In order to maintain a healthy marriage, both parties must be engaged and responsible.

Psychiatrist David D. Burns, author of the book "Feeling Good," a book about fighting depression, and "Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work,"in which he identifies quick and efficient methods of curing a troubled relationship, offers some suggestions on how to stay close to your spouse.

1. Stop blaming your spouse for marital problems

Sure, maybe he has been found guilty of other actions leading you to think that it still is his fault, but take the road less travelled and stop placing all the blame on him.

2. Stop complaining and be assertive

If you are consistently complaining that your wife does not help you do the dishes or some other thing around the house, chances are she will start to drift away from you.

3. Do not dwell on the past

If you want your relationship to stay strong, you must learn to forget the little inconveniences or mistakes. Instead think about the good, positive things that you have done and created together.

4. Be positive and humble

Do not command your spouse or impose your ideas on her. Be subtle and ask for her cooperation.

5. Stop defending yourself

Conversation wilts like a rose out of water and dies if you consistently speak and act defensively. Pay attention to your partner's feelings as she expresses her opinions.

6. Recognize your faults

Ask for forgiveness. Do not rationalize. Remember: Everyone makes mistakes. Being defensive, justifying your actions, and blaming others are signs of immaturity and cowardice.

7. Be honest and courageous

Being honest means admitting you were wrong and asking for forgiveness. This kind of honesty and bravery may be discomforting, but it will only bring such discomfort once. Lying, however, will bring the awkwardness back every time the problem comes up. Even more, over time it will eat away at your marriage making the crevice between you and your spouse increase daily.

8. Be simple and respectful

Conversing is always a great way to get closer to one another. There are many ways to talk, but be sure to keep it simple. Be respectful with one another. Nobody needs to stay up all night talking after only one day of work. Informal occasions are most effective.

9. Be careful with tip-giving

When your spouse has agreed to help you with something, there is nothing more ungrateful than telling her everything that she is doing is wrong. Remember that she is demonstrating her love by helping you in the first place, so be understanding.

10. Change what needs to be changed

Instead of thinking that your life would be better if your husband were to change his ways, start by recognizing where you can be better and can change. He will follow your example.

Start today and set your house in order. Find and remove anything that is separating you and your spouse each and every day, whether it is an action or reaction. As you combine your faith with hers, miracles can and will happen throughout your marriage.

Smile and be more receptive to your wife. Hug her when you are sad or hurt. Be delicate, treat her differently, speak kindly and lovingly and touch her carefully. Any bad or negative things in a relationship can be reversed and made better when good will abounds, patience stays and love burns in your hearts.

Translated and adapted by David Hall from the original article "Como Estar Sempre Próximo de Seu Cônjuge" by Chris Ayres.

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