The strongest unions may be the ones that focus on these five practical actionsSpontaneous getaways and supersize bouquets settle squabbles in rom-coms and other fantasy realms, but in the real world, romantic gestures aren't cure-alls for relationship woes. In fact, unromantic gestures can be the better salve. Because couples are marrying later and living together before they do, continual improvement of the partnership is more important (and effective) than quick fixes, says Lisa Thomas, a licensed marriage therapist in Colorado. Nobody is suggesting romance be killed off completely--far from it. It's just smart to add these unconventional strengtheners into the happy-couple mix.
Consider a Love Contract
The convention: Love should be spontaneous, not scripted.
The counter: "If you negotiate difficult issues up front, your relationship will have a much stronger footing," says Paul Hokemeyer, Ph.D., a Manhattan-based marriage therapist. See: cohabitation agreements increasing 39 percent in the past five years, per the American Academy of Matrimonial Read More »from 5 Non-Gushy Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship