Being a happy couple should come naturally, but it sometimes it doesn’t. Here are a few things you can do to boost your romantic life and make your relationship bulletproof.

Argue respectfully. No name-calling, belittling, threatening the relationship or bullying. You will have fights. They are part of life and they are uncomfortable. But there’s no need to make them more uncomfortable than they need to be.

Stay affectionate even if you aren’t sexual. Couples go through times when they have little or no sex. Affection, however, should not stop. If, for some reason, you are withholding sex as a punishment for some resentment you are carrying, you need to seek therapy. The resentment you’re harboring will only push the two of you further apart.

Have adventures. Go to places the two of you have never gone before. Research shows that having new experiences together brings you together as a couple.

Be nice to your in-laws. Don’t make them outlaws, make them friends. All it takes is being nice to them and not letting their quirks get to you. You have your own quirks, so be tolerant. As you go through life with these people, they will become easier to be around. They will become your family.

Don’t hold grudges. Don’t hold onto the little things that bug you about the one you love. If it becomes an ingrained habit to hate that part of your partner, it will taint the rest of your marriage.

Share decisionmaking. Don’t make major decisions that affect your lifestyle until you talk to your partner.

Share your love. Children, pets, friends and family will all help you increase your love. The more you give, the more you have to give.

 

These simple suggestions require that you have an open heart and that you want to make things better. Couples who strive to make their relationships kinder have a much better time together than those who just stay with the status quo and let negative feelings fester.

 

Barton Goldsmith, a California psychotherapist, is the author of “The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time.”