How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage in 2014
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Happily Ever After1 of 13
By Sara Tan
January may have a reputation for being divorce month, but we're hoping to change that. With the help of relationship coach and Ready for Love star Matthew Hussey, we've created a simple guide for divorce-proofing your marriage in the new year, one month at a time.
January2 of 13
The Fresh Start Month: Use this first month of 2014 to wipe the slate clean and be open and honest about your needs, about the little (and big) things you'd like your partner to do. And if you're unsure about whether you are meeting their needs, then ask. You may both find out some things that are tough to hear, but the truths that emerge help you move forward.
February3 of 13
The Steamy Month: As winter drags on, make the most of February (and generate some of your own heat) by going to an upscale sex shop with your partner. If you've never done it, make it a surprise, suggests Hussey. Both of you should pick one present for the bedroom. You'll be so excited when you get home that any cabin fever you might have had will be instantly cured.
March4 of 13
The Affection Month: Not to be confused with The Bedroom Month, this month is all about showing your partner how much you love them holding hands, cuddling, hugging. Any kind of touch is powerful, both emotionally and physically. Make it a mission to do one act of affection a day that you normally wouldn't, like a 10 minute massage if your partner happened to have had a hard day at work.
April5 of 13
The Getaway Month: We don't always have the time for a full-blown vacation, but with one weekend you can break the monotony of six months of routine, says Hussey. Take advantage of the (hopefully) warmer weather that comes with spring and go somewhere you've never been—even if it's only an hour or two from home.
May6 of 13
The Friends & Family Month: Take the opportunity this month to bond more with the people your partner cares about, and to cultivate your couple friendships. Interacting with new people can give you both a fresh perspective on each other.
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June7 of 13
The Learning Month: It's time for you to take on a new project together. It could be visiting more museums and learning about 19th century art, or doing a book club for two. There's nothing quite like the feeling that you and your partner are growing and discovering new worlds together, and that's what this month is all about.
July8 of 13
The Cooking Month: Not only is there something primal about food, but the act of preparing meals together can be an experience that fosters teamwork and bonding. Enjoy the fresh produce that's available during the summer to create dishes that are as yummy as they are healthy.
August9 of 13
The Bonding Month: This month is all about spending time bonding with your partner. You don't have to do anything too deep and meaningful, or anything that requires too much effort; just make it a ritual to spend an hour a night with them doing something you can both do together. It can be as simple as picking a TV series you both want to watch together. With the Fall TV season starting in August, there should be plenty of premieres to choose from.
September10 of 13
The Apology Month: Apologies go a long, long way in a relationship. So this month, you're going to get really good at it. If you feel like you screwed up, don't sit back and wait for it to blow over without ever having said a word. Apologize whole-heartedly. Tell your partner you love them more than anything and make them feel completely safe—and then move on.
October11 of 13
The Thoughtful Month: Yes, every month of the year should be thoughtful, but this month devote a little extra to going out of your way for your partner. Surprise them with a sweet, just-because-I-love-you text or pick up their favorite dessert on the way home from work. Make them feel special, and they'll want to do special things for you.
November12 of 13
The Appreciation Month: Too often we put our partners down for what they do wrong each day, but never stop and appreciate them for what they do right. This month is about focusing on all of the qualities that you value in your partner. Recognize all of the little things they do, appreciate their quirks, and celebrate your differences.
December13 of 13
The Supportive Month: The holidays can be stressful, so make sure that you have each other's back throughout December. Balance family-and-friends time with your own quality couple-time to ensure you finish the year strong.