4. Celebrate life. A colleague of mine left work early to take her husband out for dinner to celebrate his recent positive evaluation at work. I voiced some surprise at making such a big deal over such a routine event. My friend gently advised me that their family constantly searches out opportunities to notice and enjoy events that others may view as routine.
Successful partners enjoy each other, and they actively look for ways to have fun. They are attentive to the small accomplishments of their partners.
5. Argue gently. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. Arguments about making, saving and spending money are the No. 1 sources of tension between partners. Good couples don’t ignore such problems, but deal with them in a respectful way with lots of compromise and communication. They avoid bringing up past hurts but focus on coming up with acceptable solutions for both partners.
6. Fight boredom. So much of how we live our lives is due to routine and habit. After a while, it is natural to get bored by your partner and seek excitement elsewhere. Committed couples avoid that malaise by taking risks and trying new activities. This adds a vitality and excitement to your relationship and makes it more enjoyable to be around your partner.
The message from the marriage experts is clear: Work hard, be nice, celebrate life, take chances and don’t listen to The Beatles!
Dr. Gregory Ramey is a child psychologist at Dayton Children’s Medical Center. Email: Rameyg@childrensdayton.org.