As we get closer to the New Year, everyone is making New Year's resolutions. The following are 13 ways to have a better marriage in 2013:
1. Communicate with your spouse. Do not ignore your spouse. This includes no longer talking or sharing thoughts and ideas. You become like ships passing in the night.
2. Tell your spouse that you love him or her. You do not have to wait for special occasions to try to make every day special.
3. Give your spouse space when he or she needs it. I have seen so many cases over the years where one spouse will not allow the other to have any room or air to breath. Everyone needs space for a healthy relationship.
4. Always have the last words in an argument and they are, "You are right dear". Try not to go to bed mad.
5. Celebrate special occasions -- birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Sweetest Day. Do not forget these occasions and don't ignore them.
6. Take time out from your schedule for your family. If you don't, you may lose your family. It is amazing how fast time flies. Don't lose track of your spouse. Don't lose track of your children. Do things with your spouse and children on a regular basis.
7. Have alone time. Go on trips alone with your spouse. It is amazing how a getaway, even for a weekend, can rejuvenate your relationship.
8. Do not lie to your spouse. It is amazing how a little lie will grow into something that becomes out of control.
9. Do not berate or attack your spouse. You would be amazed at how many cases I see where one spouse is constantly berating and saying negative things about the other spouse. This can be not only face-to-face but in front of other people and in front of the children. Never do this.
10. Be positive and not negative. It is better to see that the glass is half full and not half empty in your marriage.
11. Financial issues are a key reason for the break-up of a marriage. Be open. Discuss them. If you are making a major decision regarding finances, do not do it on your own.
12. Respect your spouse. If you don't respect your spouse, then your marriage is probably doomed.
13. Last but not least, at least for this list, learn to forgive. Do not carry a grudge. Move on as we all make mistakes. You would be amazed at how many people will tell me complaints about incidents that happened years ago and are still allowed to fester.
This is my list. What is yours?