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Tips To Resuscitate Your Marriage
A healthy marriage equals a healthy heart.

By John Dalog
Marriage can be the greatest thing or it can literally kill. Follow these tips to avoid the latter.

An unhappy marriage predisposes women to metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, according to a study by University of Utah psychologists. Apparently, when women are stressed, they are prone to an increase in blood pressure, an unhealthy lipid panel, insulin resistance and fat distributed around the middle. Yes, your husband could be making you fat! Who knew?

Purposeless arguing, red-hot anger and simmering resentment in marital life cause women to feel stressed, which leads to depression. Since women feel stress more intensely than men, they are more likely to fall into a negative loop.

It’s time to look at the big picture and according to Tim Smith, a psychology professor and co-author of the new study. He says divorce is not the answer. Instead, it’s much more beneficial for women to try and improve their marriage—and only then will one have a healthy heart. The first step is to objectify the pattern.

These days the recession has strained many relationships—not just yours. It’s easier to blame your best friend than look in the mirror. Revisit your marriage with a new perspective. Examine what you are telling yourself: Do you lean to the negative or the positive? Your state of mind colors your perceptions which include your spouse. Ultimately, since everyone self-justifies, can you open up to another person’s point of view?

When you complain that you have outgrown your spouse, ask yourself who you have really fallen out of love with? Most likely it is you! Connect to the heart of the matter and address your personal stressors, the ones you can do something about, because they accumulate and overwhelm. Don’t deplete yourself and then feel resentful. Let things go from that endless to-do list to carve out time and space for you—to revitalize and reflect on what makes your heart sing. Passion in one arena of your life translates to another.

This is what the phrase follow your heart means. Your heart, a strong muscle beats powerfully, symbolizing action. But your heart also rests between beats, symbolizing relaxation. Similarly, internal peace is not a constant state. Internal peace means meeting stress head on and then letting it go. Just like you can alter your metabolism’s set point, you can alter your serenity set point.

Here are some concrete tips to resuscitate your marriage today:

* Choose courtship conversation. Words have great power to manifest destiny. For example, "Remember when we first got married," or "You’re the best" and, "I’m so lucky to be on my life journey with you."

* Do something for him or her that you normally don’t do. For example cook a favorite meal or write a "love note" and place it on the windshield wiper of the car or pin it to a shirt.

* Create a personal ritual for each other. Make a special night once a week where you drop everything and do something special.

* Buy a lottery ticket and attach a note saying, "I won the lottery when I married you!"

Applying these tips will recession-proof your marriage—and men, please note that helping with household chores without being asked is the best foreplay…ever.

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of "Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life", "Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout" and "Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul," a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City, produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com.

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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.

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