Maintaining a loving relationship & stopping an argument

Hello Mary Jo,

What are some of the things one can do to maintain a loving relationship?



There are many things you can do to maintain a loving relationship, but these 5 are the quickest practices to begin that will bring the most significant improvements.

  1. Practice appreciation for what your partner does without comparing them or demanding they be more.
  2. Use the word “we” instead of “me” in conversation. This tells your partner they matter and are part of you.
  3. Use the 3:1 ratio, which is backed by research. It simply means you need to have three times more positive experiences with your partner than negative experiences to enjoy a healthy relationship.
  4. Keep the playfulness alive in your marriage. It’s important you take time to play and have fun with your partner.
  5. Say I love you with simple actions; examples include bringing them their favorite take-out, getting up 15 minutes early to make them breakfast, or filling their car with gas.


Hi Mary Jo,

What’s the quickest way to stop and argument with your partner that you don’t want to be in?



Most arguments are petty, and partners may start them when they feel as though their partner is distant or not paying attention to them. It’s important to avoid getting defensive; rather, focus on understanding your partner’s intention. If you get caught up in an argument, remember these tips:

  • When your partner engages you in an argument use a “positive pause” to not rush in with a defense. Ask in a calm voice ask, “What is it you’re needing or upset about?”
  • Listen and seek to understand instead of “win” the argument.
  • If the argument is an old one you haven’t resolved from the past, understand that this is common. All couples have a few issues that are sensitive to them. Healthy couples respect each other’s opinion, not demand they change how they feel.
  • If one of you feels strongly about the argument, then it is best to set up a time when you are both calm and in a quiet place so you can discuss it and negotiate a solution.