Assume Love

How to have a happier marriage without waiting for your spouse to change

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A Total Should Show


I spent over an hour reading comments this weekend on Facebook, about a letter to Miss Manners in the Washington Post. Never saw her column, and none of the commenters even touched on etiquette. They opined on what everyone involved should do. I got sucked into this should show. I couldn’t stop reading. I just kept hoping for someone to stop looking in all the wrong places for what to do...

Valentine’s Day? Lean In!


I was surprised by my sadness right after the birth of my only child. Such a beautiful moment, but I felt like I had lost something. My husband and I had no preference for a girl or a boy, so we did not ask which it would be in advance. However, in those last two weeks of waiting, we both became convinced it was a girl, and we began calling our overripe belly bump Sara. When our gorgeous, healthy...

How to Have More Interesting Dinner Conversations


Dinner with your spouse is a great time to deepen your connection. Here are some tips for making those conversations more engaging. Respond positively whenever your spouse seeks your attention the rest of the day through comments like “Look at that bird!” (“Ooh, wow” is plenty, as long as you look in the bird’s direction) or “I can’t find my keys”...

Why Our Expectations Are So High


In a comment on my last post, The Easiest Way to a Happier Marriage, Clover asked a great question: I agree that we shouldn’t expect our partners to act exactly the way we want them to – they’re not robots. And no one really owes us anything.But sometimes it’s really hard to maintain this mindset. With my friends and family, I care about their feelings more than my own. For example, if they don’t...

For marriage book reviews and books by Patty Newbold, the author of Assume Love, visit:

The Easiest Way to a Happier Marriage


The easiest way to a happier marriage does not include changing your spouse. Spouses are hard to change. Even when they know what you want from them, it can be hard for them to give it. Accusations about their failures to provide what you expect will get you defensiveness from all but the most self-aware spouses, because it’s a threat to their core relationship. Defensiveness is not pretty...

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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