Use character-related words that honor your spouse for such qualities as patience, helpfulness, courage, or kindness. Create regular opportunities for fun, laughter, and positive experiences. Figure out what communicates love to each other and do that. Be observant and thoughtful with little things and even do chores that the other dislikes. Consciously doing what opens and softens your spouse’s heart will benefit you both in the long-run and keep your marriage happier.
- Susanne Alexander
A woman needs her partner to spend time giving her his full attention and looking directly into her eyes. When she receives this, she can easily get in touch with her feelings of love for her husband and becomes much more receptive to his needs. This is how intimacy can be fulfilling for both people…magical even!
- Linda Wiggins, Executive Director for RelationSync
If I am unhappy with my husband about something, it stands to reason there are things about me he is unhappy about. We need to work together.
Always remember that life is long. In the heat of the moment, what feels super important will likely fade in importance as time goes by. Before you react by yelling, tossing insults or unkind words, remember that “This, too, shall pass”. In fact, recent studies have shown that even the most unhappiest of couples report being very happy five years later. So don’t let one unfortunate incident, difficult argument or challenging moment destroy your lifetime of happiness.
- Melanie Gorman, MA
… it was that I should love my husband, but not wrap myself up in my husband. That I should always remember that I was a person before him, and I should do my damnest to stay a person while married to him … second best advice was to never completely tie your finances to your husband–always have something of your own.
A strong marriage is a partnership in trust. Trust your partner in everything, including purchases and financial decisions, and to bring up things with you that need a joint decision. If you can’t do that, the two of you have a problem.
- Donald Pelles, Ph.D., CHt
You’re entitled to the occasional bad mood. You’re not entitled to make your partner the whipping boy.
- Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW
Someone once said that marriage is like standing in a corridor lined with doors. You go off through your door, he goes through his, but at the end of the day you have to come back to the corridor, touch base, hold hands, because through every door are more doors, and beyond them, more again, and if you both go through too many without coming back to the corridor, you may never find your way back.
- Carrie Adams, The Godmother
The best way to strengthen a marriage is to support and assist each other in being the best you can be. A strong marriage is one in which both people understand that the other person needs to have outside interests and activities which help them to feel happy and fulfilled. A strong marriage is one where both people understand that it is more important to be happy than it is to be right.
- Dr. Joe Amoia
When your partner tells you something (about you) that is bothering him—reflect back what he is saying. When we “mirror”, this helps us not feel as defensive and allows us the opportunity to better understand what he is trying to communicate.
- Anne Crowley, Ph.D
Lean in. When it gets hard in a relationship, our tendency is to protect ourselves, to retreat, to “lean out.” Leaning out when your partner reaches out creates distance and dissonance. If instead you “lean in” to the uncomfortable feelings, to the unknown and your own vulnerability, and meet your partner, you can actually strengthen your relationship through the struggles you face together.
- Christine Arylo, Life Coach
The best advice in my opinion is to live in a different town than your families when you get married. My hubby is in the Air Force and lucky for both of us, we moved across the country! We both grew up in negative environments and the space is a blessing! Now we appreciate talking to our families and they are far enough away where they can’t interfere and smother us with negativity. On another note, I believe the standard “don’t go to bed angry” is right as rain as well!
All the vital components that make a relationship successful, without any of the emotional messiness to drag it down. It’s about respect, caring, and commitment. Shared goals and compatible priorities. It’s about treating marriage like a partnership instead of some romantic fantasy. It’s about two people liking each other.
- Mira Lyn Kelly, Waking Up Married
On those ever-important date nights, remember to be a wife first and a critic second. Every time you open your mouth to complain about something—whether it’s the food, the service, the movie, the weather, whatever—some part of your partner feels he’s failing because you aren’t having a great time. Men are happiest when they can please their woman! Save the full critique for your girlfriends and in meantime, let him see the best in you.
- Delaine Moore, Dating and Relationship Coach
Preface important communication with a simple yet effective introduction, such as: “Honey, I’m confused about your response to my plans for a weekend hunting trip with the guys. When would be a good time to talk further?” My relationship coaching clients have found that prefacing their remarks encourages a better, more accommodating reaction from their partner.
- Greg R. Thiel, MA
Couples often lose each other because of their busy lives: work, children, computers, and separate male/female activities. A healthy marriage is one that has a mix of individual, family, and couple time. The amount of each may be different for each couple, but the mix is necessary to keep a functional marriage.
- Michele Seligman LCSW, BCD
. . . children should draw [a husband & wife] nearer than ever, not separate you, as if they were all yours, and [your husband] had nothing to do but support them. . . . don’t neglect husaband for children, don’t shut him out of the nursery, but teach him how to help in it. His place is there as well as yours, and the children need him; let him feel that he has his part to do, and he will do it gladly and faithfully, and it will be better for you all. . . . That is the secret of our home happiness: he does not let business wean him from the little cares and duties that affect us all, and I try not to let domestic worries destroy my interest in his pursuits. Each do our part alone in many things, but at home we work together, always. . . . no time is so beautiful and precious to parents as the first years of the little lives given them to train. Don’t let [your husband] be a stranger to the babies, for they will do more to keep him safe and happy in this world of trial and temptation than anything else, and through them you will learn to know and love one another as you should.
- Louisa May Alcott, Good Wives. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: Being a Sequel to ‘Little Women’. With Illustrations by Jessie T. Mitchell
One of the most important factors in a good marriage is respect. Respect each other, avoid verbal abuse, and keep insults to yourself. Bad words are just like squeezing toothpaste out of its tube—once it is out you can never get it back in again.
- Georgia Panayi, MBA
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
Change your focus to one of learning to appreciate your partner.
- Michelle Poll, CPC, MA
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
Compromise, communicate, and never go to bed angry – the three pieces of advice gifted and regifted to all newlyweds.
- Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
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
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
The best marriage advice I received was from my grandmother: Marriage is not always 50/50. Some days you will wake up and may have to give 90% and your spouse will give 10%. Other days you may wake up and give 25% and your husband will have to put in the 75%. I never thought of this before but it is so true.