A Happy Marriage.

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First, any relationship — not just marriage — can benefit from these. secrets. Second, most of the secrets involve fun, not work, and we believe you shouldn’t look at them as work.

THEY DO INVOLVE FOCUSING YOUR ATTENTION ON YOUR MARRIAGE and your partner and not letting the partnership slide into a boring routine, but that’s not work . After all, we rarely call the really fun and pleasant things in our lives work even if we put some effort into making them fun and pleasant. RIGHT?

First, let’s look at how you and your partner communicate.

Is it mostly just grunts and complaints? Do you refuse to listen and respond when you are watching tv or reading the paper? Do you reserve your attention and free communication time for others?

Then this is a good starting point for perking up your relationship. Right. But if you haven’t been communicating for a while, how do you begin now? One good way to re-establish communication is to make a date for the weekend just the two of you, no kids, friends, or relatives. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive — just nice, comfortable, and private. Now, private can mean a busy crowded hotel, IF that’s what you both like and you’ll be alone together without friends and family to demand your attention. Or, if you both enjoy it, you could go camping instead of going to a hotel. Together you will decide where you’ll go on this first date of your new relationship.


But just going somewhere and being alone together won’t do the trick. Make it fun! Pretend you both are just getting to know each other, which in truth you probably are if you haven’t been communicating lately. Talk to each other and listen to each other —but no talk about kids, dental bills, mortgages, or the things about your partner that irritate you. Sure, even in a happy marriage these things need to be discussed, but not this weekend. Right now you are probably thinking, “what the heck will we talk about then?”

Well, remember this weekend is a date. Talk about fun, pleasant things. Tell each other jokes. Speculate about the strangers you see. Make it funny and laugh a lot. Share the fun and humorous things that have happened in your life, even from back when you were a mere child.

Or, get sentimental and reminisce about the warm, happy times you’ve shared: your first date, your wedding day, the births of your beautiful children, your first apartment, your first house, your first honeymoon., etc., etc.

Just remember, you are getting to know each other. Do not turn on the tv for the entire weekend. Make it your goal to laugh often and, as we all do early in a new courtship, be your best. Dress to impress your partner, behave to impress, and be sparkling and cheerful. You want your partner to have a good time

Now, once the weekend is over, don’t forget about it.

You have a good start ----keep it up! Keep talking and listening to each other and keep it light and fun. When you hear a good joke or something funny happens, remember to share it with your partner, Sharing humor gives your partner a chance to enjoy it and you an opportunity to laugh about it again, It also lets the two of you LAUGH TOGETHER and that’s very important in a happy relationship.

Another thing to continue after your weekend together is dressing to impress.

Well, right, you can’t run around the house in formal wear all of the time, but you can be neat and clean. If you work at a dirty job, clean up when you get home. In the bedroom where no one sees you but your partner, don’t wear “old rags.” Wear nice attractive sleepwear, provocative and sexy things ---— or nothing at all, if that’s what suits you.

But the main thing to continue afte’r your weekend date is making some time for each other --— alone. “Steal” some time for each other EVERY DAY. Make it a quality time for communicating — an uninterrupted time without tv the or kids. Even if your busy schedule will allow only 15 minutes a day, do it. But give each other your undivided attention. Do it every day and talk and listen ---— nothing else, not even sex.

Well, no sex during your communication time, but sex really is a grand form of communication and is also extremely important to a happy marriage. In fact, another quick and easy way to perk up your marriage is by rejuvenating your sex life.

A good way to begin a “perk-up-your-sex-life project” is to learn to say “I love you” again ---— without sex. In many stale marriages, I love you is never uttered outside the sex act. Yes, I agree, that is one good time to say it, but people need to feel loved at other times, too. A little pat or hug and a whispered “I love you” at any time of day can cheer up both the receiver and giver. Daytime l-love-yous can make your partner feel really loved and appreciated.

Another neat way to say I love you is in a little note left where your partner will find it. Now, we aren’t talking about the kind of note that says, “Don’t forget to take the garbage out. P.S. I love you.” Those are OK, but a person could get hung up on the garbage and never really get to the I love you part. So sometimes, just try a little note that says, “You are special, and I love you” or just simply “I love you.”

Learning to say “I love you” without sex is fun and really does help to rejuvenate your sex life. When you and your partner feel really loved and appreciated, sex becomes more natural and much fun.

Another way to spice up your sex life is to pretend you are having sex problems and set up several “discovery sessions” with a rule that the sessions cannot culminate in intercourse. Just explore and tell each other which caresses you like best. Relax and enjoy. You might like to follow the program for non-orgasmic women as described elsewhere in this book. After a few “discovery sessions,” set up a special night for lovemaking.

Plan to meet at a motel or hotel, It’ll be more exciting if you arrive separately. Prepare for the evening — be rested, bring sexy nightwear — make it special. Have some wine or soft drinks and cheese and crackers available. Enjoy!

Or, pack the kids off to Grandma’s and make it a special night at home but devote the night to each other. Make sure there will be no interruptions and don’t turn on the tv.

Buying a sex manual can perk up a marriage, too. If you page through it together, it can open up topics for discussion that neither of you dared to bring up before. It can give you an opportunity to find out how your partner feels about certain other positions or acts you may be curious about. A manual can make you feel very adventurous and encourage explorations that may add spice to your sex life.

Just as it is important to make time to communicate, it s important to make time for sex. With today’s busy schedules, people often find it difficult to find a quiet and private time for sex. By the time they are ready to settle down for the evening they are just too tired to enjoy sex. Make time. Send the kids to a babysitter for the evening or bring a sitter into your home and go to a motel. Try morning sex. This is a wonderful time for sex. You are rested and relaxed after a night’s sleep. You will feel loved and happier all day . Be sure, though, to set your alarm plenty early to allow for a relaxed, unrushed time together.

Together time is very important to a happier marriage, but now we’ll suggest just the opposite. You need some time apart, as well. It is good for a marriage if EACH partner spends some time on fun things with other people. Too much togetherness can make a marriage very stale. The apart-time will give you a sense of freedom you’ll feel less tied down. It is important to tell your partner about your apart-time activities, share the fun and humorous things that happen. It is extremely important that EACH partner has some apart-time. If only one of you has some apart-time, it will cause more problems in the marriage.

Some, but not all, of your apart-time might be used to visit your parents. Spend some time alone with them. It is good for you and good for your parents. You will not have them forever, remember! It could be very good for your marriage, too, especially if your partner doesn’t like the in-laws. It could mean your parents will get more attention with less strain on your marriage.

All marriages, even the really happy ones, suffer stress at times.

During those times, you can declare a ‘Husband’s Day, ” a “Wife’s Day,” or a ‘Consideration Week” to relieve the stress . A Husband’s Day or Wife’s Day is like a Mother’s or Father’s Day, only it doesn’t involve the kids — just your spouse. It should be a day when you pamper your partner. Some suggestions: a gift, flowers, special dinner, night out, or a decorated cake -anything that shows your appreciation and love. Just use your imagination a little. Consideration Week is a full week of the same sort of considerate acts. The rule is that each partner must do at least one special thing for the other each day for a week.

Sometimes, though, even in the best relationships, you’ve just got to have a fight to let off steam. The trick at those times is to fight fair. This means, of course, no name calling. It also means to stick to the issue at hand. Don’t dredge up things from the past. Don’t personalize things. For instance, if you don’t like the way your partner leaves laundry scattered in the bathroom, make it clear that he is OK and you still love him even though you hate the way he leaves his laundry on the floor. Attack the behavior, if you must, but don’t attack the person. keep an “I’m on your side” attitude: Some things you do bug me, but I’m on your side and I love you. Fair fighting doesn’t threaten a relationship as much as dirty fighting and is much more effective. Issues can often actually be resolved through fair fighting. After a fair fight, a relationship can settle back down more As you adopt new behavior techniques within your marriage, you’ll be surprised at how much happier your marriage will become.

You’ll probably start thinking about renewing your vows and taking another honeymoon. Both are wonderful ideas! Renewing your vows does not have to be done formally . It can be done any time. For instance, sitting alone together and holding hands, you can re-dedicate yourselves to one another. Likewise, a honey-moon can be any time. In fact, we suggest one every year. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or even very long, but it is important that it be called a honeymoon and without kids or friends tagging along. It’s what you call it and the attitude about it that make it different from just a trip or a vacation.

In fact, what you call it and your attitude about it make a marriage what it is. If you both call it a happy marriage and shape your attitudes accordingly, you’ll soon have a happy marriage. Any relationship can improve with a little effort. When your primary relationship is happier, your whole life is brighter. It’s worth a little more effort---— go for it!



Copyright @ MCMXCVIII (Pgs .87-92)

by: American Publishing Corporation.

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