If you feel like satisfaction with your marriage is on the wane, you’re not alone. Researchers say satisfaction with marriage has been declining over the last four decades. If you’re juggling parenting and work and your schedule doesn’t have room for a weekly date night, try a love hack to get things back on track. A love hack is a quick fix that’s been proven to improve relationships. It takes little time and no effort. It doesn’t even require your partner’s cooperation. Just a few minutes a month won’t give you a great marriage, but it definitely will give you a better relationship.
Touch your partner.
Holding hands can warm things up, even when you aren’t feeling affectionate. Researchers asked couples in a study to watch a video together. Some of the people were instructed to touch their partner in a warm and loving way, while others were told to avoid touching. People who were touched said they felt more secure in their partner’s affection. They knew their partner had been instructed to make the gesture, but that didn’t erase the good feeling.
Take a compliment.
People with low self-esteem expect rejection. They can’t believe their partner really loves them, so they dismiss a show of affection to avoid an anticipated slight. Their defensiveness winds up driving away their partner. Researchers say it’s one of the behaviors they see most often in failed marriages.
If this is your anxiety, try this remedy: Think about a compliment you received from your partner. Think about what the compliment meant to you. Why was it important to your relationship? Describe what your partner admired. You’ll start to see why your partner really does care.
Don’t jump to conclusions.
Here’s another thing researchers see in bad marriages. Unhappy couples tend to automatically blame a partner’s lapse on a permanent flaw in that partner. Before you start laying blame on him, think for a few seconds about things that could have gone wrong and that weren’t his fault. Maybe he didn’t return your phone call because work piled up on his job.
See the fight from outside.
Some couples in a study were asked to try this hack: When they were disagreeing, they were asked to imagine how an impartial third-party would see the argument. What good would a neutral observer see that could come out of the disagreement? The result of the experiment was that the couples reported satisfaction with their marriages remained stable over a year. Couples who did not try the technique reported a decline in marital satisfaction.