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Marriage Lessons

9 Love Lessons I've Learned In 10 Years Of Marriage

We're happy to present this excerpt from one of our favorite sites, YourTango. Today, we have tips for a long-lasting, loving relationship.

As much as we all want to believe that once we find our true love, we'll live out our lives in blissful happiness, reveling in that loving feeling forever, reality is not quite like that. We tend to think that love is something that happens to us, instead of something that comes from us. The truth is that successful relationships take energy, effort and attention from both partners.

This year, I'll be celebrating my tenth anniversary with my husband, and while that's certainly not a record-breaking accomplishment, there are a few things I've learned along the way regarding keeping a relationship healthy, or at least from falling apart at the seams. Here they are:

  1. Touch him. As human beings we all crave being touched. It gives us that sense of being connected to others, that sense of bonding. I'm not necessarily talking about sexual touching, but things like simply touching his forearm when you're talking to him, running your fingers gently through his hair or rubbing his ears lightly when you kiss him goodbye. A little bit of touch goes a long way, and in these hurried modern times, we can all use more than we're getting.
  2. Compliment him. We're all naturally quick to point out our partner's flaws or things they did wrong or could do better, but why is it so hard to comment on what's great about him? Once we get used to each other, the great things become expected and taken for granted. Pick three things that he does really well, and the next time you see him doing one of them, give him a nice little compliment like, "You're so good at that, thank you for taking care of that for us." If you aim to give him one compliment every day it will begin to become natural and soon you'll find yourself doing it even more often. And you'll also find his annoying habits won't seem so bad.
  3. Keep your dirty laundry in your house. If he's done something that really bothers you, and you feel the need to complain to your friends, co-workers, or your mom, bite your tongue as hard as you can. Words spoken in one ear have a tendency to make it to other ears very quickly, and these people will think less of your guy long after you've gotten over it. Mom and Dad are particularly good at holding grudges against the guy that hurt their daughter. If you need to complain, write it down in a journal instead of voicing it, or if you absolutely have to voice it to someone, tell it to your therapist or a relationship coach.
  4. Be a winning team. Look at life's ups and downs as something that you're both in together. If you work together as a team, always looking out for the other, you'll be able to handle whatever comes at you. Just as the various members of a team have different talents, you and your partner have unique talents, so put them to work together to create greatness.
  5. Take him at face value. Know that he is what he is and also know that he's not going to change. Then love him for what he is. Instead of looking at his bad habits as annoying, look at them as quirky traits that make him such a loveable guy. Write down three things that you absolutely love about him on an index card and keep it in your pocket at all times. Any time he annoys you, pull out the card and read each to yourself; you won't be able to stay mad. (If you can't come up with three things that you love about him then dump him and move on. I mean, seriously.)

For the rest of the article, head to YourTango: 9 Love Lessons I've Learned In 10 Years Of Marriage

Written by Jane Garapick for YourTango.

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