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Posted by on Apr. 11, 2016 at 1:41 AM
  • 11 Replies
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BY: Naomi Chrisoulakis

They don't...put the kids first.

Yes, you read that correctly. "We make a conscious decision to let the dynamic of the household be that the marriage comes first. If we want to be together for 40-plus years and the kids are only in the house for 18 of them, we need to make sure that when we're done raising them, there's a dynamic, passionate relationship still standing. That means we say no to making our weekly schedule only about the kids. An added bonus is that we don't overschedule them with too many classes, activities, and sports." — Lana W., married for 5 years

They don't...focus on keeping things equal.

It's tempting to think that if your partner just bought himself a new pair of shoes, you should be allowed to splurge on something for yourself. Or that because you picked up the kids from school, you're entitled to a night off from homework duty. But it doesn't work that way. "There are no measuring scales in happy marriages. These couples want the best for each other and realize that keeping score or trying to have a 50/50 marriage is no way to live if you want to be happy. And as the professionals say, 50/50 doesn't work in relationships because we're not fractions. We are whole people. And when you give your whole heart to someone and they do the same for you, you can trust that putting your thumb on the proverbial scale is never needed." — Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

They don't...ignore each other.

"Happy couples never ignore simple requests their partner makes for their attention. When one is in the kitchen making tea and looking out the window and exclaims, 'Look at that bird!' the other puts their paper down and looks up. And they never stop daily affectionate greetings. They give each other a hug or kiss upon returning home every day." — Laurie Watson, couples counselor and sex therapist

They don't...wait to be in the mood.

"Having four kids and two careers means that our brains have to be in a million places that aren't incredibly sexy. We get in the mood and part of that is not letting too many days go by without at least making out. Your spouse is the only one you get to do that with: It's a sacred exchange that needs to be practiced." — Lana W.

They don't...resort to teasing.

"A little playful joking is one thing, but we try not to tease too much, especially the kind of teasing that turns sarcastic. We've found it's a really ineffective way of communicating and often masks some underlying frustration—or even resentment. It never, ever ends well." — Mary P., married for 17 years

They don't...criticize.

"Criticizing your partner is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint. The latter two are about specific issues, whereas the former is an attack on your partner at the core. A complaint is: 'I was scared when you were running late and didn't call me. I thought we had agreed that we would do that for each other.' A criticism is: 'You never think about how your behavior affects others. I don't believe you are that forgetful, you're just selfish!'" — John Gottman, PhD, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

They don't ...draw comparisons.

"Although it's tempting, we never go down the road of comparing ourselves to other couples. It's fine to notice how the Smiths make raising kids seem like a breeze, or the way John always buys Claire such thoughtful gifts, but when you start comparing your own relationship, things get messy fast. It's better to compare how you're doing compared to where you were yesterday, or last year—and remember that you can never truly know what goes on in other people's relationships." — Sarah H., married for 12 years

They don't...rely on kid cuddles.

"We don't get our needs for snuggling and affection met by our kids alone. Yes, they are adorable to cozy up with and even occasionally sleep with, but too many times we see couples who get hooked on it and their spouse is left out in the cold." — Brian K., in a relationship for 10 years

They don't... stress about arguments.

"Of course, arguments aren't pleasant, but there's no point in worrying about them as if they're the death knell in a relationship. Rather than stressing about whether they spell doom, it's better to consider them a normal part of a healthy relationship. We don't even have to fully resolve them to feel OK—it's fine to agree to disagree on things that really aren't a big deal." — Jennifer K., married for 21 years

by on Apr. 11, 2016 at 1:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Marianne on Apr. 12, 2016 at 2:50 PM

I disagree with the teasing. We're REALLY sarcastic with each other all the time. All. The. Time. And we're also very very happy together. I think it's more about knowing how to be sarcastic with the other person. We're both really sarcastic people so we don't take each other's sarcasm seriously. I have never felt there's an underlying issue when he's sarcastic with me, and there has never been and underlying issue when I'm sarcastic with him. It's just what we do. I'm not as sarcastic with others as I am with him, because I know him better.

Otherwise, I completely agree with all the rest :)

by Bronze Member on Apr. 13, 2016 at 11:36 AM

My biggest problem here,,,,,I am not an affectionate person, not at all. But he knew that when he married me almost 19 years ago. so.....I remember thinking I could change his bad habits too....LOL, never going to happen!

by Bronze Member on Apr. 13, 2016 at 6:08 PM
Yep I agree with all
by Ruby Member on Apr. 13, 2016 at 7:50 PM
I disagree with not putting kids first. DD is the center of our universe. That doesn't mean we ignore each other it just means we make sure DDs needs are met first. We have plenty of alone time now that she's older and more independent but she will always come first.
by Bronze Member on Apr. 13, 2016 at 10:34 PM
1 mom liked this
That's really accurate for my husband and I, with the exception of the very last one. We both hate to argue.
by Brenda on Apr. 16, 2016 at 11:54 AM


by Sarah on Apr. 20, 2016 at 10:16 AM

Yes!  I agree with all of those.  TFS.

by Trica on Apr. 20, 2016 at 10:29 AM
I agree! Those are great tips!
by Trica on Apr. 20, 2016 at 10:31 AM
That is the same with us.
People think we are not normal. LOL
We just dislike arguing.

Quoting Velvetfog: That's really accurate for my husband and I, with the exception of the very last one. We both hate to argue.
by Bronze Member on Apr. 20, 2016 at 10:45 AM

We actually both put DS first since he is only 4 years old but our alone time is when he goes to sleep and we savour that time.

We are also both Canadian and love to tease each other and be sarcastic but we still have respect for one another as well. I think it is just a matter of balance

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