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How to Build a Strong Marriage

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Marriage is a tough job. Newlyweds have to build a strong foundation to help improve their chances of staying together and overcoming the challenges that most couples face. That's easier said than done. Most people don't know where to start. But this step-by-step guide should put you on the right path, so you can create a solid base for an enduring marriage -

Step 1 - See a Marriage Counselor

Couple together on beach.
Dougal Waters/Digital Vision/Getty Images

People think that couples only go to counseling because they are having problems. But counseling can help you prevent problems and learn to express yourselves and understand each other better from the get go. You don’t have to wait for issues to pile on to see a counselor.

Step 2 - Get marriage advice.

Many couples look to other couples they know (perhaps their parents or grandparents) as role models. When you get married, lots of people offer advice. Some will ring true for you, and some won’t. Pick and choose what works for you. Whatever you do, however, listen to the advice and give it a chance. You never know what someone else could teach you.

Step 3 - Improve communication.

Talking to each other about everything – from finances to where you should live – is a necessity in a marriage. But learning how to talk to each other without arguing or being insensitive is an art that takes practice, patience, and even training.

Step 4 - Anticipate the big issues.

Certain topics come up over and over again. Many couples fight over money, sex, household chores, and the in-laws. If the two of you anticipate these issues and discuss them before they snowball into bigger problems, you can keep emotional battles at bay.

Step 5 - Fight Fairly

Arguments will happen. They’re unavoidable. But you can make the most of an argument – and learn about one another and your individual stances on particular issues – if you argue fairly. On the most basic level, fighting fairly simply means to respect one another despite your differences.

Step 6 - Keep sex exciting.

A marriage without sex is no marriage at all. Maintaining romance and attraction for one another requires effort. Don’t be intimidated by it. After all, love, affection, and sex should be lots of fun.

Step 7 - Love each other.

From romantic gestures to love letters, you must demonstrate to your partner that he or she is your top priority. Putting him or her first and being affectionate are all ways that show you care.

Step 8 - Build trust.

As you go through the other steps, you will notice that you and your partner feel more secure in the relationship. Your goal should be to continue to make these bonds ever stronger. Ultimately, your job as a newlywed is to build trust, to prove yourselves to one another. You are working toward making a life-long connection and creating a family together.

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