Renew your marriage in the new year

Dec 6, 2009 at 6:47 p.m. ET

With the new year comes a new opportunity to not only make resolutions for yourself, but also for your marriage. Here are a few resolutions to help you renew your marriage in the New Year.

Married Couple on New Years

Instead of allowing the distractions, disappointments and difficulties follow you through to the new year, consider these resolutions for a new, positive focus on your marriage in the upcoming year.

Resolve to Prioritize your spouse

Your spouse should be a priority right alongside your children. That is not an easy sell for most people, but children need to know that their parents love each other as well as their children. This helps your child feel more secure.

Resolve to Fight constructively

This can be easier said than done. Remember that words can hurt, and that speaking your mind without regard to how you might hurt someone is often too easy. Raise the stability quotient of your marriage by thinking of your spouse's feelings before speaking. This also helps avoid subsequent disagreements.

Resolve to Argue discreetly

While you don't always have to represent yourself as Mr. and Mrs. Brady, you also don't need an audience while airing your marital laundry. If a disagreement arises, find the right time and place to focus on the problem as opposed to involving friends, children and other family members.

Resolve to Be honest

Lies are often just ways to avoid conflict, but they will hurt a marriage in the long run. A healthy marriage is based on trust, and being deceitful will derail even the best marriages. If you spent too much over the holidays, simply talk about it. Chances are good that your spouse will understand, and you will feel better coming clean instead of lying.

Resolve to Learn to forgive and forget

Forgiveness is a good way to show you accept your partner even when he makes mistakes. Be willing to forget, as well. Once you are finished and your disagreement is over, don't bring it up again or use it as ammunition for anything in the future.

Resolve to Say "thank you"

Show your appreciation in the most natural way: Say "thank you." Did your spouse help with the dishes, pick up the kids from school or cook a special breakfast? Show him that you don't take his helpful actions, as little as they may be, for granted.

Resolve to Let's talk about sex

If being intimate with your spouse has become a task that you cross off your to-do list, change your outlook. Make an effort to enjoy the intimate time you spend together. Don't be afraid to try something new, and trust your spouse not to judge if you're able to get past your inhibitions.

Resolve to Take care of yourself

Take another look back in time to how much care and attention you used to give your appearance. While the hustle and bustle of family life may make everyday glam difficult, maintain an image of health through healthy eating, good grooming and regular exercise. The confidence this affords is worth the effort.

The theme for this year's White House Christmas is 'reflect, rejoice, renew,' a concept that can apply to many other aspects of life, including marriage. Resolve now to be a better wife and renew your marriage in the new year through some simple marriage resolutions.