When it comes to staying married, love isn’t all you need! That’s according to Dr. Howard Markman, author of Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love. Markman believes the 2 qualities that really make marriages last are communication and friendship. So, here are his 3 steps to making sure you have plenty of both.

  • Avoid blowouts. Agree that whenever someone loses their temper you’ll immediately call timeout and revisit the issue later. Then during the break, make a real effort to see the issue from your spouse’s point of view. That makes it easier to compromise when you reconvene.
  • Get out the scrapbook. Markman suggests that every couple spend time reminiscing about what brought theme together in the first place. Then, make room in your life to enjoy some of your old activities. Nurturing the fun parts of your relationship is like a buffer when the going gets tough.  
  • Plan ahead. This isn’t about who’s taking the kids to soccer on Tuesday. It’s about having long-term goals. Snuggling on the sofa and dreaming about the future strengthens your sense of commitment. Want to learn more? Check out Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting Love by Howard Markman.