10 Ways to Save Your Marriage

Divorce lawyer Steve Lake offers marriage advice

By Steve Lake

Usually by the time people come into my office, their marriages are in pretty bad shape. After years of listening to complaints about my clients' spouses, I have compiled my "Lake's Take" tips on how to keep your marriage healthy. Happy Valentines Day!

1. Don't be a snoop

Resist the urge to be your own private detective. Stay out of your spouse's computer, emails, cell phone records, etc. As my mother used to say, "you dig, you find dirt." A little trust goes a long way.

2. Be as affectionate with your spouse as you are with your own pet

Why do you think your dog is always so happy to see you?

3. Hold that thought

Some constructive criticism at the appropriate time can be helpful, but constant nagging, bitching, and moaning will eventually send your spouse packing.

4. Joke of the Day

Make time to laugh. No matter how bad the day went, find something humorous to share as often as you can. Lose your sense of humor and you may lose your spouse.

5. Update you marriage contract

After time, most people forget their marriage vows, which is why they are broken so often. Things change and so do needs and expectations. Sit down with your spouse every few years and re-commit to each other.

6. Respect each other's private time

Togetherness can be overrated. Give each other the space to pursue some alone time, whether it's in or outside the house.

7. Find activities you can enjoy together

Too much alone time can be toxic for a marriage. Schedule at least one weekly activity that you do together and look forward to. Fun is a good thing.

8. Kids shouldn't be marriage savers

If you're staying together for the sake of the kids, your marriage is in serious trouble. Get some professional help before it's too late.

9. Sex is not overrated

'Nuff said.

10. Don't wait until Valentine's Day to send flowers

Everyone loves gifts, especially if they are unexpected. An occasional nice surprise will keep your sweetheart happy.