We've all seen them in the park. Those stooped, wrinkled love birds still walking hand in hand after all these years. Sigh... What's their story? Star-crossed lovers? Perhaps—but maybe not, as studies show love may have little to do with it. What does make a marriage work, is work itself. You got it, practice makes perfect; and the best way to go about forging a strong marriage is through the establishment of daily rituals. 25 Secrets To A Loving, Lasting Marriage
According to the San Francisco Chronicle article "5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day," positive daily rituals help a couple build up their "relationship reservoir, or the stored-up emotional energy of the relationships." In times of stress, the thinking goes, couples able to tap into this reserve are better able to weather whatever may come their way.
Want examples? Plenty abound, and every couple is sure to develop their own. But if you're strapped for ideas, try out any of the five sure-fire ways below.
1. Affirm your relationship. Sometimes it's hard to see the man you married in the balding bedfellow by your side—but he's there. Let him know why you're still glad to be sharing a life.
2. Talk to each other. While you're at it, spend some time just talking to one another. And asking how was your day was at the end of the night won't cut it. Look for ways to really connect. Listening to one another's everyday stories is a start.
3. Be sexy with one another. Being sexy with one another on a daily basis isn't the same as having sex, which as well all know can be quite tricky to pull off in today's always-on 24-7 culture. Nevertheless, pencil in some time for sexy talk, couch-side cuddles or whatever else keeps the two of you feeling sexually relevant. The Secret To A Happy Marriage? Sex!
4. Do things separately. Make a habit of getting away from each other and do your own thing. "Doing things separately gives you a chance to fill in the blanks that your partner can't fill in for you," says couples therapist Tina Tessina." What's more, it will give you something to talk about.
5. Pray. Regardless of religious affiliation, a shared spiritual life helps keep couples close. According to a University of Chicago survey quoted by the article, those who pray together are more likely to say they respect each other, discuss their marriage together, and rate their spouses as skilled lovers.