Melisa Russo and her husband go way back - they met in middle school and went to senior prom together. They ran into each other at their ten-year high school reunion, and by the next Christmas were engaged. Happily married with two daughters, two dogs, and a house in the burbs, Melisa divulges how she and her husband maintain a satisfying relationship.
1. If you have small children at home or are expecting, remember this rule: Nothing you or your spouse say to one another during the first few months of your baby's life counts. You are both sleep deprived and cannot be held responsible for things said or done at three in the morning. This rule repeats itself during the terrible twos and curfew-breaking teen years, as well.
2. Master at least one specialty dish that you can cook flawlessly, even if it's nothing more than a breaded chicken cutlet. Cook this dish when your spouse has had a bad day at work or you've accidentally maxed out your credit card. A bitter pill is easier to swallow on a well-fed stomach.
3. Remember how fun it was to get a call from your significant other when you first started dating? Recreate that feeling by sending your spouse a funny text or leaving a sweet card somewhere unexpected, like his glove compartment or underwear drawer.
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4. Speaking of undies, throw out your ratty panties, three-year-old bra, and spaghetti-sauce-stained sweatpants that you've had since college. If you wouldn't wear it on a night out with the girls, logic dictates that your husband should be spared of its presence, as well.
5. The minute you start seething at the sight of your spouse, plan a date night. Get back to your roots as a couple, the lighthearted people you were before mortgages, children, and 401ks became the subject of your daily conversations.
6. Hold hands as often as possible.
Melisa Russo is an event planner, freelance copywriter, and maintains the popular blog, The Lil Bee.
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