For many couples, maintaining a successful marriage is a lot of work. Marriage coaches Martez and Woodrina Layton have created five ways to create and conserve a successful marriage after overcoming struggles in their own relationship. The Laytons emphasize that marriage takes work and relationships are all about welcoming daily forgiveness and love, so they appropriately categorized their tips with the acronym, G.R.A.C.E.

Good Balance: Good balance is essential to fostering good chemistry and years of good success. Balance refers to understanding one another’s strengths and weaknesses. You can’t just focus on your spouse’s shortcomings, you have to balance that out with positivity and admiration.

Realistic Expectations: Every disappointment in a relationship involves an unmet need or expectation. Therefore, you have to communicate your expectations with one another and follow accordingly. Realistic expectations take into account the experiences, desires, family values and moral and social convictions of a person.

Acceptance: Accept and acknowledge the changes in your marriage and know that as you grow as a person, your relationship progresses as well. Know that your spouse accepts you for who you are and acknowledges your evolution. Acceptance and acknowledgement brings a deeper level of understanding and appreciation into your relationship and allows you to grow and change with one another.

Communication: Communication is the core foundation of any marital relationship. There is no communication without clarification, so you have to make sure you are communicating assertively and using active listening. That means you need to continue asking questions and engaging one another to make sure that you are both on the same page.

Education: Marriage is a lifetime institution of learning, so you’re constantly discovering new aspects of one another. Stay educated on how to better your marriage through books, workshops, and couples counseling. Educating each other forces each partner to continually expand their knowledge about one another and the challenges that they may face.