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Score Brownie Points with Your Spouse
  • Looking for a marriage game-changer? Kissing up to each others' needs (just a little) will reap serious benefits.

    • The Issue: Chores
    If you’re the husband: We know you miss your bachelor days when the word “cleaning” meant taking a stack of pizza boxes down to the dumpster. But cut her some slack. Pick the household tasks it won’t kill you to do and tell your wife you’ll be responsible for those. Think of it as a chance to get in a little extra cardio each day.
  • If you’re the wife: Feel like you’re saddled with the bulk of the chores? We hear you. But before you give him the cold shoulder (or “accidentally” dye his boxers magenta), make a list of all the things your spouse takes care of (the lawn, car maintenance, etc.) and give him credit before you rib him for never turning on the vacuum.
  • The game-changer: Play “chore wars.” Deal each other cards with pictures of various chores on them. Once you have your hand, start bartering (i.e., trade the “dishes” card for the “taking out the trash” one). Then get up and get your jobs done. The person who completes their cards first gets to choose their prize (wink, wink).
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    • The Issue: Cooking
  • If you’re the husband: Whether you hate to cook or consider yourself a younger, hotter Tyler Florence, make it a team effort. Marinate the meat while she chops vegetables. Grocery shop and try some new recipes. If she works late, surprise her by cooking dinner and cleaning up after.
  • If you’re the wife: Cooking for two every day -- or even just a few times a week -- may be a totally new experience for you. Let yourself off the hook by dressing up your favorite take-out items. Also, let your partner know that his help is totally welcome. Let him know that you won’t be the Top Chef police if he messes something up.
  • The game-changer: If neither of you has skills in the kitchen, take a cooking class so you can learn together (check out your local community college for classes).
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    • The Issue: Money
  • If you’re the husband: Okay, so this isn't a great time to be spending. She’ll be beyond annoyed if you come home one more time with a new Xbox game since you “already have the console and that’s the most expensive part!” She wants things too, y'know.
  • If you’re the wife: It’s easy to belittle your guy's choices when he’s blowing dough on fishing gear, but are your spending habits any better? Yes, we all need clothes, food, and shelter, but if those three things add up to a new Marc Jacobs purse, dinner out with the girls, and throw pillows for your crowded couch, check yourself!
  • The game-changer: Set aside money in your monthly budget purely for entertainment purposes -- call it your own “slush fund.” Take that fun money and switch it up from month to month. For example, in June it’s divided equally among spouses, and June, you pool together for a fun weekend getaway.
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