Can You Write Your Way to a Stronger Marriage?

study shows you only need 21 minutes to a better marriage
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A new study on marital satisfaction stresses the importance of using your words — especially if you want a happier marriage.

Researchers at Northwestern University studied 120 couples over a span of two years to determine the effect of writing assessments on their relationship. Yes, writing. Think of it as homework for adults.

Every four months, spouses were asked to participate in a seven-minute “reappraisal writing task” that forced the couples to think about their most recent argument from an outside perspective. Those who completed the writing exercises fought just as frequently as the couples who didn’t, yet they became less distressed by their arguments over time.

“I don’t want it to sound like magic, but you can get pretty impressive results with minimal intervention,” said psychology professor and lead author of the study, Eli Finkel.

So essentially, the couple who plays writes together, stays together (you catch our drift). We don’t know about you, but we’ll take 21 minutes of writing a year over spending hours in couples counseling duking out our issues. If writing isn’t your thing, you and your partner can strengthen your bond with these easy tricks:

Step away from your phone. That constant interactivity with your friends and colleagues can be a big detriment to being present with your partner. Vow to spend at least 30 minutes each night with your partner, technology-free.

Make regular date nights. Whether you’re staying in or planning a big night out on the town, these creative date ideas will help you and your husband spend some quality time together.

Think long-term. Before you sweat the small stuff, remember that you’re in it for the long haul — so maybe your mate’s maddening habit of leaving tissues in his pockets isn’t such a big deal.

Get in touch. Literally — have more sex. Need some new nookie ideas? Check out our 5 steps to better sex here.

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