First, let me say that my own marriage has not been perfect. However, we have been married for 25 years and are still in love. It has not been easy, we have had our ups and downs just like anyone else. I am no expert but the following tips have worked for us so I would like to share them!
10 Tips to a successful marriage.
First, know you are not alone!
Never think your marriage is the only one that is not perfect. If anyone tells you their marriage is perfect then they are full of shit! Marriage takes work and a lot of it.
Never go to bed angry!
This is a biggie. If you cannot resolve the whole problem at least agree with each other that you are going to place it on the back burner to pick up another time. The worst thing you could do is climb into bed being pissed off at each other.
Always say “I love You”
Even when your heart is sad or angry and you feel like you can’t stand your spouse (yes we all know what I am talking about), always say “I love you” when your spouse is leaving for work or even going to the store. You never know when their or your time is up and you do not want the last words said to each other to be angry.
Intimacy people! Sex! DO NOT stop having it. Marriages go through dry spells; right after the birth of baby, menopause, etc. I am telling you I don’t care if you have to pencil that in on your calendar, but make sure you are intimate at least once a week. I know, I can hear yall saying “but I am too tired, there’s not enough time”, bull honkey! Personal experience, there has been a lot of times I did not want to but did. But we all know once its started you are secretly thinking, ” how come we don’t do this more often.” And for heaven Betsy do not withhold sex from your partner as a way of punishment. Intimacy is one of the cornerstones of marriage along with trust and love!
Listen and Validate
When your partner is telling you something (that you may not want to hear), listen. If they have the guts enough to let you know something is bothering them then give them the respect of listening. Then Validate! Here is an example….
“I don’t like it when you leave your dirty clothes in the bathroom when there is a hamper right out the door, it creates more work for me and I think it is just disrespectful.”
Wrong answer: “Oh well”
Validate: “I understand you do not like me leaving my clothes everywhere and it creates more work for you to have to pick up after me, I will try to remember and start using the hamper.”
When we validate our partner’s concerns it shows we have really listened. And we really listen then we make a conscious effort to try and change that behavior.
This is a very hard one for me. Communication is not coming home and discussing your kids over dinner. That is called parenting. Communicating is talking about things that directly affect your feelings towards your spouse. You can talk without arguing. The worst thing you can do is keep it all inside until you have a huge argument and you start pulling things out of your ass that upset you 6 months ago! When you have something to say or something you want to talk about, do it right then. Set aside a time each week for you and your spouse to have 10-15 minutes of uninterrupted time. And politely let it all out.
Example; Last night I asked you to please cut the grass and you did not. Now we have guests coming over and the grass will be up to their knees. I would be happy to help you if you can’t do it.
Spouse: I forgot about someone coming over so I was just gonna do it in a couple days. I will go take care of it now.
BAD EXAMPLE: You didn’t cut the grass like I TOLD you, now people are gonna have to trample through our swamp to find the front door!
Spouse: Well why in the hell didn’t you tell me!
See the difference? Good communication will get more things accomplished without an argument
DO NOT argue over money
People this is a pitfall. Just do not do it. Bills are always going to be there. Your kids are always going to need something, something is always going to need to be repaired. Some tips to preventing this include;
- manage bills together
- set aside twice a month to set down and make out bills
- create a monthly budget and post it to your fridge
- do not make big purchases without discussing with the spouse
- put money in your savings every pay period for that emergency
- do not discuss your finances with anyone other than your spouse
Pick your battles!
Not everything is worth arguing over. You can not change a person. They are the person you married. You can make suggestions but learn what is worth arguing over and what isn’t. Learn this early on to prevent a lot of arguments.
Honor each other’s wishes!
By this I mean, if your spouse tells you no it is not a good idea right now to go out and buy that brand new Lexus, then listen to him. The worst thing you could do would be to buy it anyway. Leave it on the table for discussion at another time. If he/she says please do not discuss whatever with whoever, then don’t! Honor him/her.
This is a big one. Pray together, pray for each other. Pray for your marriage.
I hope you have found some help-fup tips for your marriage. These are just a few that have helped us through 25 years of wedded bliss!