5. Don't wallow in self-pity. It is a wasted emotion. No problem has ever been solved by feeling sorry for yourself or your situation. Successful couples grab "the bull by the horns" and work for solutions.
6. Enhance your love relationship by providing each other occasional time for privacy and aloneness. The recognition of the absolute need for privacy and aloneness is, in our judgment after analyzing thousands of interviews, critical to successful marriages. The quality of communication can only be enhanced between the two of you after refreshing your mind and spirit with alone time. You have to belong to yourself before you can belong to others.
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7. Remember that the simple things matter in marriage. And they need to be practiced each day. Thirty years of research on successful love and marriage has taught us many things, but first and foremost that no love has blossomed — or has been sustained — without doing the simple things. Too often when we are engaged in stressful life-altering situations, we forget to do the simple things for the one we love the most. If you would like to know more about the simple things that matter in love and marriage read, Building a Love That Lasts.
8. Develop a network of support from family, friends and relatives. You and your spouse do not have to do it all by yourselves. Ask your friends and relatives for help. Solicit support from aunts and uncles. Seek support from your neighbors. Don't be shy about asking for help. Don't be deluded into thinking you can do it alone.
9. Recognize that the time may very well come when you can no longer care for your special needs child by yourself. You may have to turn to professional caregivers, perhaps even an assisted-care or similar facility. Don't consume yourself with guilt if that time comes. At this critical juncture in your child's life, someone else may very well provide the best care.
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10. Staying healthy and happy, both physically and mentally, should be the highest priority for both you and your spouse. Engage in a daily exercise program. Eat healthy — lots of fruits and vegetables. Take your vitamins! Make sure you both take your own medications on the prescribed schedule. And don't forget your annual physical exams. It is nearly impossible to take care of others when you don't take of yourself. Keep reading ...