You know those adorable elderly couples holding hands as they stroll down the street (swoon)? Well, chances are they know a little something about what makes a marriage tick. The thing is, you and your S.O. could be just as precious 60 years from now if you put in the (minimal) effort it takes to strengthening your relationship. We turned to therapist Jill Dictrow host of Sex in Public on TLC for some little tweaks you can make in your marriage now that will have a big impact in the long run.
Credit: New Line Cinema/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

Laugh it off

You might think "yeah, whatever," but, "when there is laughter between two people you can get through any crisis together," says Dictrow. Even in the midst of your overly scheduled lives, just making time to do something fun or silly, like playing a board game or watching that movie you both crack up over, can really help rejuvenate your relationship and help you feel more connected.

Don't press the hot buttons

Being with someone means you know them inside and out, which is a great thing, but it also means, you know exactly where to hit below the belt when you need to. Everyone has a "sensitive" button that when pressed releases a fury, says Dictrow. No matter how irritated or angry you are, some things should be left unsaid to keep from hurting the other person. This will only make things escalate and create resentment. So in the heat of your next argument, channel your inner yogi and breathe it out before unleashing like a gangster.

Kiss-a lot

"I always tell my couples that kissing is the most important element of the romance," says Dictrow. "Once that stops, so does the sex," she says. In a nutshell, intimacy is the most important part of any loving, lasting relationship, says Dictrow. "Without intimacy you are roommates at best." Make sure you at least continue to put in the effort.

Let him pick the movie now and then

So maybe Transformers 10.0 is not your jam (we feel you!) but, compromise is crucial to a healthy partnership, says Dictrow. "Listen to your partner and learn to make decisions together," she says. If you take one for the team every so often, he'll be more appreciative and more inclined to sit through the next Sex in the City movie next time. Compromise causes much less stress in the long run, says Dictrow.

Stay in the fight

The worst thing you can do in the middle of an argument is to walk out, says Dictrow. Going to bed angry really is a major no-no, she says. "Anger and resentment are two things you do not want to hold in," says Dictrow. Talk things through and if you need to scream, so be it, just get it out of your system.


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