14 Ways to Improve Your Marriage or Relationship

By: Henry Gornbein
Last Update: November 01, 2016

Will you be my valentine? This is a time of love and romance. It is also a day to reflect on how to have a good marriage or relationship.

The following are 14 ways to improve your marriage or relationship for Valentine’s Day and the rest of the year:

1. Communicate with your spouse. Do not ignore your spouse. This includes no longer talking or sharing thoughts and ideas. Your spouse should be your best friend. Do not become ships passing in the night.

2. In this era of Facebook and other social media, put away your screens. Talk to each other face to face and not only by e-mail or text.

3. Tell your spouse that you love him or her. Do not wait for special occasions. Make every day special and say I love you! Remember that little things can mean a lot.

4. When you disagree or argue, always have the last word. Saying “You are right dear” at the end of an argument can do wonders for a relationship.

5. Give your spouse space when he or she needs it. Everyone needs downtime and a chance to breathe. Don’t stalk each other.

6. Celebrate special occasions, including Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, Sweetest Day. Do not forget these occasions and do not ignore them.

7. Have alone time with your spouse. Go on vacation together. Even a weekend getaway can do wonders for a relationship.

8. Take time away from work and other activities to be with your spouse and children. Time flies. There is always an excuse to work those extra hours. Remember that your children will grow up before you know it and your spouse will resent all of the hours away from home. Put your family first.

9. Do not lie to your spouse. A little lie will grow into something that can become a major issue if it is not nipped in the bud.

10. Do not berate or attack your spouse. I see so many divorces where one spouse is constantly berating or saying negative things about the other. This can be face to face, in front of children, or even in front of friends or strangers. Stop this behavior. I see so many cases where this can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

11. Be positive and not negative. You want to see the glass as half full and not half empty in your marriage or relationship.

12. Be open about finances. Don’t keep secrets. Financial issues and lack of candor in this area are a major reason for the demise of a marriage or relationship. Major financial decisions should be jointly made.

13. Respect your spouse. If you don’t show respect, then you are on the path towards divorce or the end of your relationship.

14. Last but not least, forgive. Do not carry a grudge. Everyone makes mistakes. Don't keep bringing up something that happened years ago. I see so many divorces where people are still harping on something that happened at the beginning of their marriage or relationship.

These are some of my thoughts for a happy Valentine’s Day, marriage, or relationship. What are yours?

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