STOP PICKING ON YOUR PARTNER- It’s easier to blame and put the responsibility on your spouse than acknowledge that marriage is a partnership. Husband and wife are a team. A healthy marriage means supporting one another in both words and actions. This is the definition of commitment. When something goes wrong, stop trying to figure out whose fault it is. It’s a pointless exercise that just causes pain. Seek solutions instead of accusing. Be careful not to find fault with your spouse to feel better about yourself. There is no room for meanness in marriage. Instead of blaming, allow your partner to unload and show that you care. Talk about finding a way to work this out, instead of defending yourself by attacking your spouse.

BE RECEPTIVE-We all make mistakes. When your partner wants to make things better, don’t make him suffer. If your spouse extends an overture after an argument, it is not wise to keep the argument going for days. Some people find it most difficult to forgive. After an argument they carry hard feelings and cannot even give a smile when their spouse reaches out and attempts to make things right. A thriving relationship requires a spirit of acceptance. This means that you are approachable and make reconciliation possible. Live your life, moving toward each other instead of backing away.

DO NOT MANIPULATE YOUR SPOUSE-If you value the self-esteem of your partner, you will be careful to avoid threats as a way to find control. When we intimidate the ones we are supposed to love, we lose our connection with them. We create an environment of fear as rage grows within them. True love means that we nourish one another as we share a vision for our future. We support each other and don’t bulldoze our partner to get what we want. We never use threats to overcome turmoil. Your partner needs to feel cherished not controlled.
BE PROACTIVE IN YOUR LIFE-Instead of complaining, start creating. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Be the one to take the initiative. Becoming a parent or being married for years does not mean that you should neglect your partner. You may need to decide to make more time for your spouse, be spontaneous, get creative, and infuse new energy into your relationship. Take care of yourself and ask: how can I make some small changes to help the situation? It may mean accompanying your spouse on a shopping spree or going out together. Look at your lifestyle and make sure that your spouse feels cared for. Express your love every single day.

KEEP YOUR FRIENDSHIP ALIVE-Being married means acknowledging that we live with our best friend. Focus on the one you love and reach out to your partner, not just your friends. A healthy relationship creates a life based on mutual trust. We share intimate details, fears and hopes without being afraid that we will be laughed at. We make time for each other and share our experiences and not just problems.

STOP EXPECTING- We need to invest in our relationship. This means we give and don’t measure how much we have gotten back. Our question must be: What can I do today to make my marriage better? We are all capable of giving. When we express appreciation, give a compliment, an encouraging hug, a thoughtful gesture, we are showing our spouse that we are committed to care. Concentrating on what our partner does for us becomes a selfish way of giving. Give because you want to create a home filled with love. Marriage requires thoughtful contemplation. Happiness is a choice we make through our daily decisions and responses.