What makes a marriage stronger? Sure, a romantic weekend away or a fancy dinner out is nice, but cutting down on the everyday annoyances that cause strife goes a long way, too. Take a hint from these couples. They turned to a simple product or device to help them solve an exasperating problem—and drew closer as a result. Check out eight gadgets that can help you and your marriage.
Marriage saver: Heating blanket
HE: Is always cold
SHE: Is always hot
SOLUTION: "We got a heating blanket last year, and it has made us both less cranky. The blanket stays on my side. It has stopped my whining about how cold I am—which was irritating him."—Lauren Gard, 32, Oakland, Calif.
Marriage saver: Sleep mask
HE: Loves to go to bed early
SHE: Loves to stay up late
SOLUTION: "We used to argue over the lights. He’d go around shutting them off, and I’d follow behind, turning them back on. So I asked him to put my sleep mask over his eyes. That suggestion changed our lives—it’s a miracle mask!"—Lesley Dwyer, 33, Sarasota, Fla.
Marriage saver: TV sleep timer
HE: Sleeps with the TV on
SHE: Can't sleep if it's on all night
SOLUTION: "We have a TV in our bedroom with a timer setting. When [my husband] is in the bathroom brushing his teeth, I grab the remote and set the timer, and he is none the wiser! I set it for the amount of time it takes him to drift off to sleep. Then the TV clicks off, and we are both happy and getting good rest!"—Cathi Carpenter, 44, Marietta, Ga.
Marriage saver: GPS
HE: Drives on road trips
SHE: Is a backseat driver
SOLUTION: "I have trouble knowing north from south, east from west. To stop the arguing and save our relationship, we bought a GPS device. It turned out to be one of the best purchases we’ve made. We arrive at our destination with a lot less aggravation."—Enid Schwartz, 65, Sierra Vista, Ariz.