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10 ways to buck the trend and divorce-proof your marriage The path to a happy and successful marriage doesn’t need to be a burden or a chore.

No marriage can be truly “divorce proof.” Being in a committed relationship always takes a certain amount of effort, and no religious or legal union can guarantee eternal, ironclad results.

That said, the path to a happy and successful marriage doesn’t need to be a burden or a chore. Couples who want to strengthen and foster their marriages can begin to do so by making a series of small changes in the way they treat one another every day.

By paying conscientious attention to little things and simply making your spouse a bit more of a priority in your life, you can greatly increase your chances of marital bliss. And by responding to your own wants and needs in a healthy manner, you will not only contribute to your own happiness, but the overall happiness of your spouse and relationship.

Here are 10 general tips designed to assist anyone attempting to “divorce proof” their marriage.

#1. Get emotional support from someone other than your spouse.

Your spouse may be there for you in times of trouble, but this doesn’t mean you must keep them up to date on every daily setback and disappointment that you happen to experience. Getting support from a professional or friend can help you make a healthy transition toward sharing emotionally positive conversations with your spouse.

#2. Create magic moments.

Do you remember how exciting things were when you first started dating? This fun and excitement was the result of planning each shared experience with enthusiasm and forethought.

So make your life together exhilarating once more. Share scheduling duties to plan new activities that you will both look back on fondly.

#3. Make the relationship a priority.

Date night once a week is simply not enough. Remember that your spouse is the most important person in the world and treat him or her accordingly. Statistics show that the amount of quality time that couples spend together tends to decrease over time. Be vigilant against this trend, and keep your relationship strong.

#4. Take responsibility for your own well-being and happiness.

Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy. The only person that can make you happy is yourself. You alone have the key to your own contentment. Once you are capable of being happy as an individual, you can begin to build a mutually respectful and joyous marriage.

#5. Be affectionate in your words and actions.

Remember to always treat your spouse like the special individual that he or she is. Everyone likes to feel loved and appreciated on a daily basis. Try pretending that you have just begun dating and go out of your way to impress your “brand new” love interest all over again.

#6. Compliment rather than criticize.

Criticisms are hard to shake; they echo in the mind and tend to become negative self-talk. On the other hand, most people have a tough time actually hearing compliments.

Make a habit of complementing your spouse at least once a day. At first he or she might find the practice unusual or strange, but soon it will become a natural part of a loving and nurturing routine.

#7. Go from boring to intriguing.

Expanding your own horizons will invigorate you and make you much more exciting and appealing to your spouse. After you have developed new interests and skills, share them with your partner in a fun and motivated manner. Or better yet, find a new hobby that the two of you can explore together.

#8. Brush up on your bedroom skills.

Never underestimate the importance of being a generous lover. Discover exactly what your partner likes in bed and commit to fulfilling his or her fantasies. By maintaining a giving sexual attitude, you will not only strengthen your marriage but open the door to greater personal satisfaction as well.

#9. Say “no” to others so that you can have more time alone as a couple.

Stop doing all the things that you tend to do out of sheer obligation. By eliminating responsibilities that you previously took on but are no longer excited about, you leave room for critically important quality time.

Establish a secondary date night in place of another tired weekly commitment that has ceased to fill a legitimate purpose.

#10. Learn to listen more and talk less.

Communication problems account for a staggeringly high percentage of divorces throughout the United States and the world. As human beings, we need to feel as if we are heard when we speak and furthermore, that our thoughts and opinions truly matter.

Hone your listening skills to demonstrate absolute focus and attention. Learn that hearing and processing information is typically more important than endless chatter. When you do have something significant to say, always remain courteous.

After you’ve made your remark, be sure to give your spouse ample time to respond with a comment of his or her own.

Bonus: consider sleeping in separate beds

Couples who share a bed often don’t fully enter the necessary deep stages of sleep—and suffer many, terrible relationship consequences including more fighting and worse sex. See our separate article for the many benefits of sleeping in separate beds:

Related: 30% of couples already do it: join the separate beds revolution

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