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Health & Sex

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7 Marriage Tips to Stay Lucky in Love

Getting hitched on "lucky" 7-7-07? Besides luck, try this advice to have a happy marriage.

Marriage Tip No. 2: Replace the 7 deadly habits in a marriage with the 7 caring habits.

Learning the seven bad habits and the seven good ones is the easy part, admit William Glasser, MD, a Los Angeles psychiatrist, and his wife, Carleen Glasser, MA, who co-authored Eight Lessons for a HappierMarriage and include this idea in their book and counseling sessions. Putting them into practice takes effort, of course.

The seven deadly habits are criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing.

The seven caring habits include supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating your differences.

Marriage Tip No. 3: Take care of yourself.

This marriage tip is short and sweet: "Take care of yourself physically and spiritually," Brody tells couples.

That way, your stress will be down and your tolerance will be up. You'll be less likely to get on each other's nerves -- and to squabble. You're more likely to have a happy marriage.

Marriage Tip No. 4: Discuss outside friendships.

While some married couples consider activities such as workplace friendships with members of the opposite sex acceptable, some relationship experts disagree.

"I'm not big on cross-gender friendships for married people," Brody says. "It's playing with fire." One exception, in his book: If a wife has a friendship with a gay man or a husband has a friendship with a gay woman, he's fine with that, since the romance potential is nonexistent.

Otherwise, he says, the line is too easy and tempting to cross.

Marriage Tip No. 5: Stop trying to control your partner.

It's another one of those easier-said-than done marriage tips, of course. But trying to control each other -- using a technique psychologists call "external control" -- is the main source of marital unhappiness, according to the Glassers. In a happy marriage, partners know they cannot control each other.

You have practiced this "external control" if you have ever told your partner they need to behave the way you want them to or that you know what is right.

Learning not to control a partner can be a long process, but the Glassers offer some tips on educating yourself. "Think first," Carleen Glasser says. Ask yourself: "If I can only control my own behavior, what can I do to help the marriage?" Then think of what you can change to make the problem better, she suggests.

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