Why do we do it? Nobody needs to get married, not anymore, and nobody needs to stay married. Yet at some point in our lives, two thirds of all American men will commit ourselves to one woman (or, increasingly, to one man), for better or worse, even though we realize that if a couple nice kids like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver can't make it work, what chance do the rest of us have? And yet we do it anyway, and the question must be asked: Why do we get married?
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Because you love her. Because you like her. Because she wants to. Because kids sound nice. Because she doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Because you don't want her to go anywhere. Mostly, though, it's because you love her, and that's as good a reason as any. And because of that - and in case Arnold and Maria still might be able to work this all out - we asked Jim Fannin, who has worked with athletes (A-Rod, Olympic gold medalists) and CEOs on improving mental performance using his trademark 90-Second Rule, to recommend a three-step approach to a more satisfying marriage. All it takes, it turns out, is a little time.
First thing, take ninety seconds to give her the greatest good morning possible: "Good morning. I love you." And if she's asleep, you can lower your voice and whisper, "I love you. Have an awesome day." She'll hear you anyway.
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Right when you get home, focus on her for a full ninety seconds. If she's happy, you go happy; if she's low, you go low, and make sure you look her in the eyes long enough to discern her eye color. This says, I value you, I need you.
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Sometime during the last thirty minutes before bed, take ninety seconds to engage fully with her. Do not talk about children, money, or work. Don't talk about the past at all. Look at her, stroke her hair, snuggle up to her, tell her you love her.
Ninety seconds in the morning, ninety seconds after work (or any time you've been away from her for at least two hours), and ninety seconds at night. That's how you bond. After seven to ten days, the marriage will change.
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