Marriage Tips

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Spend five UNINTERRUPTED minutes each day talking with your partner about something other than kids, work, or to-dos.

Allot time on the weekend for some fun together. Going one step further— try doing something you haven’t done before.

Do your best to not turn molehills into mountains. Learn to let unimportant things go.

Know that complaining, as tempting as it is, doesn’t solve problems. Try being creative and proactive in your solution seeking.

Apologize when appropriate.

Accept apologies gracefully.

• Question your assumptions, especially about your partner’s motives.

• Recognize that when one of you wins and the other loses, you both lose.

• Rather than criticize or complain, make a request.

• Flirt like you did when you were dating.

• Acknowledge your partner’s earnest efforts to change.

• Choose kindness.

• When things go off course, pause, take a breath and approach your conflict from a steadier place.

• Focus your attention on your contribution to your relationship difficulties rather than your partner’s contribution.

• Turn off your cell phones and other electronic toys after 9 p.m.

For more marriage tips, use the sign-up button to the right or below to get my free article:

75 Ways To Improve Your Relationship Starting Today

24 thoughts on “Marriage Tips

  1. Hi Janet

    I like them all, but one thing that couples forget is to talk about them, always we talk about kids, but what about us?

    “UNINTERRUPTED minutes each day talking with your partner about something other than kids, work or to-dos.”

    good post.


  2. Hi Winnifred, I signed up for your site a couple of years ago, but would like to access the article on 75 ways to Improve Your Relationship. It seems the only way to access it, is to sign up, so I cannot get to it. Could you forward the article to me please.


    • Yes – I just sent it. Sometimes people sign up but if they have a WordPress account I just get their name and no email.
      Thanks for being a loyal reader. I’ll be blogging again soon once I recover from the crazy amount of work that it took to finish my book and now publicize it.


  3. Dear Mrs. Reilly
    Thank you so much for your great article in the
    June 2018 Readers Digest. I Love it!!
    We will be married 45 years this year.


  4. Here’s another variation tip that, as a man, has driven me nuts for years: If you REALLY want something, don’t comment, hint, suggest or imply. Make the request. The grass is getting long is not the same as please cut the grass by tomorrow. Life is too short and busy to have to always figure out what you actually mean.


    • I can see why that drives you nuts. Many of us learn to ask indirectly as children, either observing a parent do that or discovering that asking for things invites trouble. Any idea why she doesn’t just say honey could you please mow the grass today?


  5. What do you do if your spouse just doesn’t want to be around you? We haven’t had any dramatic issues or cheating or anything, but he was always one who enjoyed his freedom. He doesn’t want to spend time together, he wants to spend time alone. We speak few words to one another that aren’t purely functional and given the opportunity for a date night away from our very young kids, he chooses to do something he wants to do versus doing something together. He is “sick of” (his words) our humdrum life of nothing but “kids/work/chores”, and unfortunately that includes me. How do I help our marriage?


    • Sounds very difficult. Especially with little kids. Does he spend time with them, or has he stepped away from the family as a whole?

      No matter what any of us do, we can’t make someone want to be with us. We can certainly behave in ways that make them want to distance themselves and we can behave in ways that are welcoming. But beyond that, we can’t make someone put their heart and two feet in to a marriage when they don’t want to.

      One of the questions I ask clients who sound like your husband is this: so do you think you made a mistake getting married, having a family, picking this particular woman? If they say yes I ask whether there were any signs early on that gave them pause, and if so, why did they ignore them? I might also ask what made him decide to have kids? Did he feel forced or just not think enough about what it would be like.

      Only occasionally do people say they make a mistake. Most often, married life/ family life is simply harder than they expected.

      I know this doesn’t give you much to go on.

      My only advice is see if he can talk honestly about his willingness to be married. One foot out? Two feet out. It afraid to say so? You can certainly say that you want to be married to him and you can say why. Key, however, is that if you want to stay married, resist any urge you have to push him to decide. It’s his work.

      Wishing you the best,


  6. Hi I signed up but unable to access the 75 ways to improve your relationship. Can you please email to me? Just listened to your podcast with Citrus Love. Really enjoyed it. Thanks so much.


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