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While you're chucking clothes you no longer wear and dusting the nooks and crannies no one will ever see, why not take a moment to give your relationship a spring clean, too? By tossing certain destructive habits — six, to be exact, recommended by a marriage therapist — you can make your marriage as sparkling as your freshly bleached counter tops.
Toss out: Complaining
"Although venting is important, constantly dwelling on the negative is exhausting and tiresome for our loved ones," explains Alisa Ruby Bash, a licensed marriage and family terapist. "Call your therapist, and leave your partner out of it."
Toss out: Bringing work problems home
"We all have bad days at work," says Bash. "But when you are constantly carrying work stress home, it will certainly interfere with the sanctity of your home life — which is supposed to be there to nourish and recharge you from the stress of work life."
Toss: Making promises lightly
"When you commit to anything with your spouse or your children, follow through," Bash says. "Aside from emergencies, make sure that they know that your word means something and that they can depend on you."
Toss: Being messy
"Act with the same amount of consideration that you would for your best friend or your boss," suggests Bash. "Clean up after yourself — don't leave a huge mess for your partner to clean."
Toss: Being unsupportive
"We all want to be accepted and encouraged by our partner," Bash says. "So try to always be their biggest fan. If you disagree with something they want to try, find your words carefully. Focus on their strengths and what made you fall in love with them."
Toss out: Letting yourself go
"If you want to be adored, cherished, and feel desired, then do your part to take care of yourself," says Bash. "It doesn't have to cost a lot or take too much time — just eat healthy, exercise, maintain good hygiene, and take care of yourself the way you did when you were first together. There are always excuses we can make about why we are too tired, too busy, too old, or too far-gone. But at the end of the day, they are just excuses."