As with most good things, a long and satisfying marriage takes time and effort - on the part of both spouses. Your reward is happiness of the highest order.
- Cherish compatibility. Seek out the things that interest, please and delight both of you.
- Respect and treasure your differences. Learn from one another. Appreciate and understand your spouse's distinctive style, approach and personality - especially when it diverges from yours. Differences can often turn into delight.
- Cultivate patience. Give your spouse enough time to reach a comfortable middle ground in his or her own way.
- Learn how to be understanding, and develop the ability to see through your spouse's eyes.
- Share your feelings in regular talk sessions. A nice atmosphere in a good restaurant helps open the doors to intimacy and sharing. Really listen to your partner. Be sure to look directly into the eyes of your loved one.
- Strive for a high ratio of positive to negative in comments and actions.
- Allow time to pass when you're surprised by a disappointment. Solutions will become evident when there is patience. A good night's sleep will help additional insights to surface.
- Resolve the inevitable differences in a way that strengthens and deepens your love. Strive to communicate your feelings without being aggressive or defensive. Listen to each other with an open mind and seek resolutions that you both can be happy with.
- Learn to express thankfulness for the smallest things. This gratitude can be brief and must be genuine.