Thought Catalog

10 Essential Tips For A Happier, Stronger Marriage

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Twenty20 / Dariakova
Twenty20 / Dariakova

Every couple is different. What may make you happy may not be what another person needs. Most marriages, though, have certain things in common that keep the couple happily together for the rest of their lives. We have compiled a list of the best marriage tips for you to read and enjoy.

1. You won’t like everything about your spouse. You may think this means you aren’t completely in love, but that is not true.  You will never find someone who is exactly like you.  We all have habits and traits that might irritate our spouses.  You need to decide to accept these quirks with a smile or these irritants will eat away at your happiness.  Your partner is not going to change his/her traits for you just as you wouldn’t change for him/her.

2. Don’t be a “yes” person. You may think you are just trying to avoid conflict, but saying yes to everything your spouse wants will only add conflict to your marriage.  Your spouse will become angry or hurt if you don’t follow through with what you agreed to do and fights will start.

3. Forget the past. Remember the happy times, but forget about the hurt and anger.  Constantly thinking of your partner’s mistakes will only taint the happiness of the moment.  You don’t want your spouse to remember your mistakes and you owe that same respect to them.  It is especially easy to bring up past mistakes when you are fighting but resist the urge and focus on the problem you are having right then.

4. Don’t be critical. Criticism is so easy to let slip, but resist using it. Pay your spouse more compliments and use less critical comments to truly see happiness in your marriage.  If you are upset about something, discuss the issue don’t attack your spouse by being critical about things that have nothing to do with why you are upset.  Remember that words hurt and they can never be taken back.

5. Make love. This may seem like an obvious choice for couples, but unfortunately life gets so busy that sex is the last thing either one of them are thinking about.  You don’t need to make love every day, but be sure to keep the intimacy alive in your marriage.  Every couple finds the right amount of sex for them and you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone else.

6. Talk about finances. Again, this may seem obvious, but many couples avoid talking about money with their spouse.  This can cause serious problems, especially if one spouse is a saver and the other is a spender.  Each spouse will be upset that the other doesn’t share the same thoughts about money and serious conflicts will occur.  Simply discussing what you want and need with your spouse can save a lot of fighting.

7. Make time for each other. Making time for intimacy is important, but just as important is simply spending time together. This can get even harder when you have children and busy lives, but doing things you both enjoy keeps the sparks alive in a marriage.  Whether cuddling on the couch with a movie or going out for dinner and dancing is your thing, make sure you do it together.

8. Stay optimistic. This one is difficult at times, but anyone who offers you marriage advice will say that staying optimistic will go a long way towards a happy marriage.  Every marriage goes through rough patches and you need to keep a positive attitude about your life.  If you start being pessimistic, you may begin to wonder if there is someone better for you out there.  Be optimistic that these hard times will pass and you can handle the stress better.

9. Keep your standards high. This is the same as the Golden Rule – treat your spouse as you want to be treated and accept nothing less.  Couples who demand respect and who refuse to let their spouse talk to them in a negative or abusive manner tend to stay together and have happier marriages.

10. Touch each other. Touching reduces stress levels and bonds people together.  Lightly touch your spouse’s arm as you are talking or hold hands while you are riding in the car.  Cuddle on the couch and always kiss hello and goodbye.  Some couples believe that touching has to leads to sex so they avoid the touches if they are not in the mood.  This is wrong – touching is important in every healthy relationship.

Being married is hard work. Many couples seem to believe that being married is a guarantee for love and happiness, but good relationships take effort from both spouses to survive.  Every day, you need to think about what you love about your spouse and make sure to share those thoughts with him or her.  Simply focusing on what you love about your partner will help keep your marriage long and happy. TC mark

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