Marriage is a wonderful thing, but it also takes hard work if you want it to succeed. For that reason, we turned Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka “Dr. Romance”) psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, about the keys to making your marriage work.
Holding things in can really hurt your relationship, so talk frequently and honestly to each other about everything, Dr. Tessina says. This means your frustrations, sex, anger, disappointment, your appreciation of each other, the meaning of life – nothing should be off limits. “Learn to listen and communicate instead of fighting. Fighting is childish, and you want a grown-up relationship.”
Working as a team
Strive to work together to solve anything that comes up, rather than getting stuck on who’s right or wrong, explains Dr. Tessina. “When you build a successful working partnership, each of you will feel supported and respected by the other,” she says. When each person feels that the other has their best interests at heart, problems are solved in a way that leaves both parties satisfied, rather than walking away angry.
Connecting on many levels
Keep your connection going through several avenues: communication, sex, affection, understanding and concern for each other. Being able to connect on multiple levels brings you closer and maintains intimacy. And of course, as Dr. Tessina suggests, “nothing helps ensure that your relationship will remain faithful better than a good, warm connection with great sex.”
Focus on the good things to help maintain a healthy marriage. Have a sense of humor (rather than taking yourself too seriously), give your partner the benefit of the doubt, care about eachother and store up plenty of good times in your relationship reservoir to draw on in the hard times.