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anniversary 20

In case you missed them, here are the first eleven and the second eleven. Today, a final installment in this series of marriage-improvement tips. I've been very careful to mention that these tips are really no more than thoughts I've unearthed and arrived at after thinking about the topic of marriage. They are based on nothing remotely statistical or scientific and yet I do think there are some real gems in here, some things I hope to do or get better about doing in the context of my own marriage. Anyway, hope something in here speaks to you and I welcome your reactions and reflections in the comment box.

the third eleven...

23. Articulate wants & needs.

It is so much easier to directly articulate what you need at a given moment than to drop cryptic passive-aggressive hints. Even the most sensitive souls are not mind-readers. Better to save time and just say it.

24. Hold hands.

I’m a big believer in quieter forms of PDA. I love hand-holding and believe in it.

25. Go to bed at the same time (as often as possible).

On Sunday nights, Husband watches Game of Thrones while I read in bed. Usually, I drift off before he comes to bed. On other nights, we try to turn in at the same time.

26. Put the phone away (some of the time).

This speaks for itself even though it’s often so hard to do. Scrolling through Facebook feeds and Instagram pictures doesn’t bolster any marriage.

27. Be quick to forgive.

As long as we are not talking about something major, an egregious transgression of sorts, forgive as quickly as possible.  It’s not worth drawing it out.

28. Do a weather check during the day.

Love this one. Check in with him during the day and ask how it’s going.

29. Put marriage on par with children.

I read somewhere that people should put marriage before children. I think this is neither realistic nor advisable. Children, particularly when they are young and needy, are a huge part of our lives and demand our energy. That said, we must not forget our marriages and assume they will withstand neglect.

30. Ask questions.

Remember when you were first dating and there was that delightful volley of questions and answers. Never let that die. Maybe the questions change, but there should always be questions.

31. Never assume anything.

That he is happy and fulfilled. That just because he’s not complaining everything is fine. That there is no room for improvement; there always is.

32. Fight right.

Some couples fight quietly, some angrily, some very little at all. But if there is fighting, it must be fair and done with respect. Low blows and crippling criticisms will wear at the foundation of any relationship.

33. Say ‘I love you.’

You can’t say this too much. Why do we get married if not to love and be loved? Nothing wrong with a reminder, right?

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Thoughts or reactions? Any marriage-boosting tips you'd like to add?

here year3

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The Here Year Month #3: Marriage.

The Here Year, June: Marriage (A Design So Vast)

On Marriage & Age.

"We Are a Work-in-Progress." (A guest post)

"She's got my back, and I've got hers." (A guest post)

What My Therapist Said About Marriage.

4.003 Days of Laughter (& Counting) (A guest post)

The Marriage & Sex Question.

The Best Thing I've Done For My Marriage?

"All of a sudden, everything was different." (A guest post)

Why Do Married People Cheat?

11 Insights from Jane Green

Without a Net (A guest post)

The Marriage-Children Paradox

33 Ways to Make Our Marriages Happier (Part 1 of 3)

33 Ways to Make Our Marriages Happier (Part 2 of 3)

Big Night Out

"Do You Think We'll Make It Another Year?"