Follow These Tips To Make Your Marriage Last

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Getting married means getting serious about commitment. John Aiken, psychologist and host of TV show Making Couples Happy, takes us through making relationships work long-term.



From the word go in a relationship, do little things daily and often, rather than infrequent big grand gestures. That way you create a culture of positivity and a solid friendship. Start with how you talk to each other — every day check in and debrief. Most importantly, put the stress on listening rather than giving solutions so you are siding with your partner. Throughout or at the end of the day, say three things that you appreciate about them — the clothes they wore, that they picked up the kids or sorted out their phone bill. Make sure there is a lot of fondness and appreciation happening.


When you raise an issue, do it softly. Good listening comes from good talking. Use “I feel” statements and avoid using statements like “always” and “never”. Make sure your tone is soft because how you start a conversation will direct how it is going to go.


Whenever you leave or come home, stop what you are doing and come together to say hello or goodbye, even if it is just for a few minutes. It says “you are important to me and I want to acknowledge that”. You also want to have rituals of connection, such as a morning cup of tea or Saturday morning walk together.


Prioritise non-sexual touch such as cuddling, hand holding and walking down the street with an arm around your partner. It’s not leading to sex but is just as important.


Share the housework. That is a great way to show fairness and equality. Enough said.


Nail down relationship expectations and values. Share what is a deal breaker to you, such as infidelity, private schooling, drugs or alcohol, anything you can think of that is very important for you. You want to have that question and answer session before you get married. Create a shared vision — how many kids you want, your approach to fi nances, where you want to live, your goals and viewson travel, health, socialising and fitness.

Find more relationship advice from John Aiken, plus information about his couples retreats, at


Different Date Night

Keep things interesting with “surrender” dates, where you let your partner completely direct the date — from what you wear to where you go. The next time will be your turn. You might have to sit through a Sylvester Stallone movie marathon or rugby game, but it’s a fun way to discover your partner’s likes and to try new things.


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