After observing the habits of healthy couples from all over the world, I'm convinced that the healthiest couples share some important daily habits. Below are five habits of happy, healthy couples. This isn't a comprehensive list, but these five are a really good start. If you'll implement these in your own marriage, I believe you'll see some instant improvements!

1. Show physical affection to each other

When couples stop touching each other regularly, this is a huge warning sign that "relational drift" is happening in the marriage. Physical touch is a powerful and practical way to stay connected, and I'm not just talking about sex. Hold hands, give a foot rub, put your arm around each other, kiss often, hold each other, give a flirty smack on the butt, and look for ways to show physical affection every day.

2. Have an uninterrupted conversation with each other

If you're like me and you've got young kids at home, this one can be really difficult, but it's also really important! Make some time daily (probably after the kids are asleep), where your phones are off and there's nothing distracting you from meaningful, engaging conversation with each other. Communication does for your marriage what breathing does for your lungs!

3. Display thoughtfulness to each other

You don't have to bring home a dozen roses every day (though doing it occasionally would be nice), but daily thoughtfulness should always be a priority. Send text messages and give quick phone calls throughout the day to just let him/her know they're on your mind. Pick up their favorite coffee or snack and deliver it unexpectedly. Do a chore at home that your spouse would normally do. Look for little ways to serve each other.

4. Laugh with each other

Laughter should fill the soundtrack to your marriage. When it isn't happening often, that's another warning sign that you need to make some adjustments. Even in difficult seasons (especially in difficult seasons), find reasons to laugh and celebrate together. Life has enough "drama" already, so work together to create some more comedy!

5. Say "I love you" with your words AND your actions

Love needs to be communicated clearly and consistently. The healthiest couples make this a daily priority. Never leave your spouse wondering about your level of love and commitment to him/her. Let your love be obvious through everything you say and everything you do. Never let a day go by without saying, "I love you."

This article was originally published on Patheos. It was republished here with permission.

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