5 Daily Habits That Are Better For Your Marriage Than Couple's Counseling

Easy but highly effective relationship habits that feel like you hit the marriage jackpot, according to Yourtango experts.

Couple embracing Amin mlk | Canva

Before you end in divorce, before a trial separation, before the echoing silence, before the fails and yells, and before you head to counseling.

What I hear you saying is that you don't want your marriage to fall into a cycle of apathy and boredom. You want to deepen your bond and nurture each other's growth. Is that correct?

Did you know there are some highly effective daily practices you can utilize to elevate your marriage from "Hm, OK, whatever." to "OMG, we hit the relationship jackpot when we found each other."?


"Impossible," you say. "How," you wonder. "I've tried everything," you lament.

Yes, it is true. You can empower your love in little ways every day to let the jackpot ride and accumulate more to love.

A relationship is only as good as the maintenance given by both sides of the coin. Two people can commit to nurturing their relationship with daily, almost ritual, care. Then, you can flip the coin as often as you like, and the result will always be either "Heads, we win" or "Tails, we can never lose."

This is some jackpot-hitting marriage advice.

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Here are 5 daily habits that are better for your marriage than couple's counseling, according to YourTango experts:

1. Yakity Yak keeps you on track

Ordinary daily conversations are critical to your feeling of connection.

Offer and ask for hugs and kisses during the day. It communicates a quick love connection that can be combined with these other tips.

Say "Thank you" with love and gratitude when your partner does something for you (even if you asked them to do it and they have agreed). We all want acknowledgment. Be specific so they know you appreciate what they did, even if it's small.

If you acknowledge them and they don't acknowledge you, you can tell them it would be nice to know they appreciate your effort. And when they say something, thank them with loving words and a hug or kiss.


Stop nagging and complaining. Praise what they do that you like. Ask how to support them if they forgot something. A calendar item or a note on the refrigerator? No criticism or complaining. It pushes them away unless they receive it as support, and most people do not.

—​ Marilyn Sutherland, Communication and Relationship Coach

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2. Crafting small magic works big magic

Love is crafted by multiple small and large positive occurrences. So, you craft love by having a daily habit of complimenting your spouse.

The courtesy of saying please and thank you, the foresight of letting your spouse know how much you appreciate them, the responsibility of doing your share of the chores, the gratitude in sending an occasional love message, the bonding of going for a walk together and talking about the things that please or annoy you.


Reta Faye Walker, Ph.D. Therapist

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3. Always elevate communication

You must constantly work on your communication skills to keep a happy marriage. You have to stay connected and openly appreciate each other. Make sure you share your thoughts, feelings, and emotions every day.

As busy as you are, there might be too little time for cuddling, reading to each other, or doing activities that brought you together in the first place. Time flies, and so does the spark in any marriage. To keep the spark alive and fan it into flames of love you can keep your relationship young by going on dinner dates, planning a whole day or more together, and finding time each day to spend with each other.

—​ Maitry Joshi, Healthcare Consultant


4. Never have a missed connection

Based on research by John Gottman, we know couples who do several things are happier and more likely to stay together. First, a couple should not have a 1:1 ratio of positive sentiments/appreciation and criticism. Instead, a couple needs 5 positive statements for every critique. So, decrease your criticism and increase your appreciative and loving statements. Make the latter specific (e.g., "I so appreciate you getting the groceries every week " instead of "I appreciate you").

Additionally, when your partner talks to you, RESPOND. Even if it sounds like they are saying something mundane, "That's a pretty sunset," say something in return. Such statements aren't just the content, they are bids for connection. So, turn toward these bids by responding versus staying silent or ignoring them. Such daily habits go a long way toward marital satisfaction.

Laurie Mintz, Licensed Psychologist, and Author

5. Magnify the positive until it encompasses the lens

The best daily marriage habit is to focus on the positive aspects of your partner and compliment them on those things you love about them.


It’s so easy to focus on the negative things and all the things they don’t do that make you frustrated. But that creates a self-fulfilling cycle where the only things you notice are the negative attributes of your partner. Instead, you can be intentional about the little things your partner does that bring you joy and you will find reasons to love your partner. And that yields big returns.

Jennifer Hargrave, JD, Attorney

RELATED: 30 Unsexy Communication Habits That Make A Relationship Work

You already said, "I do," and made the marriage commitment, so saying, "I will," and committing to these daily habits that accumulate love is only natural.


Now, go, go, get your love on!

Will Curtis is a writer and associate editor for YourTango. He's been featured on Good Men Project and taught English abroad for 10 years.