6 simple ideas that will strengthen your relationship

Most lasting couples have learned that it takes time and attention to foster healthy relationships, and not just once in a while, but every day. Here is some advice to help you grow closer to your partner.

6 simple ideas that will strengthen your relationship

1. Take a weekend getaway

  • If you present the idea to your partner as an adventure, he or she will be more inclined to get in on the act.
  • Then the fun begins: deciding where you'll go, what you'll do, and how you'll get there.
  • Plan it together. Pore over maps and the travel section of the newspaper together.
  • Discuss whether you should splurge on a room with a hot tub or a four-poster.

2. Renew your vows

  • Renewing your vows renews your commitment not only to your partner but also to keeping passion and intimacy in your relationship.
  • You can do it once a year by taking a romantic getaway on your anniversary or make it a once-in-a-lifetime event.

3. Read the comics out loud to each other

A study found that sharing humorous experiences significantly reduced the amount of conflict couples felt.

4. Hang out with a close friend

One study found that couples who have individual friendships outside their relationship were more satisfied with their marital relationships than those who didn't.

5. Demonstrate your love

Try to improve something about yourself that upsets your partner.

  • For instance, if your partner likes order and tidiness, stop throwing your dirty socks on the floor and leaving your dishes in the sink.
  • Saying "I love you" is always nice, but showing it is really fundamental.

6. Always put your marriage first

That's true even if you have a houseful of children. This is a golden rule: of all your relationships, your partner must come first.

  • After all, the children are going to leave some day; hopefully, your partner isn't.
  • Putting your marriage first means things like deliberately setting aside time for the two of you, whether it's a weekly date, a nightly bath together or dinner alone a few nights a week (feed the children early).

The key to a loving, warm and intimate relationship is learning through the years to accept your partner's shortcomings and to forgive one another for transgressions both large and small.

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