How to maintain a good marriage -

How to maintain a healthy marriage

"Un-divorcing" … that's the term used to describe the growing phenomenon of couples who don't legally divorce, but no longer act and feel married. Our communications coach, Marcia Brandwynne, says that in many marriages, there's one key factor missing between husbands and wives.

"Hollywood movies always make weddings look so romantic and magical, and they usually are in real life, too," says Coach Marcia. "But there's a whole lot more to marriage than that fairytale moment when the handsome prince kisses his beautiful bride."

New research shows that one of the most important elements of a long-lasting marriage is to have a deep and abiding friendship with your spouse.

Here are some questions to consider when thinking about how friendship factors into your marriage:

  • Do you take the time to really talk with each other every night?
  • Do you inquire about your partner's day?
  • Do you show genuine interest and listen carefully?

"A true friend is concerned with how their friend is feeling inside," Coach Marcia explains. "Ask what worries your partner. And in your effort to help, don't try to come up with a solution. That says to your partner that they're not smart enough to come up with an answer themselves. All they really want is for you to listen and show support."

Another good way to strengthen marital friendship is to make a time that you can count on when you and your partner turn towards each other and create intimacy. That could be dinner together every night. The goal is to have deep conversations about your inner lives. It's talking about what adventures you would like to have before you die.

Can you answer that question for your partner right now?

If not, be a friend and ask. You might be surprised where the conversation leads you both.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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