1. Seek help early.
The average couple waits six years before seeking help for relationship problems. And keep in mind, half of all marriages that end do so in the first seven years. This means the average couple lives with unhappiness for far too long. If you feel there’s any sign of trouble in your marriage early on, seek help.
2. Edit yourself.
The most successful couples are kind to each other. They avoid saying every critical thought when discussing touchy topics, and they will find ways to express their needs and concerns respectfully without criticizing or blaming your partner
3. Soften your “start up.”
Arguments often “start up” because one partner escalates the conflict by making a critical or contemptuous remark. Bring problems up with gentle kindness and without blame works much better and allows couples to calmly engage in conflict.
4. Accept influence from your partner.
Research shows that couples that respect and welcome and appreciate their partners opinions and input have healthier relationships In a good relationship you are a team supporting each other on all fronts.
5. Have high standards.
Happy couples have high standards for each other. The most successful couples are those who, even as newlyweds, refused to accept hurtful behavior from one another. Low levels of tolerance for bad behavior in the beginning of a relationship equals a happier couple down the road.
6. Learn to repair and exit the argument.
Happy couples have learned how to exit an argument, or how to repair the situation before an argument gets completely out of control. Repair attempts using humor; offering a caring remark (“I understand that this is hard for you”); making it clear you’re on common ground (“We’ll tackle this problem together”); backing down (in marriage, as in the martial art Aikido, you often have to yield to win); and, in general, offering signs of appreciation for your partner and their feelings along the way. If an argument gets too heated, take a 20-minute break, and agree to approach the topic again when you are both calm.
7. Focus on the positives.
In a happy marriage, while discussing problems, couples make at least five times as many positive statements to and about each other and their relationship as negative ones. For example, a happy couple will say “We laugh a lot” instead of “We never have any fun.” A good marriage must have a rich climate of positivity. Make regular deposits to your relationships emotional bank account