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Five more things your marriage needs to survive

Keeping the romance alive is all part of nurturing your marriage.
Keeping the romance alive is all part of nurturing your marriage. iStock

AGREE or disagree, here are the second five of the top 10 qualities for a healthy marriage.

>> View the first five here 

And by the way, they are in no particular order.

Random order is because, again, everyone will place these qualities on different spots of the totem poles of their own relationships, and also when in different phases of their relationships too.

Get touchy feely, and no nanna pecks

Physical contact. No nanna pecks, I mean the real deal. Nurture - ready for it - daily physical intimacy.

Do I mean sex every single day or night? Oh heck no.

The average is just under twice a week, so I'm not going to advocate any more than that at best.

More than once a week, regularly, is gravy, truthfully.

Am I talking about smooching at least once a day though? Yes, yes I am.

So your partner might be your best friend. Okay, that's lovely.

You didn't marry or move in with them to be good friends, though, did you? So act like it.

Keep the passion alive between you! Will it wax and wane with time? Sure it will, but it should not fizzle to nothing.

Is that what you dreamed for as you stared into your lovees eyes and said "I do" or "Yes let's move in together"? I don't think so.

Your physical intimacy together (whatever that looks like for you, and personally and professionally, I'm not judging) may (probably will) wane, but it should wax too.

That means perk up, people, perk that passion up. How? Well you can message me for advice for a start - I can be found at http://www.drgabrielle.com.

This part is what I do for a living. I won't spill all my best tips in one top 10 list, after all.

Check in with each other 

The State of the Union. This is what I like to call those times when you check in with each other, and I hope you do, because many couples have listed it as an important element in a healthy marriage.

Separate from your regular good communication skills, there should be times - planned and unplanned, often reactionary to blindsiding events in our lives - when we hold each other close and ask how the other is doing.

Daily life deals with all the details without pausing for a good look at the current and future big picture.

Every once in awhile you two need to check in with each other. Are you both okay? Happy? Dreams and goals still where and how you want them to be? If you do this, you grow together, not apart.

Forgive, forgive, forgive... but be firm

8. Forgive. You thought you married your perfect mate. But they're not perfect. And neither are you.

If you are together, sharing life, for years on end, mistakes are going to happen. They just are. Little ones, big ones. Ones that hurt. Ones that sucker punch you and may even make you question the character of the person you share the bed with.

Forgiveness allows you to move forward.

Healthy relationships require both partners to be forgiving.

So realise your own and your partner's imperfections and forgive. But have a limit.

Whereever you draw your lines, they are only fair in a couple if the other understands exactly, really, specifically, exactly - with crystal certainty - where they are.

So there's no, "Oh I didn't know you meant having a pretend online profile equalled cheating to you! I didn't understand that! I never even met up anyone in real life, only online chat. You consider that cheating?!". Be clear.

Be forgiving, but be clear and then be firm.

Fight fair

Fight fairly. If you name call, if you bully and use other people in your arguments (like this old chestnut: "It's not just me - everyone thinks so!"), if you vomit up past grudges, especially ones that are ridiculously off point but you know will deliver a wound, then you can be sure that your partner will not forget it.

Fair fights can lead to greater understanding of each other and your triggers and issues, but nasty fights with below the belt verbal blows only create that horrible silent friction and distance between you.

It's a place some couples can never come back from.

Be responsible 

A healthy dose of owning your part of the relationship is essential.

I'm not saying go buy out the self development section of the bookshop (necessarily) but I am saying you've got to take personal responsibility for your contributions to the relationship.

How you damage it, how you nurture it, and how you devote yourself to it.

Are you proud of the role you play in the relationship? Do you always strive to learn more, do better, be better?

Do you sometimes do a mental walk in your partner's metaphoric relationship shoes to imagine what their experience of you and life with you is? Do you grow in love? In yourself and in the relationship?

Be self aware in your relationship and with your eyes wide open, take responsibility for the good, bad, ugly, spicy, boring and too the awe inspiring experience of sharing life and love.

Then close your eyes and kiss that lover of yours, deeply and with love and meaning, because in a healthy relationship and marriage, you know you do mean it, every day - even those exhausting, dreary Thursdays when you've had a bad hair day, bills arrive in the mail, and nothing seemed to go right.

You remain aware, on those challenging days, as well as on every glorious day, that you choose each other, day in and day out, and you don't let yourself forget it.

Topics:  dating editors picks marriage relationships



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