From the book, "Seven Principles for making marriage work" by John Gottman and Nan Silver (2004).
I've dipped in and out of this book over the past 12 months and it is excellent. John Gottman claims that after years of research observing couples in his Seattle "Love Lab" (great name!), he can predict the chance of a couple divorcing with 91% accuracy. He says he can make this assessment in as little as five minutes of watching a couple interact.
1. PARTINGS: Make sure that before you say good-bye in the morning you've learned about one thing that is happening in your spouse's life that day-from lunch with the boss to a doctor's appointment to a scheduled phone call with an old friend.
2. REUNIONS: Be sure to engage in a stress-reducing conversation at the end of each workday
3. ADMIRATION and APPRECIATION: Find some way every day to communicate genuine affection and appreciation toward your spouse
4. AFFECTION: Kiss, hold, grab and touch each other during the time you're together. Make sure to kiss each other before going to sleep. Think of that kiss as a way to let go of any minor irritations that have built up over the day. In other words, lace your kiss with forgiveness and tenderness for your partner.
5. WEEKLY DATE: This can be a relaxing, low-pressure way to stay connected. Ask each other questions - you can think of questions to ask your spouse.