7 Tips for a Remarkable Marriage

Learn the seven simple keys to a remarkable marriage.

Posted Dec 18, 2016

All couples face this 7-part challenge which--like most  things worth doing--is simple in theory and difficult in practice: 

  1. To offer an apology when an apology is due.  
  2. To make the other feel special, valued and chosen.
  3. To respect differences, including different ways of responding to stress. (Under stress one partner may get comfortable by seeking more distance, the other by seeking more togetherness.)     
  4. To focus on changing one's own steps in the dance rather than waiting for the other to change first.
  5. To listen without defensiveness to your partner's anger and pain, even when he or she is accusing you of causing it.
  6. To stop the negative comments that erode the foundation of marriage and friendship, and replace them with positive ones.
  7. To do the things that you say you are going to do.

A postscript: To make this list a practice you’ll need to have goodwill and a genuine wish to create a better marriage. You’ll also need a willingness to focus on your self, which does not mean self-blame but rather the capacity to observe and change your own part of a problem that brings you pain. 

It helps even more if you occasionally muster the maturity to bring your best self to the relationship even when the other person is being a jerk.

It’s fine to start small. Get Marriage Rules from your local library and try this small experiment:  Each of you picks two rules that you want your partner to follow. Stick to them for three months and you’ll see a big change. Small, positive changes have a way of morphing into more generous, expansive ones. Your relationship with thank you in advance.