Roughly 40% to 50% of married couples ultimately split up, according to theAmerican Psychological Association. But Northwestern University professorEliFinkelsaysthe best marriages are actuallybetter than ever.
How do you keep your marriage from going from blissful tobust?The psychologist, who hasextensively examined the history of marriage,offers three tips in his book, The All-or-Nothing Marriage.
Tip One: Become a love hacker.All relationships require time and effort to keep the fire alive. But chances are that your kids, workplace demands or other responsibilitiesslow the sizzle every now and then.Boost your bliss with love hacks — quick and simple practices that show you care.Here are some easy ones to try:
- Show appreciation.
- Say thank you more often.
- When your spouse tells yougood news,celebrate his or her joy andrespond with a question ortwo.
- Touch more often: Hold hands during a TV show, for example. This boosts trust and security.
Tip Two: Take the time to really talk to each other.Love hacksare great, butopen, deepcommunication is the key — and talk about something other than the kids and the weather. Here’s an idea: Go to the movies and see a romantic comedy.One study showed thatcouples who watched and discussedrelationship movies monthlycut their divorce rate in half within three years.
Tip Three: Lower your expectations. Yes, it’s true.One of the best things you can sometimes do for your marriage is to ask less of it.Finkelsays people who marry today expect their spouses to be their best friend, lover, confidantand co-parent all rolled into one — a stark change from the simple unions our parents or grandparents had.
Realize that there will be times you can’t get everything you think you need from your partner. Recalibrate those needs during chaotic times,for examplewhen a baby is born or a family member passes away, and you may decrease the risk for marital disappointment.
You can read more about Professor Finkel and his relationship lab online.