15 Tips For A Happy Marriage
You have tried to explain to your partner how mad you are and why about a hundred times and it doesn't seem to help. It's like they aren't hearing you. Maybe they don't listen well.
- Remember that marriage is compromise and it isn't 50/50. Sometimes it's 100/100. It's two people giving all the time.
- Simple, small gestures and steps can make the difference between whether you stay married or get a divorce. Show each other that you are both invested in this commitment by setting aside some private time just for the two of you, even if it's just 15 minutes a day. Schedule a weekly date that can't be cancelled. And don't forget the power of an unexpected smile, a quick kiss or a touch. Add a little fun to your relationship. Do spontaneous things. Give little surprises. Regardless of how long you've been married, stick a love note in his/her lunch box or tucked in a piece of luggage or placed under the visor of their car. It will always be appreciated. And drop a love note e-mail or text message just to say "Thinking of you and can't wait until you get home!"
- There will always be conflict in a healthy marriage. The important thing is that you both fight fair. That means no personal attacks, no name calling, never bring up the D word, don't use the words "always" and "never," and bring up your issues in a non-threatening way. Use "I" statements rather than "You" statements; e.g., "I get uncomfortable when you go off to work and leave the kitchen a mess." Don't say, "You are so sloppy and every day you leave a huge mess in the kitchen because of it." Remember you aren't at your problem-solving best when you're fuming. Take a break from fighting until you simmer down so you won't do or say anything you will regret later. Don't nitpick as a way of life. Bring up an issue and work to resolve it--don't harp over and over. Choose your battles wisely. Fighting takes a toll on a marriage. Are you positive you want to bring up Christmas 1984 again? Finally, do you want to be right or do you want to be married?
- Do your best to resolve financial issues without unfair fighting. Finances are one of the most fought about areas in a marriage. Get a free or low-cost consumer credit counselor to be in charge of setting up a plan that will work for you and stick to it or hire a financial planner. Don't take out your lack of money on each other. Make a pact to discuss all major purchases together first.
- Keep part of your lives separate. You each need alone time and space. Respect that about each other. Take time just for yourself and just be alone and do what you want to do without having to interact with a soul. Solitariness renews and restores. Respect each other's privacy. No need to report every thing you did and said while you or your spouse was having private time.
- Split the household chores. This isn't your grandparents' marriage. Most likely you both work outside the home. There is just too much work to managing and running a home to leave it all to one frazzled person. Give each other a break from overwork and from constant fighting about who did what last and whose turn it is to do something today and just split the chores 50/50.
- Forgive quickly and don't hold grudges. Never let the sun set on a resentment, and don't go to bed mad. Be quick to say "I'm sorry." Try to see and understand their point of view and get inside their skin, and forgiveness will come easier. Resentment blocks the sunlight of the spirit and it can kill a marriage.
- Respect each other always and be each other's champion. Never let your children or anyone else hear you put down your spouse for one minute. This is the person you love above all others: act like it even when they do something kind of stupid. Don't mock or make fun of him/her. Don't tease when all you are doing is making fun of them. Don't imitate them. Don't talk behind his or her back, not even (especially) to family.
- Communication is one of the main keys to a healthy, happy marriage. Be as honest as you know how to be with your spouse. Don't withdraw when your spouse wants to discuss an issue that's bothering them that you'd rather not get into. Be willing to always listen. Give your spouse your full attention when they are speaking to you.
- Never use sex as a weapon. Sexual love is a sacred part of the marriage sacrament. Don't threaten to withhold it as a punishment or a manipulation.
- Find humor. Do your best to find a place for humor in your relationship every day. Nothing is as healing as a good shared belly laugh. Get enough sleep at night so you're not too tired to see the humor in something.
- Boredom is part of marriage. It is inevitable. Too many couples call it quits after a few years of marriage because they have allowed their marriage to get in a rut. It is absolutely possible for a couple to reignite a relationship. Don't have predictable sex in the same position all the time. If you're not the one who usually initiates sex, do so and surprise your spouse with some seductive moves. Get out and do fun things together. Take a ballroom dancing class, or try couples yoga or Italian cooking. Don't just sit and watch television together night after night.
- Discuss having children not just before you're married but while you're married. Sudden pregnancy surprises just aren't fair. It's too big a decision for one-half of the couple to make on her own. Sometimes the number of children you originally agreed on changes after you actually have a few. Spend a lot of time carefully discussion each other's real feelings, wants and needs before committing to more children.
- Commitment and trust are key. Your spouse should never have to worry about whether you will be unfaithful. Your honest, open, every day commitment should be all the security he/she needs. It's a real gift in this modern world to be able to trust your marriage partner with your well being, emotional security and peace of mind. Give that gift to each other and promise again to respect your vows.
- Don't let workaholism corrupt your marriage. Being overly ambitious can also lead to divorce court. Couples can't have a happy marriage if they never spend time together. In this economy it's difficult to just work one 40-hour a week job, but your happy marriage may depend on it.