Couples, especially newlyweds often face stumbling blocks in their marriages. We have compiled a list of the 50 best bits of marriage advice from different sources to help keep your marriage healthy and happy.
1. For a marriage that goes the distance, hold yourself accountable for your actions – both good and bad You have to understand what you’re bringing to the table. You can’t pretend that your spouse’s actions are the only ones shaping the relationship. When you step up and own your part, a deeper connection between you and your spouse will grow. Take responsibility for your part.
2. Make contact for a tighter bond Research has proven that constant touching keeps a marriage strong. Hug, kiss, cuddle, hold hands, and find any excuse to touch your spouse even for a few seconds to keep the oxytocin flowing.
3. Learn to accept the differences Nobody agrees on everything 100% of the time. Learn to agree to disagree when neither person is willing to budge.
4. Love don’t cost a thing You don’t have to spend a ton of money to show your spouse appreciation. Write him or her a sweet note, surprise them with lunch at work, rub their back after a bad day, little gestures often come with a tiny price tag and make a huge difference.
5. Guys, listen to your wife Sometimes she just needs a place to vent and a shoulder to cry on. There is a tendency to want to fix everything, but just listening is often enough.
6. If someone needs to change, look to yourself first Nobody likes a nag or to be forced to change something. The only message getting across is that their spouse doesn’t actually like them for who they are and that’s creating a rift between you. If you feel something has to change, worry about your contribution and change that.
7. Address and treat problems in your marriage Each problem in a marriage – quiet sex life, lack of communication, complacency – are often symptoms, like a cough or headache, that need to be treated by any means necessary. Attempt any solution available, no matter how silly it seems, to eradicate those issues and get your marriage back on track.
Learn more: Most common marriage problems and solutions
8. Learn to argue, and keep it above the belt We have a tendency to go on the defensive in an argument by pointing fingers, shaming our spouse, or steamrolling what they’re saying in order to get across our point. Be open and make the focus of the problem about you by using “I” statements like, “I feel” or “I need” rather than putting the spouse on the defensive.
9. Both sides are valid You both have valid points to make and both sets of feelings count. Recognize that two people are involved in an argument so accept your share of the responsibility.
10. Fairness is real There is a workload that goes into parenting, running a household, and keeping a healthy marriage. Both parties pull their weight and take on the division of labor when it comes to chores, kids, financial planning, and expressing your needs with one another. Being fair is being equal.
11. Your relationship should always be priority one Trouble comes knocking when other obligations (work, kids, personal goals) usurp the attention your relationship needs. A rock solid marriage is built upon the two people in it, make time for and support each other. Everything else will crumble if a couple isn’t strong.
12. Is your behavior rubbing off on your spouse? The Golden Rule is always at play in a marriage. If you treat your spouse with kindness, love, and respect that’s what will come back to you. If you are angry, impatient, and judgmental odds are you will receive those feelings back in kind as well.
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13. The word “You” is an accusation; don’t ever use it Keep the focus on yourself to avoid putting your spouse on the defensive. Use “I” statements to express your feelings like, “I feel upset because…” or “I’m crying because…” The minute “You did something” comes out, nothing will be solved or accomplished.
14. Focus on learning about and appreciating each other
15. Don’t place blame or criticize Focus on your spouse’s positive qualities instead.
16. Continue to date each other With life going on around us it’s easy to forget that your relationship needs some regular attention. Schedule out regular date nights away from the house, the kids, and the cell phone and just reconnect instead.
17. Check in on the state of your relationship and appreciate each other Take ten or fifteen minutes at regular intervals to check in with each other. Talk only about your relationship (no kids, work, bills, etc.) and what you appreciate.
18. Take care of yourself Too many marriages fall apart because one or both people in the couple forget that they are a separate being. Keep up with hobbies, go out with friends, work on some personal goals, and keep a part of yourself for only you and to keep your marriage healthy.
19.Use your spouse as a mirror If you find yourself upset at them for something reflect that back on yourself to figure out what you need to do to grow.
20. A couple that plays together, stays together Have some fun! Life gets so serious sometimes it’s easy to forget to play. Go for walks, tell bad jokes, take up a couple’s activity like dancing, and just enjoy each other.
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21.Hang on to the blame until you get your spouse’s perspective We all have duties to do around the house and sometimes they just slip our minds. Instead of blaming “You didn’t do what you were supposed to” ask them what happened instead.
22. Write down the three happiest moments in your marriage And revisit them often as a reminder of why you married your spouse in the first place.
23. Learn the following statements and use them often “I love you”, “I'm here for you”, “I understand”, “I'm sorry”, “Thank you”, “I’m proud of you”, “You did a great job”, and “I really appreciate all that you do”
24. Five times a day, find ways to tell your spouse you appreciate them This can be a note, a gesture, or just out loud to them. Doing so carries more weight than you can imagine.
25. Avoid becoming roommates to keep the fire alive There is spending time together and then there is the idea of “sacred time”. This is one-on-one time sharing new experiences and being intimate with each other.
26. Compliment your partner!
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27. Find mutual goals Sit down and talk about what you want as a couple and where you see yourselves in the future. A clear-cut picture will set you both on the path to a happy relationship.
28. Control your negative impulses Always support your spouse’s well-being and treat him or her with respect. Avoid blame and tearing him or her down.
29. Keep date night regularly This means the same night of the week every week.
30. Communication and time together go together
31. Respect This falls under the umbrella of, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Words do hurt. Avoid insults and abuse.
32. Find 10 minutes a day to chat There is always something new to learn about our partners. Ask him or her to name the 5 greatest guitar players of all time, ask about a childhood memory, or have them describe their perfect meal. Make a game of it while waiting for your food at a restaurant or in the car; anywhere you can find 10 extra minutes.
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33. Control and connection are mutually exclusive You can’t have both.
34. Keep behaving as if you were both still dating Marriage can cause complacency. Keep life interesting and continue to woo your spouse.
35. Keep a balance A healthy marriage keeps a mix of personal, couple, and family time in tune. Find the balance that works best for your life.
36. Connect to heal the brain Facing each other, spend a few minutes looking into each other’s eyes. This causes the limbic system to relax and creates a deeper connection and more intimacy.
37. At the end of the day, just hold each other After a long stressful day at work you see your spouse for the first time all day. Take a minute to hug each other; this stimulates the pleasure zone of the brain and comforts the mind.
38. Use a preface for important discussions to make sure your spouse pays attention Open with something gentle like, “I don’t think I understood your response to my plans. When is a good time to discuss them further?” This encourages a more positive response and open dialogue.
39. Ladies, on dates remember: you are a wife first Husbands who plan a date want to know you are having a good time. By complaining about the food, the movie, a line, the weather, anything really makes them feel like they’ve let you down somehow. Keep your comments positive.
40. Turn to your spouse When life gets rough we tend to retreat inward as means of protection. Don’t shut out your spouse if they turn to you as this can cause emotional distance and a failure of trust. No matter how uncomfortable, it’s better to lean on each other.
41. Acceptance You married this person for a reason. Accept them for who they are and don’t try to change them.
42. If something about you is bothering your spouse, listen What I really mean is listen actively. Repeat back the grievance to make sure you understood and take the critique as an opportunity to grow.
43. Understand and support each other
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44. Feeling like the thrill is gone? Write down 10 things you loved about your spouse when you first got together and 10 things you did together when the relationship was new. Have a weekly date night revisiting those things to chase the boredom away.
45. You are allowed to have a bad mood You aren’t allowed to take it out on your spouse.
46. Trust is key Trust has to be absolute not conditional. Trust your spouse can make good decisions and will consult you on the big ones.
47. Distance makes big things seem trivial An argument can seem like the most important thing on the planet or a problem crops up that feels insurmountable. In time the reactions and the critical nature of the event will become so small. Don’t let a fight ruin your relationship.
48.A woman needs to have her spouse give her their full attention with eyes contact It becomes easier for a woman to tap into those feelings of love, becoming more receptive to her husband’s needs, with a little eye contact and intimacy. Eye contact also means the other person is actually listening to what is being said. This builds trust.
49. Use character words as compliments and create positive experiences together Using words to compliment like patient, kind, helpful, etc., carry more weight than a description of their appearance. Go out of your way to learn your spouse’s love language and follow through with being thoughtful to keep your marriage happy and healthy
50. Don’t gossip Sitting with your friends having a whine about what your spouse did or didn’t do sounds like a good idea on paper. You get a chance to vent some steam with people you trust. The problem is when your little grievances (not washing the car, leaving drink glasses around the house, forgetting to put gas in the car) they tend to magnify with like-minded people. The only person to air your complaints about your spouse to should be your spouse.