Even the strongest marriages are vulnerable to a bit of turbulence. When your relationship is good, it feels like you’re floating on air—but when things sour, you can quickly tumble down to the ground. Luckily, any good relationship can be salvaged with enough effort—and you may already be familiar with some of these ways to maintain a healthy marriage.
Take a walk together:
The fresh air clear your minds but also the very act of walking in the same direction can help you two feel as though you’re on the same team and want the same result. Physically heading to one place makes you more likely to be mentally in sync; it’s like you’re standing together instead of confronting each other.
Watch romantic comedies:
Do you regularly gravitate toward romcoms on movie night? Go ahead and congratulate yourself on your good taste—and on paving the path toward happily ever after. Couples who watched romantic films and discussed them afterward had a 50 percent lower divorce rate.
Say “thank you”:
You might think that your partner intuitively knows how grateful you are for everything they do, but it doesn’t hurt to let them know. Expressing gratitude toward your partner is directly correlated with relationship satisfaction.
Even if a couple is experiencing distress and difficulty in other areas, gratitude in the relationship can help promote positive marital outcomes.
Celebrate small victories:
Did your partner recently get a promotion at work, or perhaps reach their goal weight after months of hard work? These momentous occasions call for a celebration! Your partner will appreciate the support, and the positive praise will work wonders on your marriage.
Couples who regularly celebrate good times have higher levels of commitment, trust, and relationship satisfaction. It’s not enough that your partner knows that you take pride in his or her accomplishments—you have to show it.
But don’t rely on texts to communicate:
We’re all guilty of spending a little too much time on our phones, but it’s essential for your marriage that you’re not neglecting to interact with your partner face-to-face. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy concluded that women who apologized and communicated important information via text were less satisfied in their relationships. Talk in person as often as possible, or make time for a call when you’re not physically together—really anything’s better than a thumbs up and winky face emoji.
Go out for date nights:
If you’re one of the married couples that still considers date night sacred after years of being together, then you’re already on the path to success. Couples who hit the town once a month was more likely to stay together than those who favored staying in.
Work out together regularly:
Exercise has a positive effect on both your muscles and your marriage. An oft-cited 2000 study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that after couples participated in physical activity together, they were more satisfied with their relationships and felt more in love.