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The other day I had a close friend call me asking for advice on how to improve her relationship with her husband. I was honored that she reached out to me. I gladly helped her understand the skills needed to improve her marriage by focusing on communication, understanding & forgiveness to create a more loving relationship. She expressed her frustrations as I listened I could feel her deep love she has for her sweetheart, it warmed my heart knowing that she cared enough to reach out for advice.

I reflected on my own marriage as I explained that having a happy, trustworthy marriage begins by looking for the positive attributes in your loved one and to be forgiving and say the words, "I'm sorry, I love you..." often. It's so easy to be critical and judgmental when you allow your spouse to easily upset you or to criticize him/her even without knowing it. Having ego & pride are a sure way to have arguments and tension in any relationship. Our emotions guide our actions, if you find that you’re anxious or depressed those limiting emotions will only cause frustrations in a relationship.

My husband & I have been married for 18 years, we have an incredibly happy marriage; he is literally my soul-mate without question. I live for my husband and family; they bring me immense joy & happiness. Many may think we've always had a great marriage and that our lives are without trials... Not so...

Being happy in a marriage is 110% a choice. Every marriage has its ups and downs; it’s what you do when you’re down that matter most. Anyone can be madly in love with their spouse if they choose to be. Take a step back and think about how you treat your spouse... Do you welcome him/her with open arms and a big kiss after work or do you find that you often complain about the kids or your bad day at work? Having an attitude of gratitude will literally transform your relationship into a dream come true. If you want your spouse to be more helpful around the house then offer praise when he/she helps you.

Life is crazy busy for all of us, being too tired to share time alone together is a recipe for disaster. I love Dr. Oz and how he teaches the importance of alone time in the bedroom. You'll not only become closer as a couple but you'll increase your longevity too! So make time for each other at least once or twice a week, do whatever you have to do to be able to snuggle and really talk about life and your feelings. Communication both mentally and physically will create a more loving and compassionate relationship.

And finally, I explained to my friend that they need to support each other in reaching their personal & couple goals & dreams. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and support; he always assists and motivates me in all that I do - including modeling. I wouldn't be who I am today without his trust, love & devotion nor would he have accomplished his goals and dreams of running his own successful IT company.

Create a relationship that you've always wanted. Decide today to appreciate and look for the good in your spouse as well as in yourself. By being kind, loving, supportive and forgiving you’ll have a lifetime of better health, love, joy & happiness.

Until next time, do something extra special for your spouse today - you’ll be glad you did… ;)

~Carol Whitaker

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