8 Things Every Couple Should Do for a Successful Marriage

Love & Learn 20

Marriage. Unless your name happens to be Cinderella, there's a super slim chance you and your hubby are going to live happily ever after. Divorce rates are higher than ever, with something like 11 out of every 10 marriages ending in splitsville. (Note: I may be slightly off in my math.)

No marriage is perfect. But you know what? It doesn't have to be! It just needs to be successful so you and your spouse can live a long and happy life together.

Nobody enters a marriage thinking it could one day end. Romance has a way of blinding the future. But reality eventually sets in. Couples get into routines. Money and communication issues inevitably worm their way into your relationship. Before you know it, you're on a roller-coaster you never even signed up for.

That's not to say marriage can't be wonderful. It certainly can. And with just a little bit of effort, you can help make it last by following these 8 things every couple should do for a successful marriage.

1. Never Go to Bed Angry - This is a great rule to follow. No matter how upset you are, don't let your emotions fester. Talk it out. Even if you don't agree, at least agree to disagree before going to bed for the night. Besides, sleeping on the couch is really bad for your back.

2. Think Small - All the little things you do make a huge difference. That could be setting up the coffee pot every morning for your husband, or having your hubby gas up your car when it's close to empty. See, size does matter.

3. Be Impulsive - The longer you're married, the more set in your routine you'll be. It's just human nature. So "plan" on being impulsive. Out of the blue, do something sweet for your spouse. Gift a song via iTunes. Mail a Hallmark card. Leave a note on the pillow.

4. Compromise - Guys? Suck it up. Go watch a chick flick with your wife. In return, ladies, don't give your guy grief next time he's watching football. Basically, respect each other's interests and do a lot of give and take. The exception, of course, being Twilight. No man should ever have to suffer through that.

5. Be Your Own Person - Probably one of the most important things to remember is that besides being a happily married couple, you are an individual. It's okay (and healthy!) to do your own thing, whether it's exercising, a girls' night out, or playing poker with the guys. Enjoy your own time and be happy your spouse is enjoying his or hers too. Just be sure they're not enjoying it too much ...

6. Make Time - The older you get, the crazier and busier you get -- from working overtime to driving the kids all over the place. When life's at its craziest, that's when you really need to take a breath and set up some time together. Whether it's a real date night out on the town or just snuggling up on the couch with a good movie, make the effort to make the time.

7. Laugh More - Seriously, laughter really is the best medicine. Crack a joke. Shove a pie in your face. Use more whoopee cushions. Whatever it takes, just relax and enjoy life.

8. Be Thankful - Don't take your spouse for granted. So what if he's made dinner every night since you've been married. You should still thank him. If it tastes good, that is.

How do you keep your marriage healthy?


Image via Diana/Flickr

marriage