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Five Ingredients to Maintain a Great Marriage
Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.

Great marriages are experienced by the people who have made the decision to grow with the marriage.  If you are going to have a lasting marriage, individual growth from each spouse is necessary. Marriages have their ups and downs, but if each spouse is willing to evolve and gain a new skill set to pass through their rougher times, glean the proper wisdom for staying committed and not quit on each other, the marriage will likely stand the test of time. If your marriage started off with love, then you can use that love as the fuel to stay in love.

Five Ingredients to Maintain a Great Marriage:

1. Treat your spouse like the household pet:  When they come home, greet them at the door with love and acknowledgement. Let them know you have been waiting all day to see them and spend time with them. Be interested in their day, what they did and didn't do, and show excitement about their return home.   

2.  Physical affection:  Whenever you are around your spouse, you should be touching on some level.  Kiss in the morning, before leaving for work and when you get home from work. Physical affection (hugging, kissing, snuggling, hand-holding) is vital to remembering that you are husband and wife. Even if you are mad, keep the affection alive. A hard day is often softened by the touch of your partner.

3. Verbal affirmation:  Verbally affirm your spouse with praise and compliments. If you want to feel good in your marriage, make sure your partner feels good - you will find that compliments are contagious.  As they are given, they will uplift your partner, who will then be filled with seeing the good in you as well. There is always a way to find something beautiful about your spouse. Say, "I love you". You can never love someone too much when love is abundant. Let your partner know how much they are loved.

4. Quality time together: It is important to get away from the kids, friends, work and other distractions to share quality time. Many marriages get lost in all these details, and you forget how to be alone together.  Alone time creates the space for intimate conversations to take place. Intimacy is emotional, and connecting with each other verbally is a great way to establish and maintain that intimacy. If you stop talking to each other, the marriage will stop growing.

5. Sexual intimacy:  Sadly, sex is often one of the first things to go in a marriage the longer you have been in it. It is easy to be too tired, too stressed or not interested. Once this element is gone, there really is nothing that makes you married anymore. You have become good friends and roommates. Quality time brings the emotional intimacy into the relationship, which should then be followed up with sexual intimacy so the physical love connection can be made, and you remember how great it feels to connect this deeply. 

Many of us think having a great marriage is as rare as winning the lottery.  But it really isn't about marrying "the one". There is definitely more than one right person in this world for everyone. It is about you becoming "the one".   It is about you becoming a person who is someone that can sustain and thrive in a marriage. Choose to be a loving and lovable person in your marriage. Be someone YOU would want to marry yourself. Think about that: Would you marry you? If not, then make the necessary changes to become that right person for yourself and your partner. If there are troubles in the marriage, be patient and don't give up. Develop the new skills necessary to make your marriage work.

Little life message: As you grow, your marriage will grow with you.

Dr. Sherrie Campbell is an author and a licensed psychologist with more than 19 years of clinical training and experience. She provides practical tools to help people overcome obstacles to self-love and truly achieve an empowered life. Click here to get her free article, “Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication.”  She is a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in Southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationships. For more information visit Permission granted for use on

Tags: Intimacy, Relationship, Relationships, Sex, Strengthening marriage, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage
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