Odyssey of Marriage

5 Easy Steps for a Happier Relationship

Simple tips to help you and your partner feel happier and more connected with one another!

  • It's the Little Things

    It's the Little Things

    As of this month, my husband and I have been married for fifteen years.

    Fifteen years.

    One. Five.

    I haven't been able to stick with anything for more than a few months and yet my husband hasn't been able to shake me loose. And trust me, I'm pretty sure he's tried.

    We've actually been together for 21 years but when I tell people I've been with my husband since I was fifteen years old they tend to look at me with a combination of horror and pity. I promise you, I'm not crazy and yes it is possible to meet the man you are going to spend the rest of your life with when you are a teenager.

    Coincidentally, I have a 15-year-old daughter. The idea that she may meet some boy and stay with him the rest of her life, have his babies and generally settle down with some pubescent teen punk makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.

    Hypocrisy. It is my middle name.

    Related: 5 lessons learned from 18 years of marriage

    But in all fairness, if you had told me that I'd have met th

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  • How does your relationship affect your kids?

    How does your relationship affect your kids?

    We know that how we treat our little ones is important to their well-being. And we've heard plenty about whether or not kids make us happy. Yet there's a piece of the family puzzle that doesn't get as much airtime: how our marriage affects our kids' development. We don't talk about it as much, maybe because we see the couples' relationship as a separate entity.

    But it isn't. How we behave with our partners, both overtly and subtly, makes a big difference to our kids, even if they aren't directly involved in the interactions at all. Our kids are always watching, learning, and modeling as they figure out the world. The dynamic between their two favorite people is a big part of that process.


    Many studies show that high marital conflict is associated with emotional and behavioral problems in kids (although how a child responds depends a lot on her own make up). But lately researchers have seen that it's not really the fact of arguing, but the way we argue that affects

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  • It's time to put relationship tips to the test

    It's time to put relationship tips to the test

    I barely have time to shave my legs, let alone think of fun and creative ways to freshen up my marriage.

    Try as I might to squeeze in a sweet text or a loving Post-It to my husband, sometimes I can't even manage to do that much. Thirteen years of marriage and a couple of kids have made it pretty easy to sit back and trust that my husband knows how much I love him. But was that enough? Probably not.

    Since I'm not a love doctor, I took to the internet for advice on how to give my slightly saggy marriage a little nip and tuck. So when I came across Psychology Today's 10 Ways to Perk Up Your Relationship, I was up for the challenge. Check out the 7 ways I attempted to perk up my marriage, along with my husband's somewhat mixed reactions.

    Be grateful

    Be grateful

    1. Be grateful

    According to psychologist Sarah Algoe, gratitude has the ability to boost positive emotion into relationships. Gratitude was certainly worth a try. After a particularly trying day, my husband came home late from work. Under normal circums

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  • Despite being paid for leave, some women skimp on maternity time to head back to work.

    Thanks to Bravo, housewives are a big hit on the reality TV circuit these days. But in real life, unscripted women are hard at work balancing being wives, mother and full-time employees.

    A study by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that a majority of first-time, working mothers are receiving paid maternity leave. This is the first time this has happened since the government began tracking that data, which was back in the early 80s. Women with college educations reap even more of a benefit; ladies with bachelor's degrees or higher are more likely to get paid maternity leave than those with less than a high school diploma.

    Interestingly, it was also found that despite that perk of paid leave, many mothers are working later and later into their pregnancies - and returning to work sooner than mothers in previous generations did.

    It's all a reflection of economic struggles, according to experts in the field. More and more often, families are relying on women to be primary breadwinners, which

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  • You have nothing to lose and a happier relationship to gain.

    Relationships and marriage take more work than we ever imagined. They challenge us to look at our own foibles, fears, and personal struggles deep within. I have seen people push through intense pain and disappointment in their marriage and come out on the other end to find their relationship on a better level, one which they never imagined possible. However, no growth is gained without discomfort and struggle.

    I have also seen people who ultimately choose to formally exit their marriage because even after looking deep within and giving the marriage a fighting chance, they must accept the sobering fact that their chance to grow as a couple is close to impossible due to their partner's dysfunctional limitations. Yet, the silver lining for many of these folks is that they ultimately enter a new relationship or marriage where they are able to do the hard work with a new partner who is willing to work as hard as they are. Read More: A Smart Tip to Having Less Drama in Your Relationship


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