POST 50
02/12/2014 07:03 am ET Updated Feb 12, 2014

9 Tips For A Great Relationship From Wildly Happy Long-Term Couples

Ebby May via Getty Images

Those of us who've managed to make it past the seven-year-itch milestone and go on to enjoy long-time -- and satisfying -- relationships know how hard it can be. (This senior editor has been married 23 years so I'm fully aware of the effort that goes into keep the flame alive after so many years together.) Some scientists say getting tipsy together is the glue that holds a couple together. Others say it's all about sexual evolution, arguing that decades in the missionary position just won't cut it.

Even I've written about the secret to a long marriage -- not taking your spouse for granted. But what do you think? We asked our Facebook fans how they keep their long-time marriages fresh and they didn't disappoint with their answers. Here are just nine of them below. Have your own ideas? Let us know in comments.

Mostly, we hope you'll use the upcoming Valentine's Day as a time to shine a new light on your relationship and to reflect on all the good in your partner.

1) "We simply decided that our marriage mattered more than anything else. He is a Democrat. I am a Republican. He is an atheist. I am a practicing Lutheran. He hates all vegetables. I eat anything. He doesn't want animals. I would love a pet. None of this is bigger than him and me. Our minds, goals and hearts are in sync," said Louise Butler.

2) "We started as best friends. The rest is compromise. Commitment. Love. Trust. Thirty-three years later and I still pinch myself. I can't believe how lucky I am and sometimes I think I'm dreaming. That's how it works for us. I'm so grateful each day for our relationship," said Donna Vesel Ryan.

3) "We acknowledge and maximize each other's strengths. We speak up right away when we see a problem and we celebrate something every day, even if it's the first episode of 'Downton Abbey'," said Denice Loritsch.

tom hanks and rita wilson

4) "Make each other laugh every day," said Susan Latuga.

5) "Date nights both out of the house and in. We like having a romantic dinner sometimes after our two girls go to bed. We have gone to bed angry but always wake up no longer angry. 'Love you's' all the time! I think the key to our marriage is always growing and growing together," said Linda Cowdrick Metzger.

6) "Give and take. Tolerance for our differences. God-centered marriage," said Rachel Cracken Herbig.

denzel washington and wife

7) "Sleep in separate bedrooms," said Stephannie Stewart.

8) "Greet your spouse warmly at the end of the day. Don't dump all your problems on them immediately. Talk to them like you would a friend," said Ann Ferrett.

9) "Effort is key. Effort to pay attention, listen, remain attractive, prepare oneself to be interesting. Most of all, conversation about the good or poor effort must occur," said Denice Loritsch.

kevin bacon and wife kyra

EARLIER ON HUFFPOST50:

PHOTO GALLERY
HuffPost
BEFORE YOU GO
Long-Term Relationship Advice From Readers
PHOTO GALLERY
Long-Term Relationship Advice From Readers

CONVERSATIONS