People on Quora were asked: “What is the best marriage advice you would give?” These are some of the best answers.
When you have been married for 3 years (or 7 years or 49 years) pretend that you have just met her (I’ll give the male perspective; that’s the only one I understand) and are courting her again.
Don’t take her for granted, ever. Seduce. Entertain. Be nice. Do all those things you did when you were trying to win her over. Do things just to make her happy, even if you don’t get credit. Ignore her flaws. Do nice things without expecting reward, and be delighted when you are rewarded.
Do this, and you’ll be amazed how much pleasure you get out of it.
Make her laugh and do silly, fun things. Laughter is a key ingredient in the success of a relationship. The don’t be an idiot part means you are most certainly going to make mistakes, just try to learn from them and not make huge ones. Find the balance which works for the both of you.
If you argue about cleaning the house, look at your finances and figure out how to have a maid service come once or twice a month.
If you argue about money, set up a budget or get an accountant. Restricting one partner from ever spending money reasonably or controlling the finances is not good for a marriage.
If you fight about not having time to yourself because of your children, schedule a regular time with your partner when he can watch the kids for a few hours and you can go to the gym. Be sure to give the other partner the same opportunity.
If it’s still an issue, hire a babysitter or get help from a friend.
Marriage works better when you make yourself happy, he/she makes him/herself happy, and you both share the overflowing happiness. Never is it good to place the responsibility for your happiness in someone else’s hands.
Life will happen. You’ll screw up. You’ll fight. You’ll probably even slam a few doors and say something horrible you don’t really mean.
That’s what happens when we’re human. We’re flawed. Expecting perfection, rainbows, and glitter is unrealistic. Whenever a couple tells me, “We never fight,” I know they’re in or already having trouble. No one can look great, have a perfect home, perfect kids, job, friends and be happy all the time. Believe me, I’ve tried.
You’re going to lose a job, have money problems, have a death in the family, bury a pet, lose your hair, get wrinkles, have diarrhea, vomit, forget deodorant, put your foot in your mouth, leave the seat up, and spill stuff on the sofa.
Talk about the whole picture from the get-go: what do you both want out of life? Create a map for a life together that makes you both happy and satisfied. Erase the possibility of anger and resentment in your future by having clear (and communicated!) expectations from day one.
For example, given kids are your next step together, talk about how you each want to raise them in detail e.g., names, religion, types of homes, and neighborhoods. Where do you align and where do you differ? Have that discussion now before prior to tying the knot and you may save yourselves from a lot of frustration and possibly anger down the road.
When couples are in a long distance relationship, they constantly fantasize about the day they are gonna be together. When the day comes for them to be together and they finally start being together, they fantasize about something else – maybe another dream, materialistic riches, something else. We constantly live in a state of hazy future-dness. Keep doing that and you will turn back to realize that you never actually took time to experience the moments you had.
If you’re in a long distance relationship, experience the joy of missing, the joy of aching, the joy of desperation, and experience it fully. If you’re together and you’re newly married, experience the joy of making wild love, exploring things together, planning a family. If you’re few years into marriage, experience the joy of discussing things, planning things for the year ahead, raising a better family, bringing a life into this world, etc. I can keep going on until the day you will finally leave your body. You get the point.
If you are truly committed to your marriage, you will have to find common interests that both of you like. Hopefully you already have a couple like travelling or fitness or camping. Yet even if you have no interest in common, work on it and find something.
I have two kids with my first wife. I love them.
I hope every relationship I am in lasts forever. I am a sucker for monogamy and commitment. But the reality is, most relationship don’t last forever. And some large percentage of marriages end in divorce.
Government, religion, culture, and family, program us to think that we fail when a marriage fails. But many legal contracts go awry and have to be rewritten. And sometimes people grow apart.
Often growth is considered a good thing. Except when it means that a relationship might have been “out”-grown.
Don’t fall for that myth.
I’m planning a wedding right now. I actually found my wedding gown today. It’s a very exciting time and a lot of attention goes into things like dresses, bridesmaids, invitations, parties, flowers, food, music, venue, etc.
The day you marry you look the best you’ll ever look. It’s taken hours of preparation and planning to look as good as we do on our wedding day, and it’s all down hill from there.
It’s very exciting, but it’s not your life. Life is farting in your sleep and spilling coffee on the cat. For one couple I know, once the wedding was over, there was nothing. Once they were married, they didn’t get along because they weren’t distracted by this big party. They had nothing to talk about.
I’m very excited to see my friends and family, throw this fantastic party, be a bride (my dress is amazing), but I’m most excited to marry the man I love. I’m looking most forward to our life together and growing old together, not the wedding.
Personally do not believe in a friendship that was once sexual and romantic. You only need a couple of drinks and one can be willing to go at it again. I deleted any previous relationships from my FB, and other social network accounts, deleted phone numbers and so did my wife.
It takes two to tango. But you wont be able to tango if you arent at your best. Make sure you take care of yourself and your own needs. Im talking about everything from getting enough sleep to having anything you need to thrive, whether thats alone time, time with friends, doctor visits, or time for your favorite activities. Do what you need to recharge.
And just like the advice we get on planes, remember to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others. You will not have the energy to be an amazing thoughtful husband to your wife, if you do not have a source of energy.
Have a bowl for good times and have another bowl for bad times. Write down on paper when you experience something so good/bad in your marriage and put it in appropriate bowls. Take down and read the ones in the good bowl during the bad times. Read the bad ones during the good times – and help each other improve.
You will fight. It’s inevitable.
Don’t bring up the past. Last week’s fight was last week. If he cheated on you 5 years ago and you forgave him, it’s off limits. If she broke your favorite mug last month, let it go.Don’t ever use the words “you, always or never.” Ever.
For example, “You ALWAYS leave dishes in the sink and NEVER help out with the dog.” Never? Not once? Really? And being accusatory, using “you” is an attack. Instead, try, “I get really frustrated when dirty dishes are still in the sink and the dog hasn’t been fed. It would really make me more relaxed and happier if I got some help with those two things.”
Don’t talk, listen. It’s so frustrating when you’re talking and you know the other person is just planning his retort in his head. How can you respond if you don’t listen?
People forget stuff. We might agree on something but two years later we do not remember we ever said it or agreed to it. I have met a couple who still argue about why they move to a certain city and not to another. Well, if – before they decided – they signed an agreement, this paper could also pulled out and read up loud.
Our so called ‘civilized‘ society has, for ages, socially conditioned us to divide. Divide everything. The planet as continents. Continents as countries. Countries as states. States as districts. Districts and so on. And comes down to people. And people as of appropriate race. It goes on. When it comes down to the granularity of an individual – we have also been so conditioned to separate parts of our body as acceptable, okay to be visible, and shameless, and some other parts to be shameful, guilty, sinful.
Honestly, we come in naked. Clothes are meant to be for protecting ourselves from harsh climatic conditions. As we have grown forward (or so we think), our thinking is beyond backward – dividing our body into pieces, and labeling some pieces as normal and harmless, and labeling some other pieces as those that should be closed, or felt shameful/sinful about. Unless you leave this mentality, and start embracing your own naked body – you will never be truly comfortable and you will never be completely able to connect with someone else’s body.
So stop addressing parts of your body as ugly, parts of it as beautiful, parts of it as acceptable, and parts of it as unacceptable. Your body is a wonderland, and you must feel good naked. If you don’t work on it before you can get to work with another person who’s equally naked in expressing your love to this world, to your world.
If there is a behavior which needs to be changed, it must be changed by the person displaying the behavior. No amount of nagging, pleading or threatening will make someone change.
It is not your responsibility to change anyone but yourself. Learn to deal with this behavior or get over it. Or don’t get married. Or get divorced.
Take the sexual aspect of your marriage seriously. Don’t let it be put on the side due to work, busy schedules, events etc. You can even schedule sex if you need to.
Spend time every day just connecting with each other. Even if it is just for 15 minutes. Its definitely worth it. For example, you can color together, talk about your future, or snuggle on the couch.
When I say give love – that doesn’t work from one person to other. It has to first start with you. You fill yourself up before you take the overflowing love and give to the other person. You can’t, remember, you CAN’T give from a place of deficit, and if you do, you’ll always be unhappy.
Be your own person. Keep your own hobbies, interests and friends. Your partner should support and encourage this, if he doesn’t, you’ll soon be resentful, angry and unhappy. This goes both ways. Let him go to his friend Pookie’s man cave to watch the game. Use the time to do something you want to do. He should reciprocate so you have time to kick Jill’s butt at tennis or read the latest issue of Wonder Woman at a Starbucks like a grownup.
Many people do this mistake. They think, “oh, if it doesn’t work, I can always get a divorce!” You’d be foolish to think so. If you have this thought before you marry someone, he/she is not the right person for you. Move on. Save yourself and the other person from heartbreak.
If your partner tells you that they have cancer, would you leave? This seems like a stupid comment. But just listen to me.
It’s easy: if the answer to the above is “no, of course not” then you are in love.
If you pause, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It just probably means you shouldn’t get married and you should think about ending the relationship.
By the way, the reverse holds also: “If I tell her I have cancer tomorrow, is there a chance she might leave?”
If the answer to that is “maybe” or “I don’t know” or “I’m afraid of what will happen” then maybe time to pause things.
Again, I’m not being cynical – a lot of marriages and relationships end when the life goals of people change or are forced to change through illness or job change or whatever.
If your relationship can’t handle massive change, that’s ok. Just don’t get married.
When a couple becomes three, life will change. You can’t have a tiny, stinky, loud, crying, hungry, fussy human being who will never let you sleep again living in your house and nothing changes.
You will argue about who has baby duty and why you haven’t gotten to shower for three days. Your wife will be emotional, scared and may be an on-call milk service for a while. Your husband will be confused, scared, nervous, stressed and may start wearing sweatpants and old flip flops to the store.
This is all normal. Life will change, but, eventually, you’ll figure out what works for you and how to sneak in romance again.
You have to find your new normal as parents, not just a married couple.
You may not be out partying in the hottest clubs in designer clothes anymore, but you’ll be so excited the baby just smiled and said, “greebo,” that you’ll be content to have a new kind of party involving ordering Chinese for the nth time, watching reruns of The Walking Dead and getting four solid hours of sleep.
Trust is the glue that holds every healthy relationship together. Without it your marriage is bound to be unhealthy and unfulfilling.
When, it makes it easier to communicate your feelings, struggles, opinions, resolve issues, etc.
In addition, you will not have to worry about your spouse doing things “behind your back”, cheating, etc.
So spend some time with your spouse to talk about how you are going to be honest and sincere with each other even when it hurts.