Every marriage is different. Practice these less than common approaches, and you may find yourself with some interesting results that actually make things a little easier.

1. Marry your ex

Marry someone you wouldn't mind being divorced from. If you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense. If your previous relationships ended terribly and haunted your life, make sure the one you marry would make a great ex-husband. Easy going, forgiving, friendly, considerate, peacemaking, and best of all- not vindictive; these are qualities that make an awesome spouse and an awesome ex. If you've never thought about it like this before, I bet you will now.

2. Go to bed angry...

And have sex! Sex is a great way to relieve aggression and release pent up energy. Then after the passion subsides you and your spouse can talk about your issues more openly and honestly. Intimacy creates a safe space for vulnerability, shedding light on anger and resentment to reveal feelings of hurt and fear (the real culprits!). Just make sure not to get into a pattern of having sex to avoid discussing pressing issues. That can backfire and make an even bigger mess.

3. Plan for the worst

This quirk may sound counter intuitive and could encourage worrywarts to over-analyze possible mishaps. The key is to create a potential plan, not to get stuck on the "what ifs." Of course plan for the best and consider the acceptable, but don't stop before the worst case scenario has been thought over. You don't want to get caught completely off guard in a crisis you never thought could happen. And don't just think about what to do or not do, really get into the feelings of what could go wrong. Think of what you would do with feelings of despair, hopelessness, lost faith, rage, or even numbness. Then create a better path for those emotions than what first comes to mind.

4. Take shots

Pot shots and silly banter are ways some eclectic couples can express affection without getting all mushy. But be forewarned, hurling insults in a playful manner is a skill that can quickly lead to passive-aggressive outbursts. Pent up frustration and resentment may come out in a tone that is unwarranted for the established light atmosphere. The point of banter is to say the opposite of the truth. Like saying "I hate you" instead of "I love you." Or "You're the worst" when you mean "You're the best." If you actually feel that way, it's best left for a deeper conversation. And counseling!

5. Tell the negative

Say what you don't like about your partner... with love! Tell them you love them, you want them, and you appreciate them. Then tell them your true feelings about those pet peeves that are starting to really get on your nerves. It may hurt your spouse to hear something so normal to their everyday function that is a source of constant stress for you, but it's better than subjecting them to an inappropriate blowup at the slightest offense. Keeping it all bottled inside and pretending everything is fine makes for some dirty laundry.

Marriage is not one size fits all. Find the rhythm that fits the life you built together and go at your own pace. Think of things in a different light and some solutions to long held problems may be revealed.

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