Althea Schottman

5 things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Marriage

Little Gestures

1.Show the little common courtesies..

that smooth over the rough edges of life. It is amazing how we can take our spouse for granted only to become attentive to a colleague or even a stranger. Lack of courtesy from day to day can make your spouse feel unvalued. Don't let it happen. Remember to say "please," and "thank you," to open the door, carry the groceries--small things which do add up.

2. Show gratitude.

This takes the first point a step deeper. It is easy to focus on what is not right. It takes a little more persistence to focus on what is right. Gratitude can be for circumstances such as a beautiful day, or traits and behaviors of your family members. "I'm so glad you set the table," "what a beautiful day," "I'm pleased with our home." These can do a lot to bring about a positive home atmosphere.

3. Taking it a little further, express respect.

Try, "You know what I really admire about you?" to your ever-loving spouse and see the kind of response you get. I'm willing to bet that it is a happy one.

4. De-stress.

I find it hard to make the effort when there are little things nagging at me and adding to my stress load. Here is the best de-stressing tip I know of. Set aside a few minutes each day, say no more than 10 to 15 minutes and do something that is important but not critical. This keeps things from becoming critical, which, in turn, cuts down the stress load much better than a bubble bath, chocolate, or lighted candle any day. Hmmm......well, I can always use a little chocolate.

5. Get the right nourishment.

This might take some research. But we know for certain that home-cooked meals made from real ingredients served to the family sitting down together is food for body and soul together. If it is in line with your beliefs, express gratitude to God for the blessings of life.

6. Don't wait. Be the first to start.

Here is my rule of thumb--the person most able to do so is the one to get things rolling.

Does this look like six steps? Well, you know the rule about lists. They are never the last word. Keep on adding your own creative ways to improve your marriage.

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