The Reader’s Digest Version of Marriage Advice

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My folks have been married for 47 years. One of my father’s rules for a happy marriage is that if a nasty argument threatens to erupt, hold hands while you hash it out. You’ll feel incredibly goofy doing this (and your hand may sweat a little), but here’s the thing: It works.

Recently my messy husband, Tom, forgot to pay a stash of bills that was buried under a pile of clutter. I was in a rage. But when I held his hand as we worked it out, my blood pressure immediately dropped. It’s impossible to scream at someone who is sitting right next to you, meeting your gaze, and holding your hand. It just is.

-Published in Reader’s Digest, February 2011

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