The 3 Rituals You and Your Partner Should Practice for a Healthier Marriage

According to the pros, this is the secret ingredient to a happier relationship.
sophie ross the knot bridal fashion and beauty expert
Sophie Ross
sophie ross the knot bridal fashion and beauty expert
Sophie Ross
Bridal Fashion and Beauty Expert
  • Sophie Ross is a Senior Copywriter at Adore Me.
  • Sophie is an experienced style and beauty writer.
  • Sophie worked as an Associate Editor for The Knot from 2017 to 2019.
Updated Apr 12, 2019

We now know that divorce rates are down due to millennials—but what's the secret to staying together?

According to relationship counselor and life coach Jennifer Longmore, it starts with focusing on your partner's happiness—which may sound obvious, but it's a little more complex than you think.

Concentrating on your partner's well-being doesn't necessarily mean putting their happiness before yours at all costs, or being the only source of your partner's contentment. It really comes down to a matter of asking yourself three questions every single day. According to Longmore, making the following prompts a daily ritual for yourself is a proven way to boost relationship satisfaction—read them below.

1. "How can I put a smile on my partner's face today?"

It's a simple—and borderline elementary—question, but starting your day by asking yourself this will automatically make you more conscientious of your interactions with your partner throughout the day. "It allows them to feel like you're a soft place to land in a not-so-soft world," Longmore says. Pretty sweet, right?

Little acts of kindness (and marginally cheesy romanticism) will do the trick. Think things like putting a love note in their pocket as they leave for work, giving them a quick neck rub, snuggling for a few extra minutes before getting out of bed and so on. "Small gestures can have a big impact," Longmore says.

2. "How can I make my partner's day easier?"

You have your own to-do list, of course—but try picking just one thing off your partner's to lighten their load. Maybe it's running an errand, paying a bill or just tabling a conversation that can wait for another day when they return home exhausted from a long day at work.

The list goes on (and go ahead and ask them if you can't think of anything), but the point is, life is stressful. Taking a little weight off your partner's shoulders will go a long way.

3. "What can I tell my partner that I appreciate about them?"

We live in a fast-paced world, and it's easy to get tied up and swept up bouncing from one thing to the next. But one thing you shouldn't let fall by the wayside during the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Expressing gratitude.

"Partners who feel appreciated show up with a more collaborative spirit in their marriage while partners who feel criticized and underappreciated begin to withdraw," says Longmore. "Finding things to appreciate your partner for daily helps create a happy and healthy relationship—I've seen this be true with every single couple I've coached over the years."

Essentially, you should let your partner know daily how much you appreciate them, either with specific and sincere words of affirmation or acts of kindness (like a coffee, a surprise gift or just letting them sleep in while you make the kids breakfast). "It's the most potent secret ingredient to having a happy marriage for life," Longmore says.

Download Lasting, a science-based app dedicated to improving the health of your relationship.

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