A handful of love gurus share the worst mistakes they see married couples make — and how to avoid them.
11. Forget to say "please" or "thank you"
It may seem trivial, but the little things add up! Just as Allison Abrams, a psychotherapist and relationship expert in NYC:
"Gratitude is an essential part of a healthy relationship. Focus on the positive qualities of your partner and the strong aspects of the relationship rather than the flaws. Expressing gratitude for the good things helps to not only maintain respect and appreciation for one another, but is key to deeper intimacy."
12. Only celebrate the "little things"
Another side-effect of being married for years is the tendency to overlook minor celebrations, and anniversaries. Obviously you should strive to celebrate the bigger celebrations with more flamboyance, but that doesn't mean letting the other minor celebrations slip through the cracks.
"Everyone (usually) remember the big things like birthdays and anniversaries, but healthy couples also look for little ways to celebrate like getting a good review at work or having a baby finally sleep through the night," Margolis says.
13. Sweating the small stuff
In marriage, you have to grow some tough skin, and learn to let the little things go. There's too much going on in your lives to sweat the small stuff!
"Let go of the little things that bug you about your partner and instead focus on what you value about your relationship," says Kincaid.
14. Have a negative mindset
No one likes a "Negative Nancy"--you know the type. The kind of person who only focuses on the the negative side of things.
"Having a healthy relationship entails focusing on the positive qualities of your partner and of the relationship rather than the flaws. This is especially true during challenging times or conflicts when it's all too easy to get laser-focused on what's wrong," Alison Abrams claims.
15. Constantly criticizing or belittling your partner
"A healthy relationship includes supporting and accepting your partner for who they are, without judgment," Abrams says. "What it does not include is criticizing or belittling or trying to change someone. Once those behaviors enter into a relationship, it can be very difficult to recover."
16. Disrespect your spouse
No one likes to be undermined, and no one likes to be blatantly disrespected. After all, you're supposed to be a team, right?
"Respect for one another is a necessary ingredient for a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship without respect is like apple pie without the apples — it's just not possible!" says Abrams.
17. Refusing to compromise
As you can probably imagine, refusing to meet eye-to-eye on a constant basis can rub you (and your partner) the wrong way!
"Compromise is very important because it shows your significant other that you respect their feelings and desires. It's a guaranteed way to let them know that they are valued and the relationship is not one-sided," explains Dion Metzger, MD, a psychiatrist, professor and author of The Modern Trophy Wife.
18. Make your partner read your mind
Don't overwork your spouse, folks. Trying to read each other's minds is never a solid strategy and is the complete opposite of proper communication.
"Mind reading is a myth! You can't read your partner's mind and they can't read yours, no matter how much you love and 'know' each other. Say what you need — don't make them guess," advises Dattilo.
19. Having any semblance of contempt for your partner
"The biggest relationship killer is contempt. While it can be normal for one person to carry all the weight in the relationship for a brief time, those periods have to be negotiated and acknowledged in order to prevent resentment and other negative feelings," says Harold Jones, PhD, a licensed therapist.
20. Assume you know what your partner means
You know the saying, "If you assume, you make an a** of 'u' and 'me'".
"Everyone says communication is the key to any successful relationship. While this is true, it's really the type of communication and how it's performed that's critical to the success of the relationship," Jones says. "Understanding the words your partner is saying isn't necessarily the same as understanding what they mean. Instead of assuming, ask clarifying questions until you both understand."
21. Try to be right all the time
To err is human, moms and dads. You're not ever going to be right all of the time, so have some humility and embrace the fact that you're not all knowing.
We all know people who have to be right all the time and it's frustrating to deal with them. Know when to relinquish the need to be right in your conversations with your partner and try to listen to them," advises Thomas Gagliano, author of The Problem Was Me. "It's more important to maintain closeness than to be right."
Wanna know the rest of the things you should never do in a happy marriage? Click next and find out more!