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Praise your partner often and publicly

Big fat relationship mistake No. 1: Partner bashing

Bashing the one you are supposed to love seems to be a national pastime. It's amazing: One person in a group can start in, and then everyone else wants to top their complaint. The reality is that partner bashing reflects poorly on you; you chose this person.

Relationship tip: Praise your spouse in public. You will shock a few people, and if it gets back to your partner, it's great foreplay.

Big fat relationship mistake No. 2: Be a Darren Stevens

Hard to believe, but many people hold their partner back from using his or her gifts.

In the old TV sitcom “Bewitched,” Darren Stevens would try to keep Samantha from using her abilities. I remember thinking as a kid that this guy was an idiot. All that his wife had to do was wiggle her nose and he could have anything he wanted.

Relationship tip: Encourage his or her strengths. If you take the time to notice, your partner's strengths can complement yours and compensate for your weaknesses. You are stronger together than alone.

Big fat relationship mistake No. 3: Argue to win

Once you begin to see your partner as the enemy, lots of bad things begin to happen. I recently worked with a couple who would go to any length to win an argument even over meaningless things, like there was a scoreboard somewhere.

Relationship tip: You may get to win, but you win at the expense of the relationship. Team up to solve the problems that come your way. When a couple teams up against a problem, that problem is in big trouble.

Big fat relationship mistake No. 4: Getting complacent

Sometimes we treat our most important love relationship like an item on a to-do list.

Relationship tip: Here's a great story: A high school senior was taking his girlfriend of three years to the senior prom.

Since they had been dating for three years, you would think the prom date would be a given. Not to this guy. He arranged the following: One night when she came in the front door, there was a trail of Hershey kisses leading back to the bathroom. In the bathroom, rose petals were spread all over the shower. On her dresser was this note: “Now that I have kissed the ground you walk on and showered you with roses, will you go to the prom with me?”

Think she said yes?

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