change in ways that you can’t imagine.

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