Every husband and wife should memorize these!
We’ve asked 50 YourTango Experts to share their best marriage advice.
Ranging from how to have better communication (and better sex!) to how married couples should spend some time alone, these may well be the 50 best marriage tips ever compiled.
This should be required reading for every husband and wife (or future married couple).
1. If your goal is to have a satisfying marriage with longevity, make sure you are accountable for the part you play in the relationship — good or bad.
When you are in denial about your part in the relationship then you are no better than a child flinging sand at another child in a sandbox. When you take responsibility for your part in the marriage, only then will you be able to connect with your partner in a mature, intimate way. – Carin Goldstein, LMFT
2. Research consistently shows that touching more creates a stronger bond by releasing oxytocin.
Hold hands, rub shoulders, hug, kiss, give high-fives or even fist-bumps or bottom pats. When you give a quick hug or kiss, try to lengthen it to at least 5 or 10 seconds for more effective results! – Lori Lowe, MA
3. Learn how to agree to disagree.
No two people agree on everything, and that’s okay, but it’s important to be okay with each other’s differences. – Lee Bowers, LP, PhD
4. Sometimes it’s not about the amount of money you spend on a gift; it’s about the thought that goes into something.
Take the time to write a thoughtful note every so often saying what you love and appreciate about him/her. Drop it in his/her briefcase or purse so he/she will find it unexpectedly and it will brighten up his/her day. – Suzanne K. Oshima, Dating Coach
5. For men, it’s important to understand that women want to be listened to. Men don’t need to solve or fix everything; listening itself is an exceptional gift. For women, it’s important to understand that men need time for themselves. By giving him space to pull away and not taking it personally, you allow him to reconnect with his desire for you and his commitment to the relationship. – MarsVenus Coaching, Life Coach
6. The biggest waste of effort in a marriage is trying to change your spouse, since the problems you have with your spouse are generally problems you have in yourself.
When you try to change your spouse you come across as a nag and wind up sending the message that ‘who you are is not enough.’ Nobody likes getting that message, and it leads to distance and polarization. Let your spouse be who he or she is and focus on changing yourself. – Dr. Rick Kirschner, Relationship Coach
7. See problems — boredom in the bedroom, lack of conversations, resentment — as symptoms and treat those symptoms just as you would treat a chronic illness that seemingly has no cure.
Throw at it every possible remedy you’ve got, no matter how alternative or weird it seems. Chances are one or more of them will actually work and your marriage will get stronger and stronger. – Alisa Bowman, Relationship Coach
8. Next time you argue with your partner, drop the shaming, blaming, needing to be right, and really listen without interrupting.
Then communicate how you feel, using “I” statements. It’s not your partner’s job to read your mind, guess what you’re thinking, or put words into your mouth. These are huge obstacles to open, honest communication and will guarantee resentment, anger, and frustration in the relationship. – Sharon Rivkin, MA, MFT
9. In order to strengthen your marriage, learn to recognize that most arguments have shared responsibility, that both people have valid points and valid reasons for their feelings.– Kathy Morelli, LPC
10. Fair is not a four letter word.
You may have forgotten about fairness, but now’s the time to bring it back into your relationship. Are you both being fair when it comes to divvying up chores, communicating your needs, expressing dissatisfaction, dealing with finances, parenting, and supporting one another? If not, how can you improve and bring fairness back to the relationship? – Lisa Steadman, Dating and Relationship Coach
11. Nothing is more important in a marriage than the relationship between husband and wife.
When other things become more important, such as careers, children, and personal pursuits, trouble sets in. Make the relationship your top priority. When you do, the marriage flourishes. – Cathy Meyer, CPC, MCC
12. Are you creating more pleasurable interactions in your marriage or are you making it painful or unpleasant for your spouse?
If your spouse treats you with kindness, gentleness, patience and self-control, it’s easy for you to respond kindly. If you are treated badly, with anger, impatience, etc., it’s difficult to be nice in return. Focus on how you can be a blessing to your spouse and, in turn, you will be blessed and so will your marriage. – Mack Har
13. Never begin a sentence with the word ‘you’.
Instead start with the word “I” and then share your feelings instead of your thoughts. This is not as easy as it sounds because we all disguise a lot of thoughts as feelings, as in “I feel like you are avoiding me.” Genuine feelings are sad, angry, happy, lonely, frustrated, etc … and sharing your core feelings creates better communication, and more connection and compassion. – Veronica Monet, ACS, CAM
14. Change your focus to one of learning to appreciate your partner. – Michelle Poll, CPC, MA
15. Let go of criticism and blame.
Focus on what there is to appreciate about your mate, then honestly and spontaneously express your specific appreciation to them. It’s also good to do this for yourself. – Judith Joyce, Life Coach
16. Never lose the fine art of dating.
Setting aside a romantic evening on a regular basis can rekindle the magic of a long-term relationship. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just special time for the two of you to remember how and why you first fell in love. – John Sovec, LMFT
17. Have regular times, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, to check in on your relationship and what you appreciate about each other.
No talk about kids, schedules, etc. allowed. – Mary Kay Aide, MS
18. Love your marriage by first taking care of yourself.
So many of my patients say the reason their marriage fell apart is that they became depressed and disinterested in their partner. If you keep working on you, your marriage will stay fresh and vital. Start today by adding a new wedding vow to your list: Promise to take care of yourself so you will continue to age with grace and confidence by your partner’s side. – Mary Jo Rapini, LPC
19. Recognize that your husband or wife is mirroring back to you who you are.
So take whatever you’re upset with him/her about and use it to help yourself look squarely at what you need to do in order to grow and evolve—the relationship will thrive! – Ilene Dillon, LCSW, LMFT
20. Take time to have some fun together every day!
With today’s hectic schedules, it’s easy to find your marriage at the bottom of the priority list. Take a walk and hold hands (nature calms), couple-cook (food fight!), exercise together (tennis or dancing maybe?) or just collect a “Daily Joke” to share. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but if you make the commitment and effort to laugh together as often as possible, it can sweeten your connection and cement your relationship for life. – Melodie Tucker, CPC
21. Before you get mad or assign blame, take a breath and ask your partner for his or her perspective.
For instance, it’s your spouse’s job to walk the dog in the morning, but you discover dog poop on the kitchen floor and cleaning it up makes you late for work. Instead of immediately placing blame, saying something like, “I’m puzzled about what happened with Spot this morning,” is a gentle way to start a conversation. – Jean Fitzpatrick. L.P
22. Make a list of three of the happiest moments in your marriage.
Spend a few minutes each day briefly reliving those moments in your mind. The results will amaze you. – Lucia, Dating Coach
23. You can change your relationship for the better by increasing the use of the following statements:
“I love you”, “I’m here for you”, “I understand”, “I’m sorry”, “Thank you”, “I really appreciate all that you do”, “It’s so nice to see you”, “That was quite an accomplishment!” – Gina Spielman
24. Appreciate your partner at least five times each day.
Appreciate them from your heart about who they are at their essence. Leave gratitude in love notes, hide them so they will find them, or look deeply into their eyes and tell them. Be creative! – Linda Marie, RN, BSN
25. In order to keep the spark alive and avoid “roommate syndrome,” couples have to understand the notion of spending “time” together versus creating “sacred” time together.
Spending time at social events, time with family and doing “chores” together does not count as sacred time. Instead, carve out special time to not only be intimate, but also ensure that you continue to share new experiences together such as hiking, exploring someplace new, or arranging a stay-cation in your own city. – Marni Battista, CPC