What was the Best Super Bowl Halftime Show of All Time?The key to a happy marriage is attentive listening, according to Lynn R. Zakeri, a licensed clinical social worker. “Making your partner heard and respected more often than not helps them feel cared about and loved” Zakeri said via email to The Cheat Sheet. “The problem is that this is difficult for us to do because if we disagree with what our partner says, accepting and validating their words will make it very difficult for us to do so.”

3. Understand the feelings of your partner

3/3.035 You don’t always have to agree with your partner but it is crucial that you understand that their feelings are true. You help validate their true emotions in that moment by letting your partner know this. In addition, this appreciation will help you as a team to get through the rough patches. Jennifer Weaver-Breitenbecher, psychotherapist and owner of Polaris Counseling Consulting, told The Cheat Sheet by email “You don’t need [ your spouse ] to understand why or even agree with you that you just need [ your spouse ] to respond to your emotions.”

4. Work as a team

3/3.036 You can work as a team together with your partner. Thinkstock.com I’ve been one of two people in a relationship since you said I was. This point of view includes seeing problems as being common to the couple rather than one partner’s domain. Any illness or setback of difficulty encountered by one member of the couple is the responsibility of the other partner,” Pillemer said. Not only will you support your partner by facing any and all challenges as a collective unit, but you will also improve the partnership.

5. Not stop cultivating your relationship

3/3.037 Be first friends and your marriage will be complete. | iStock.com/gpointstudio “First recognition that love and affection are the basis for a healthy marriage is important to both partners” Susan Block licensed marriage and family therapist told The Cheat Sheet. Despite friendship acting as the basis for any romantic relationship, there’s not much hope to get through the rough times you’re going through. 6.

3/3.038 Show gratitude Let your partner know how much you love them. iStock.com / Ridofranz You may be happy for your partner but he or she may have no idea until you actually express those feelings. Everyone has their own favorite language of love; a way that love is best shown and received. Because while you may instinctively think your partner understands just how much you love them that is not necessarily the case. In reality, Dr. Steve McGough, Women and Couples Wellness Research and Development Manager, told The Cheat Sheet via email that showing your partner how much you love them is crucial to a happy marriage. “Create a list of stuff you really admire and enjoy about [ your partner ] every week on a Saturday or Sunday morning etc ..” McGough suggests. He goes on to say that over time this daily practice of being thankful will eventually cause you to behave on a subconscious level more appreciative. 7.

Be ready to forgive

3/3.040 3/3.040 Couple holding hands on the sand. iStock.com Without these two essential components no connection will succeed. “Happiness in marriage comes from emotionally and physically feeling safe with each other,” a licensed marital and family therapist Gordon Brewer told us. “I like to tell clients that a healthy marriage is when each person can hand over his or her inner world to the other and know for certain that it will always be treated with kindness and compassion.” iStock.com It’s important to bring recurring problems to light in any relationship. There’s no way to solve issues if you and your family are more prone to pushing stuff under the rug and that can just lead to grudges. Melissa Divaris Thompson, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist, told The Cheat Sheet that the secret to a successful marriage is to clear up what was tucked under the carpet. “There is a dispute that happens so many times and a couple is trying to move on and not bring it up again,” Thompson said. “This is so troublesome because then, when the next disagreement occurs, the hurt feelings go deep and emerge. It becomes toxic, and can lead to your marriage feeling unhappy. “10. Regularly touch each other

3/3.042 3/3.042 Make an attempt to regularly touch each other. iStock.com Psychological attraction can disappear, so often the sensation of holding the partner can feel like hard work. But for decades to come, it will help keep your marriage alive. A certified master social worker, Kimberly Hershenson, told us in an email that physical contact is of utmost importance. “Whether it’s a kiss hello or snuggling goodbye on the couch or holding hands. Even non-sexual touching creates a bond between partners. “[ Editor’s note: This article was updated April 19, 2017 ]

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