Who doesn’t dream of having a fairy tale marriage? Most people dream of falling in love, getting married, and then living happily ever after. However, not many have marriages like that. Given the high rate of divorce in recent years, it is clear that people are having it tough in marriage.
For those who are still together, the relationship looks lifeless and could only be surviving because of the kids and the need for comfort.
Expecting a fairy tale marriage is asking for too much. In his book, ” The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” John Gottman and Nan Silver note that no one has a perfect marriage. Even so, there are several ways you can keep what you have going and even make it better. It takes careful choices and lots of work. Here is the best marriage advice to help you keep your marriage strong and last longer:
Marry Because Of Love
This is common sense, isn’t it? It will surprise you that many people don’t marry for love. Rather, they go into the institution just because of boredom with life. Some cannot withstand pressure from their family to get married and have children. Others do it out of the fear that they won’t be able to find anyone else in their small town settings. The rest don’t like their looks and had very low regard of themselves.
In they best selling book, ” The Meaning of Marriage ” Timothy and Kathy Keller say, “marrying for a reason other than love has been the worst mistake ever”. The best you can get is a marriage full of unhappiness and frustration. So what can you do? The best marriage advice is for you to patiently live the single life until you meet someone you are over-the-heels in love with. One thing about falling in love is that you will know when it happens to you. After meeting “the one”, go ahead and marry them.
Wed Your Best Friend
Sometimes the person you marry does not have to be in a romantic relationship with you. After all, romance is only one kind of relationship and does not represent everything in marriage. That’s why marrying someone who is a friend is actually important.
It could be someone with whom you can explore the world and have fun or someone you like spending time with. If he or she is your best friend, you are likely to have mutual ambitions and interest. Interestingly, that’s what it takes for two people in a relationship to stay together.
Marrying an individual with contrasting ambitions and interests from yours may lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. No one is saying that you marry someone who is 100 percent similar with you. Even though you may have a couple of differences, you should be able to enjoy a lot of things together.
Know That Arguing Is Normal
When you talk about a perfect marriage, what comes to mind is the total absence of disagreement and arguing. Far from it. There is no couple that’s all smiles, all sunshine, and no bad day. Regardless of the love you have for your partner, it is unrealistic to expect that you will never disagree.
You could spend time thinking of how you can never argue with your partner but life happens. When you least expect it, a bad day will come. You will find yourself in an argument with your partner, but that’s okay. It is much better than hiding your emotions only to explode when things come to a boil.
Gary Chapman the author of the number one best selling book ‘ The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts ‘ suggests that doesn’t mean that you should be arguing all the time. Since you are two totally distinct people, you are going to argue sometimes.
What matters is that you work it out and rebuild trust. The best marriage advice is to express your feelings without inhibition. Then work towards a solution. When the relationship gets back on track, you will be glad you talked about it.
Avoid Having Children Just To Save the Marriage
When they get into marriage, most people plan to have children. However, not every married couple should rush into having kids. Unfortunately, some people mistakenly think that having kids will keep them together. In most cases, children can strain the relationship in more ways than one.
When things come to a head, the child will have no option but to deal with two parents who divorced each other because they can’t stay together. In Love and Respect, Emmerson Eggerichs says it can be very confusing for the young ones. The best marriage advice is to have kids when you are ready. If you must have a distraction, get a pet.
Freely Express Emotions
One of the biggest reasons for arguments in marriage is that people rarely communicate. It is not uncommon for one partner in the marriage to grow silent for no apparent reason. They could be having a lot on their mind, but are afraid to bring it up.
Whether it is finances, sexual needs or having children, they just can’t talk about it. Instead, they remain aloof, only for them to explode when they can’t take it anymore. In a relationship, it is good to express yourself to get stuff off your chest. However, your partner should be willing to listen.
Go to the Gym Together
A lot has been said about working out as an effective stress reliever. That’s why the best marriage advice should be that you and your partner go to the gym together. As you work towards improving your health, you will keep growing together.
At the time of getting a gym membership, you should go together. If going for gym sessions is not your thing, consider walking together in the evenings as an option. As you walk, you will talk about issues, even as you keep fit.
Do Your Chores Together
There are many chores for you and your partner to do at home, including vacuuming, washing dishes, and laundry. To stick together and make the bond between the two of you even stronger, you have to learn to do these chores together.
It also helps you to finish the work sooner. So if you have been slouching around while your spouse cleans the house, stop. In fact, the best marriage advice is to work together.
Have a Good Meal Together
Have you ever tried to work while angry and hungry at the same time? When angry and hungry, you are more likely to be irritable and argumentative. The best marriage advice is to always have a good meal together before talking or doing anything together.
This is one of the ” Couple Skills ” as suggested by Steve Keller. It is also true when you are feeling tired. Which makes it futile to argue the first thing after you wake up. Wait until you take coffee and can think a little straighter.
One thing you must avoid is talking while hungry, sleepy, and tired. While conventional wisdom suggests that you should never sleep on a problem, do just the opposite. Once you are less sleepy and energetic, you will be able to avoid unnecessary arguments.
Don’t Try Changing Your Partner
One of the most likely outcomes of marriage is that you will find your spouse to be totally different. For instance, the man could be into video games and the woman wants to hear none of it. It wrong to expect your spouse to give up a hobby just because he or she married you.Instead, you should try to enjoy your hobbies together. In her book, ‘How to Build an Enduring Marriage ‘, Karen Budzinski says ” you should never try to change your partner “.
The same is true for you and your partner’s imperfections. After living together for a while, you must have discovered that your partner has bad habits that just drive you crazy. Even if you tried, it would be impossible to fix those imperfections. The best you can do is to tolerate and accept each other’s flaws. Trying to change each other can only make matters worse. The best marriage advice is to always be yourself.
Talk about Financial Concerns
Most of the time, financial issues make many marriages fail. That’s why you should talk about money as a priority. As Annie Mayer advices in her book, ‘Marriage: How to Save Your Marriage and Build up Trust, Connection and Intimacy’, share your financial goals. For example, ” avoid marrying a man or woman who really wants children if you aren’t prepared financially “.
There’s nothing as important as a marriage that’s financially secure. Whatever the things you spend money on, don’t marry someone who looks at it as a waste. You won’t be able to agree on finances while living with someone with completely divergent views.
Spend Free Time Together
Many couples today don’t see each other as much as they should. It could be that they have jobs that require them to work in different shifts. With that, they hardly get to meet and talk with each other. That’s also true if your spouse has to be away from home for long periods of time due to his or her work.
So the best marriage advice is to make an effort to spend some time together. In ‘ What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal ‘ Nan Silver says ” it doesn’t have to be around-the-clock “. You need at least a day in a week to be together with your spouse.
Have Sex and Lots of It
During the initial stages of relationships, couples tend to have sex all the time. As they settle into the marriage, things begin to slow down. However, that does not mean that you leave things to get worse than they should. While you shouldn’t be thinking about sex all the time, having it often builds the bond between the two of you and makes the marriage stronger. Ensure you have sex regularly, preferably once a week.
It is likely that things have become boring and you no longer find sex with your partner appealing. It’s time to think outside the box. Sex does not always have to happen in the evenings in the bedroom. Why don’t you go out of your way to create memories by having more of it elsewhere? Try the car, balcony, bathroom, kitchen, the beach, sofa, wilderness, and so on. When you change the places for love making, you tend to have it more often. One thing about relationships is that they grow stronger with more sex.
Intimacy is not just about having sex. It is also about spending time together talking and cuddling. It could start with anything like watching a movie, going out for dinner, taking a shower together, spooning in the process of falling asleep, and so on. Apart from bringing out the good vibes, cuddling makes the bond between the two of you stronger.
However, cuddling is much more beneficial than making the relationship stronger. In his book, ” Communication” Keith Coleman,say cuddling is an effective stress reliever, improves health, and makes communication better. Cuddling is a way of showing your partner that you support him or her in times of trouble. Besides, it also makes it possible for the two of you to have more sex. It is easy to say that cuddling is the best marriage advice you can ever have, given that it improves your mood and makes you look forward to better times in the relationship.
Ask For Help from A Qualified Counselor
You don’t have to wait until your marriage has fallen apart before you ask for help. The time to see a counselor is whenever you have an issue you feel you can’t resolve between the two of you. It takes a trained counselor to listen to you and suggest solutions to your problems.
When the argument is just between you and your partner, the tendency is to think you are right and the other person is wrong. When a third person is involved, you are likely to handle your issues more objectively.
If you were looking for the best marriage advice, you just found it in the points that have been canvassed above. Having a successful marriage is as much the product of your choice of partner as it is about the things you do while in it. If you play your cards correctly, you will end up with a very fulfilling relationship. So be very careful what you do.