4. Express concerns constructively. A simple way to do that in sensitive conversations is to stick with the following trio of options for sentence starters: "I feel [followed by a one-word adjective]"; "My concern is …"; or "I would like to …"
5. Make decisions cooperatively. I call that the "win-win waltz." The goal of the win-win waltz is to reach solutions that please you both. No more aiming to "get your way." Instead, when you have differences, express your underlying concerns, listen to your partner's concerns and create solutions that respond to both.
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6. Eliminate the three As that ruin marriages. Affairs, addictions, and excessive anger are relationship dealbreakers. They are out-of-bounds in a healthy marriage.
If you are indulging in one of these self-defeating and relationship-destroying habits, get help and get it out of your life pronto. If your spouse is the one with the problem, trying to save the marriage may be a mistake. Either build a new kind of marriage where these do not occur, or end the marriage.
7. Radically increase the positive energies you give your partner. Smile more; hug more; have more sex; be more appreciative; spend more time dwelling on the things you like about each other; help each other out more; praise each other more; laugh more; agree more; do more fun things together. The best things in life really are free. And the more positives you give, the more you'll get.
8. Learn the skills for a successful marriage. Would you expect to drive a car without first taking driver's ed? Find books and marriage education courses to learn the communication and conflict resolution skills for marriage partnership. Then in, addition to saving your marriage, you'll make it a loving success.
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Susan Heitler, Ph.D., author of The Power of Two book and workbook, invites you to check out PowerOfTwoMarriage.com. Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page for a free relationship quiz plus three days of free relationship help.