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Maggie Reyes is a life coach, writer, and the founder of ModernMarried.com. She helps newlyweds re-think how deep, rich, and fabulous married life can be. Here, she asks divorce expert Kimberly Graham from Graham Law Collaborative to share her top tips for a happy marriage. After all, Graham certainly understands what doesn't work!
1. Look in the Mirror
Graham says whatever issue or argument you are having always comes back to you what you can control and to remember the only thing you can control is you. Your actions and reactions are in your hands. Whenever something is going wrong — look in the mirror first.
2. Do not blame or criticize
Relentless blame and criticism is one of the worst things for a relationship according to Graham. When someone can list everything their partner has done wrong but not a single thing they have done to contribute to the situation, it's never a good sign. When in doubt, refer back to number one.
3. Be Happy
Simply put, you can't create a happy marriage when you are miserable. Before becoming a lawyer, Graham was a flight attendant for several years and she says, the oxygen mask rule applies both on planes and in marriages: "Put your mask on first, and then assist others." You can't be loving, supportive, and patient if you are not taking care of yourself first.
4. Have Sex
This one is essential: A strong, healthy marriage requires a dose of physical intimacy on a regular basis. "Ask him how often is often enough. If it's too little or too much for you, then find a compromise," notes Graham. "When you have sex often, you create a reserve of forgiveness and compassion for one another."
5. Talk About Money
Approximately 80 percent of the couples Graham consults say that money issues are the reason for the divorce. She suggests reading books on the topic, getting professional advice, and having regular money dates to map out your monetary goals and to discuss how you will accomplish them together as a unit.