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You've both got jobs to do, a household to run, and maybe even children to raise. So the time you spend alone together is limited. How can busy spouses, especially those dealing with a military lifestyle, build a sound, lasting relationship in such a high-speed, ever changing world? A loving relationship needs careful attention and constant nurturing. But it's easy to lose sight of that when you're racing through the day, trying to meet so many other demands. Here are some suggestions to help you cultivate quality and endurance in your marriage, so that it will go the distance.

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20 little ways to make your marriage even stronger

Raising kids and keeping your relationship strong doesn't come with an instruction booklet. But these tips from clinical psychologist Alexandra Solomon, Ph. At first, I felt confused when the toll collector made that statement.

Then I realized he meant that my boyfriend at the time paid it for me. It was at this moment that I thought to myself, "this guy's a keeper.

2. deate a monthly date night

His gesture made me feel that he cared about me and that he was thinking of me. It reminded me of something you see in a rom-com movie. So I try to reciprocate that kind of gesture as often as possible.

Next year we will celebrate our year wedding anniversary. But even sometimes I wonder: how do couples get so far? To learn more about what makes a healthy marriage, I spoke to relationship expert Alexandra Solomon, Ph. During her work with couples, she found that the most important aspect of being in a healthy relationship starts with yourself and your willingness to view marriage as a classroom.

It's important to be willing to look at how our old wounds, patterns, and triggers get activated with our partners. Being a great spouse is based on making sure your basic needs—such as eating healthy food, exercising, and getting good sleep—are being met. When I am not getting enough sleep, exercise, and laughter, I feel bitter and irritable," says Dr. When I am burned out, I start to feel like a victim and that makes me less able to ask for what I need—help, praise, a break. Another aspect of self-care is to do things that make you happy such as going out to lunch with your friends or reading a book.

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It is demanding to provide care for others and doing things that feel restorative and that inspired passion prevents caregiver burnout," says Dr. And if you are feeling overwhelmed it is important to take a time out instead of making a comment you may regret later.

Solomon explained that touching your spouse communicates, "We're on the same team. It's important for couples to have all kinds of touch in their relationship, not just a sexual touch," says Dr. In working with couples Dr. Solomon found that often, touch is an ask, "Do you want to make love? She recommends touching outside the bedroom which can reduce stress and help couples feel connected.

Happy couples accept that they are two different people and approach misunderstandings with curiosity rather than accusation. If evenings are hard because of kids and jobs, then you could also meet up during the day," says Dr. It is important to check in with each other and to think about your partner throughout the day. Solomon recommends that you should be aware of what your husband or wife is nervous or excited about and then ask questions about those feelings. Solomon suggests that if you feel upset about something your partner did, approach them in a descriptive rather than accusatory way.

She recommends thinking about, "this is what happened, and this the story I'm telling myself about what happened. When you feel upset about an issue Dr. Solomon recommends saying, "I'm feeling upset by this thing you did. Can you help me understand what's going on for you? She says that by approaching the situation with curiosity instead of judgment means that you understand that your husband has a different way of perceiving the world.

This will reduce conflicts and led to a better relationship.

Solomon found that couples that have a healthy married view disagreements as an opportunity to understand their partner's internal world instead of a fight that needs to be "won. If something is important, ask for it. Some of Dr. Solomon's clients will push back on this idea saying, "If I have to ask for it, it's meaningless. She further explains that when we don't ask for what we want, our need ends up coming out sideways, usually in the form of a complaint. Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree.

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She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. You can find her at Twitter CherylMaguire By Cheryl Maguire October 25, Save Pin FB More.

Credit: Getty Images. Solomon offered the following tips to help foster a healthy relationship with your partner. If you are the one that did something wrong then take responsibility for it and apologize. Be the first to comment! No comments yet.

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