10 Little Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Marriage
There's always room for improvement in a marriage. Marriage takes work ― that's a fact. It's about putting in the effort every single day to build a meaningful and lasting relationship. But it doesn't necessarily have to be hard work！
1. Focus on the positive. It may be easy to look at your partner and find things that they do or say that are irritating， annoying or even hurtful to you. You may even think that it is part of your responsibility as a spouse to point out or correct those issues. However， criticism is rarely received well and usually does more harm than good. As a spouse， one of your primary duties is to be supportive and encouraging of your partner. So， stop criticizing them and focus on the positive things that they do.
2. Apologize if you've done something wrong. If you’ve done something wrong， big or small， bite the bullet and give a clear， honest apology. No， “I'm sorry you’re upset” isn't an apology. Nor is “I'm sorry you heard it that way.” Not only is that not an apology， but you're also calling them an idiot for not deciphering your words or intentions correctly. When you take responsibility for telling a lie， conducting a misdeed or even just contributing to a misunderstanding， you're saying that the health of the relationship takes priority over your competitive need to be right.
3. Try your hardest not to blame your partner. When couples fight， they tend to criticize and blame each other， which causes the same reaction in return. Make a personal commitment to using no blame in your communication. Instead， think about your feelings and needs and speak in terms of “I.”
4. Look up from your phones ― and at each other. We rarely take the time to stop and look at our partners， so it's easy to miss their nonverbal cues. When we pause and gaze at one another， this creates a pathway for connection， and it can be calming and deepen our relational experience.
5. Appreciate each other's differences. I'm currently working with a young couple who came to me at the brink of divorce. The wife feels like her husband is often distant when they argue and wants to get to a solution immediately. He， on the other hand， often needs time to be by himself to sort things through before talking about it. I have coached them on how to find ways to really understand and appreciate their differences in handling emotional conflict， rather than judging and shaming one another for these differences. They now practice naming what they are feeling.
6. Check in. One thing that can greatly damage a marriage is a lack of communication. When you make checking in a part of your daily habits， you are letting your partner know that they are important to you.