5 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

Sometimes it takes going through a bad relationship to figure out what makes a good relationship. Recent research* identified the top five regrets of 373 divorced couples. This is hard earned advice for a successful, happy marriage from those who learned these lessons the hard way.

Encouraging and affirming your spouse in simple ways can go a very long way. Compliments, hand-holding, and saying “I love you” are all emotional support. By expressing love and caring, you build trust.

Money is a magnifier of problems, and it’s also a common source of significant tension. Discuss your individual money styles and devise a plan you can both live with. Don’t keep secrets. Establish a family budget and stick to it.

Couples who can’t forgive past hurts grow bitter and resentful. Write it out (journal) or talk it out with your partner or a Best Care EAP counselor.

65% of divorcees blame the ex-spouse for the demise of their marriage. This creates more anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Say “we”, not “you” or “I”. Say, “We are both so tired lately”, not “You are so crabby”. When you remove blame, it’s easier to come up with solutions.

Communication style is the #1 thing divorced individuals said they would change in the next relationship. Establish a 10-minute rule. Every day, for 10 minutes, talk alone about something other than work, the family and children, the household, the relationship. No problems, no scheduling, no logistics. Tell each other about your lives. Reveal to your spouse what makes you “tick”.

If you’re in the midst of a troubled marriage, please consider reaching out to your Best Care EAP for help and support. A professional counselor is available for you and/or your spouse at no cost to you. 

To schedule your confidential appointment, call (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email.

Source: This research study was conducted by Terri Orbuch, a psychologist and research professor at the University of Michigan.