4 Marriage-Boosting Tips For Newlyweds…

After the whirlwind of a wedding, most couples are happy to just get back to normal life, but according to Terri Orbuch, director of the landmark Early Years of Marriage (EYM) project, there are specific behaviors a newly married couple need to adopt.

You just spent a year planning the wedding of your dreams. You donned a gorgeous white dress, straightened your bowtie, walked down the aisle, said your ‘I do’s’, smeared wedding cake on your face, toasted with champagne, thanked family and friends for an assortment of kooky gifts, and rode off into the sunset to live happily ever after.

Now what?
Based on the research of 373 couples who were interviewed and observed over the course of 24 years, she has learned what makes marriages healthy, strong and able to be maintained over the long haul.

According to Dr. Orbuch, setting the foundation for a happy and successful marriage can be achieved by adopting these four behaviors.

1. Know your partner’s expectations.
Knowing your partners expectations is essential to a healthy marriage, even more so than having the same expectations. Sit down with your partner and each of you write down your top two marriage expectations. Exchange lists and discuss. This exercise will let you know what’s important to your spouse.

2. Be interdependent with your partner.
When both partners are interdependent socially, emotionally, and financially – that is, what one partner does, feels, or has affects the other – it’s predictive of both short- and long-term marriage happiness. Having separate friends or interests is great; keeping them always separate is not. Also, making aspects of your life your sole concern – such as money or work issues – is not healthy and will lead to trouble down the road.

3. Do sweat the small stuff.
It is the small annoyances, not the large ones like illness or job loss, that erode marital happiness over time. For example, if you don’t like that he leaves his socks around, don’t ignore it. Instead, talk about it by telling him how it makes you feel. If you don’t like that she buys household items without consulting you, let her know why it upsets you. If you don’t sweat the small stuff, you’re more likely to be unhappy later on.

4. Acknowledge and address gender differences.
Couples who are aware of gender differences typically have an easier time in the relationship. For the wife, relationship talk is an aphrodisiac, but for men, it’s a turnoff! Women remember details of arguments for 2-3 days; men move on from conflict almost instantly. Wives don’t need compliments as much as husbands do because they regularly get affirmation from people outside the home. Men, however, crave affirmation (compliments, small endearments) and need it most from their wives. Recognizing gender differences will allow you to understand each others reactions and learn new ways to deal with situations.

Applying these simple behaviors as a new couple will ensure that you create a happy, healthy, long lasting marriage.

What are your happy marriage secrets?

Written By Rebecca Brody

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