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    The 4 Secrets to Having a Spectacular Marriage

    Take 10

    A weekly date night is always recommended as a way to reconnect, but sometimes all you need is a few minutes. "I call this the 10-Minute Rule: Take 10 minutes a day to talk about anything — except for kids, responsibilities, or chores," Orbuch says. Throw out Mom's old advice about how an air of mystery keeps the flame alive: Orbuch's research showed that 98 percent of happy couples say they intimately understand their partners. And knowing your spouse intimately isn't always about engaging in heavy conversations: Anything that helps you learn something new will bring you closer, Orbuch says. You can bond over why you think your dog is the smartest one on your block or which superpower you'd want most. You'll get to know each other's inner world and strengthen your bond of happiness.

    Focus on the Good

    The best way to make your relationship better is to work at fixing what's wrong, right? Nope. "The most effective way to boost fun and passion is to add positive elements to your marriage," Orbuch says. "That positive energy makes us feel good and motivates us to keep going in that direction." This doesn't mean that you can't feel — or talk about — anything negative, but "pretend you are weighing your interactions on a scale," she says. "If you want a happier relationship, the positive side needs to far outweigh the bad." The more you honor the love and joy in your bond, the sooner you'll transform your marriage into one that is truly great.

    Originally published on October 20, 2009

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