The Best Marriage Advice For Those Looking To Keep Love Strong
Updated March 03, 2020
Reviewer Karen Devlin, LPC
Most people want a fairy tale marriage. They want to find the love of their lives, get married, and then live happily ever after until the end of time.
However, that's not the case for many. Divorces happen. What was once a thriving marriage can now feel lifeless, and maybe only lasting because of the children or because of the comfort of it. The truth is that no one is going to have a perfect marriage, but there are ways to keep it going strong for as long as possible. Here are some tips to keep that marriage going as strong as it can for a long time.
Only Marry Someone You Love
This sounds like common sense, but it's not. Many people get married not because of love, but because they're bored with life. Maybe there's family pressure to get married and have kids. Maybe they live in a small town and think that they won't get anyone else. Perhaps they're not confident with their appearance and have low standards.
By doing this, you're just going to be setting yourself up for an unhappy marriage. Don't be afraid of living the single life until you find that person who sets off funny feelings all over your body. It's hard to describe, but when you feel it, you'll know.
Marry Your Best Friend
If your spouse wasn't in a romantic relationship with you, do you think you'd still be friends? If not, that's a bit of a problem. You want to be with someone who is like a friend. Someone who you can have fun and explore the world with, or just someone who likes spending time with you. You got to have mutual interests and ambitions to stay together; if you marry someone who is entirely different than you, you won't be happy together. There will naturally be differences between you two, but you have to enjoy some things together.
Realize You're Going To Argue
Whenever people think of a perfect marriage, they may imagine one where there is no arguing. The couple is all sunshine, all smiles, and never has a bad day.
But this isn't reality. No matter how much you love your partner, no matter how much you think you'll never argue with your partner, you're going to have disagreements. People have bad days. Humans are naturally tribalistic so disagreements do happen. It happens, and it's okay. What's not okay is bottling up your emotions and then exploding.
While you shouldn't be arguing 24/7, arguing every once in a while is common. You two are different people and are going to disagree on some things. By working it out, you can build trust with your partner.
Just tell each other how you feel, be honest, and try to work out a solution. You'll feel better, and soon the relationship will be healthy again. Arguing is fine, but keeping everything bottled up is not.
Don't Have Kids Just To Save Your Marriage
Having children is inevitable in most marriages, but they're obviously not for everyone. One reason some couples have children is that they think the child will keep the mother and father together. Not the case. Having a child can put even more stress on the marriage, and the child is left with two divorced parents who dislike one another. Not an ideal situation for sure. Only have children when you're ready. To improve your marriage, try getting a pet instead.
Express Your Emotions
What one of the reasons arguments stem in the first place is the lack of communication. One person in the relationship may be silent for whatever reason. They won't bring up something that's bothering them; they won't talk about finances, or having children, or any sexual needs. Instead, they'll be standoffish and then explode one day.
If you have to get something off your chest, just do it. Your partner should be nice enough to listen to what you have to say.
Work Out Together
Working out is a way to relieve stress, and having your partner with you can help to strengthen your bond. If you want to improve yourself, your partner can help you do just that. Get a gym membership together. Walking together is another good way to keep the bond going. Walking is therapeutic, and it is a good way to talk to each other.
Do Chores Together
Whether you're doing the laundry, watching the dishes, or vacuuming, doing it with your partner increases the bond you have with them, and it's just a good way to quicken the workload. Don't slouch around while your partner does all the work. Help them out.
But Don't Do It While Tired or Hungry
There's a phenomenon called being hangry. A combination of hungry and angry, it's when you're irritable while hungry. It can make arguments worse, so if you two are at odds, make sure you have a good meal first.
Same with being tired. Don't argue when you just woke up; have a cup of coffee and you'll be able to think straighter. It's the same if you are unable to fall asleep, too.
Don't Change For Your Partner
If the husband likes video games and the wife despises them, this is already a bad move. You shouldn't have to give up a hobby you love for your spouse. Your spouse should enjoy it with you, or at least have a tolerance or an interest in it.
This applies to imperfections as well. You and your partner probably have bad habits that drive one another crazy, but you aren't going ever to fix them entirely. Instead, you'll need to learn to tolerate and accept one another for your flaws.
Changing yourself will only make you miserable. It doesn't matter who you're changing for. You want a marriage where you'll be yourself.
Share Financial Concerns
One of the reasons why marriages fail is because of money. You and your partner should have communication when it comes to money, and you two should share financial goals. If you aren't financially ready to have a child, don't marry someone who wants to rush having children. If you like to spend your income on collecting action figures, don't marry someone who sees that as a waste of money. Instead, make sure you both are financially secure.
Devote Free Time Together
Another reason couples may not work out is that they don't see each other. If you two have jobs, and if the shifts are at entirely different times, you may end up barely talking to one another. If one spouse's job requires them to be away from home, this can also be problematic in a marriage. You don't have to spend time together 24/7, but if you don't have at least a day a week to spend some time with your spouse, your marriage may not last.
When you first date your future spouse, you may be having sex like rabbits. Naturally, as you get settled in, that tends to slow down. However, it shouldn't slow down all the way. Sex isn't everything in a relationship; if you're in a relationship with someone just for the sex, it's going to fail fast, but it is important. Have sex at least once a week. Look for ways to spice things up if your sex drive isn't what it used to be. Both of you have sexual desires, and if they're not being fulfilled, you're going to be in trouble.
Being intimate does not mean you have to have sex constantly. Sometimes, intimacy works best when you're just cuddling up to each other. Whether this means watching a movie, taking a bath together, spooning while you're trying to fall asleep, or anything else, cuddling makes both of you feel good and it is an easy way to keep the bond going. So cuddle up with your partner today.
Don't Be Afraid Of A Counselor
When you think of a couple in marriage counseling, you may imagine a failing couple who is relying on someone else to keep the marriage alive. This is not the case. It's perfectly okay to seek a counselor if you feel like you can't resolve an issue with the two of you alone.
Sometimes, you need a third person, who is a trained professional, to hear the two of you out and find a way for you two to resolve your issues. When it's just the two of you arguing, both parties are biased and think they're right. Having a third person can add more objectivity to the situation. It's healthy to attend regular counseling to keep the marriage going.
Your marriage will be filled with mistakes and arguments, just like any other relationship. However, by following this advice, and by marrying someone you truly love, you can make the marriage last a lifetime.