As the Houston relationship counselor, I can tell you that one of the keys to a healthy, long-lasting marriage is kindness. It may seem obvious, but many couples simply don’t practice it. At the start of the relationship, we are often kind to each other without even thinking about it, but as the honeymoon stage ends, we start to take each other for granted. Luckily, you can change that!

Tips from the Houston Relationship Counselor for Bringing the Kindness Back

Talk to each other. It’s simple enough, right? Just make a point to check in with your partner every day. Ask him or her how their day went. Find out about their plans for the next day. Take an interest in their needs and desires, and learn about their life. Considering making it an “appointment” every day – maybe in the morning before work or before you go to bed. Staying connected to one another can go a long way toward preventing relationship problems.

Do a favor for your partner. Do a chore or run an errand that’s normally your partner’s responsibility. If your partner seems particularly frazzled after a long day at work or dealing with the kids, ask what you can do to help or alleviate some of the stress. These are the kinds of things you do for friends, so do them for your spouse as well.

Surprise your partner. Does your spouse have a favorite meal? Cook it up or purchase it from the store without telling them what you plan to do. Or sign both of you up to participate in an activity your partner enjoys or wants to try. Show your partner your love – even when it’s not a holiday or your anniversary.

Compliment your partner. It’s likely you told your spouse how beautiful his smile is or how gorgeous she looks in that dress while you were dating, but with the distractions of day-to-day life, you may not be taking the time to really appreciate your partner.

Forgive your partner. As the Houston relationship counselor, I see a lot of couples who focus on the negative, but one of the strongest forms of kindness you can practice for your spouse is forgiveness. No one’s perfect, so have a little compassion for the fact that your partner makes mistakes.

Also, I thought you might find this marriage/relationship paper and the NY Times article on generosity interesting.

If you are having relationship problems, you can learn more ways to bring kindness back into your marriage by working with the Houston relationship counselor.