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12 Ways to Keep Your Love Alive

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Dr. Gary Smalley believes there are 12 ways that can help keep the love alive in any marriage. Here they are:

1. Praise is such a great gift, and it's so easy to give. So look at the things that make your spouse and others unique and develop the habit of praising them for those special things.

2. Every painful trial is like an oyster, and there is a precious pearl—a personal benefit—in every one; every single one.

3. Don't go it alone. Welcome fresh insights of other perspectives—from extended family, friends, good marriage books, or a qualified marriage counselor.

4. In a mutually satisfying relationship, both people's needs are expressed, and they have the flexibility to give and take.

5. Honor goes hand in glove with love, a verb whose very definition is doing worthwhile things for someone who is valuable to us.

6. All our trials, great and small, can bring more of the two best things in life: love for life and love for others.

7. Oneness does not mean that one mate dominates the other or that the stronger controls the weaker.

8. Anger is our choice. We can choose to see its powerful potential for destruction and take steps to reduce it within us. Otherwise, it's and iceberg sinking our love.

9. Better understanding of the motivations and actions that grow out of our basic personalities can help us achieve personal and marital satisfaction.

10. Sharing deep feelings with each other is emotional intercourse, and it's vital to sexual satisfaction.

11. As we reach out to another, our own needs for fulfillment and love are met.

12. Give seven or more praises for every one fault-finding suggestion.

© Copyright 2005 Smalley Institute. Used by permission.

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About The Author


Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the Vice President of Marriage at Focus on the Family. He is the author of twelve books including Crazy Little Thing Called Marriage, Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage, and is the co-author of The DNA of Relationships for Couples.