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The Married Chick The Knot the married chick

Top 5 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

A psychologist/love expert gives us the 411.

By The Married Chick Jul 13, 2012 8:16PM
The other day, my friends over at The Nest had the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, psychologist and author of the best-selling A Happy You. She’s got tons of really great tips for bringing more joy into a marriage

Here’s what she shared:

1. Get rid of the “There is no time” mentality
Yes, life is busy -- but where there's a will, there's a way. The average American watches over four hours of TV a day or spends that same amount of time surfing the Internet. Swap out just one hour a day with together time, and that’s a whopping seven more hours to share with your hubby each week.

2. Surprise him
Life can sometimes feel like you're just going through the motions. So do something to spice things up. Consider sending him a text telling him about a fantasy or flashing some fun lingerie when he least expects it. You can even take a simpler route and leave a love note where only he will find it.

3. Remember (and be thankful!) that he can’t read your mind
Think your minds are in sync? Often, he’s not thinking what you’re thinking. Not because he doesn’t love you or doesn’t want to be helpful -- it’s simply because he has a different brain. Plus, we all know men are wired differently.

4. Remember the 5:1 rule
Research shows that happy couples have a 5:1 ratio when it comes to positive vs. negative interactions. This means for every time you have a less-than-positive interaction (conflict, disappointment), you want to have five expressions of positivity.

Positive interactions can include expressions of gratitude, such as:
• “I feel so lucky to have you in my life.”
• “I am so proud of what you've done at work.”
• “You look so handsome today.”
• “You are such a terrific father.”

5. Stop “shoulding”
When you feel like you should be doing something but you’re not, you tend to feel guilty or shameful. And when you “should” your spouse, you can feel angry and resentful.

Instead of resorting to what you feel he should be doing, think, I wish he would help more around the house. Thinking this way, you're more likely to be assertive and figure out together how you can divide up the chore. You're also more likely to be grateful when he does help out. 

More from The Nest:

 

 
22Comments
Jul 24, 2012 9:13PM
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The research showing that happy couples have a 5:1 ratio when it comes to positive vs. negative interactions was done by Dr. Gottman! Love his work! 
Jul 24, 2012 8:37PM
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We still laugh out loud with each other every day just like when we were young and dating...now 35 years later and still having FUN
Jul 24, 2012 8:32PM
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How many times did I read HE.....Or HIM???? Sounds rather one way to me.  This is 2012 isn't it?
Jul 24, 2012 8:28PM
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I've been married to the same woman for the past 33 yrs. and I don't see the word  compromise anywhere in your Top 5 secrets to Marriage advice. Compromise & Communication are so very important in a marriage. Your a "Team" and not an "Individual" player in the union. Until people realize this, divorce will always win out. Alot of people forget the line in their vows "For Better or Worse" and when the chips are down that door seems to be the winner for most people. Not to mention, that alot of people today are just plain self centered. You have to give to get. Marriage is a two lane highway, not a bicycle path. Personally, I don't see advice of any kind helping people out today. Too many people just aren't interested in "long term" anything. No one really believes in marriage enough to honor their vows. It's the "grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence" syndrome. Believe me when I say, honey, there are "weeds" in everyones yard. You just trade one set for another.
Jul 24, 2012 8:07PM
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Remember that you are in it together; as long as both partners are doing their best to work for the common good (keeping in mind that each partner will need help from the other along the way because isn't that what marriage is all about), your realtionship will flourish; after almost 27 years, the words "for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or health" have real meaning; if all husbands and wives lived their vows, there would be far fewer dvorces.
Jul 24, 2012 7:58PM
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Ok.. that's what I'm suppose to do....????????
Jul 24, 2012 7:54PM
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To summerize this whole article with something that I learned when I was just entering my teens: Communicate.  That means talk and listen, honestly.

 

I can save so many people from so many things, but they don't ask me or listen because I didn't take 8 years to learn what I already knew and, sadly the main reason, because they didn't pay me for it.  They will get a book or talk to a psych doc and get the same advice that I gave them, and they wonder why I get mad at them.

Jul 24, 2012 6:55PM
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My parents aren’t of the same faith, screamed, and even worse cheated. They have been married for 50 years. They learned to forgive each other mistakes, not run away; fix what is broken, not throw it away.
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