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18 Pieces of Marriage Advice for a Happy and Lasting Relationship

18 Pieces of Marriage Advice for a Happy and Lasting Relationship

When we were growing up, no one told us that marriage was going to take work. I think most people assumed that you would:

(A) Find someone you are compatible with

(B) Have fun with them

(C) Fall in love

(D) Get married

(E) Live happily ever after…

As we got older, we realized that the path to a happy marriage isn’t always easy. It takes time, attention, and sometimes… a lot of work. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a healthy relationship.

The number one most important thing is that you BOTH have a commitment to each other and prioritize making the marriage the best it can be.

Many of us grew up with parents who didn’t model a good marriage. Some parents fight loudly, while others just avoid conflict and then silence ensues in the household; neither of these extremes is healthy.

If we didn’t see “how” to have a good marriage growing up, it’s much more difficult to figure it out on your own later in life. So, if you are one of those people who didn’t learn how to have a happy relationship from their parents, you are not alone.

Let’s start by talking about the most important things in a marriage:

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1. Trust

Unfortunately, trust is something that is hard to come by sometimes. People usually have one of two approaches:

(1) I don’t trust you until you prove that you are trustworthy, or (2) I trust you until you prove that you are untrustworthy.

Either way, trust is crucial to a happy marriage.

2. Respect

Both spouses must treat the other one with respect and kindness. That means never speaki ng in a mean or derogatory manner, nor engaging in any kind of mental, emotional, or physical abuse.

You must treat them like the Golden Rule – “treat others they way you would like to be treated.”

3. Friendship

Many romantic relationships do not start out as friendships, but some do. Regardless of whether you are friends first or not, the best marriages are the ones that claim to be best friends. That’s the kind of relationship where each person has the other’s back and are able to talk to and confide in their spouse completely.

4. Companionship

In order to have a healthy relationship, you have to enjoy spending time together.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend 24/7 with each other attached at the hip. But it does mean that you two enjoy doing activities together on a regular basis. They are your constant “built-in” companion.

5. Compatibility

Compatibility occurs on many, many different levels. From personality differences (introvert/extrovert), to hobbies, likes/dislikes, religion, politics, and other values, it is important to be as compatible as possible.

Although they say, “opposites attract,” I believe that similarity is one of the most important ingredients to a good marriage.

6. Love

There are many different kinds of love – from the kind you have to a pet, your child, or your grandma – to the romantic type that makes you fall madly in love. And I don’t mean infatuation, because that fades.

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Being “in love” with your partner does not have to fade. It can, and should, last forever.

7. Kindness

Beyond the obvious (speaking and acting kindly), it’s important to extend your kindness to one another by doing the “little things.”

Simple acts of kindness go a long way. Rubbing her shoulders or bringing him coffee are small things, but it shows that you love the other person. So, don’t underestimate the power of the small gestures of kindness.

8. Sexual Intimacy

Everyone has their own level of sex drive, so it’s important to find a partner who matches your own. Some people don’t need a lot of sex, but others do for both physical and emotional reasons.

Don’t overlook the fact that if you are not sexually in sync, it could be a huge reason the marriage doesn’t work out.

9. Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy is just as important as sexual intimacy and compatibility. Even if a couple has sex every day, that doesn’t always mean that there is a lot of emotional intimacy between them.

Without the emotional connection, the relationship becomes distant and cold. So, don’t forget to nurture your feelings and love for one another.

10. Communication

If you have problems (which most couples do), you can’t solve them without talking to one another. And I don’t mean yelling and screaming. I mean sitting down rationally and speaking about both of your concerns. You need to keep that line of communication open at all times.

Here’re some tips to help you: How to Improve Communication in Relationships and Increase Intimacy

Now that we have discussed some of the most important things in a marriage, let’s push the discussion even further and talk about some other crucial things that make a marriage good:

11. Putting Your Spouse as a Priority

Your spouse cannot be happily married to you if they feel like they are a low priority on your list.

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Whether you put the kids, work, your friends, or anything else in front of your spouse, it will not turn out well. You need to make each other your top priority.

12. Spending Time Together

I know life can get very busy for most people, but it’s vital that you find time to spend together – alone. Not that it’s not fun to hang out as a family with the kids or with friends, but that’s not quality time with each other.

Make regular date nights and make an effort to do it all the time.

13. Talking and Connecting

The time spent together should be quality. Sure, you could sit in your living room all alone with each other (which is spending time together), but if you are both on your phones, or even if you’re watching TV, you are not really connecting.

So, don’t forget to talk to each other and keep up that connection you had when you first started dating.

14. Shared Values

As I mentioned above, it is really important for you both to share similar values. That doesn’t mean that you have to be identical, but you do have to view the world through lenses that are compatible with one another.

For example, an extreme right-winger and an extreme left-winger are probably not going to see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues in the world. I think you get my point.

15. Mutual Plans for the Future

Do you want kids? If so, how many? How do you want to plan for retirement? What do you want to do in retirement? Where do you want to live? Do you want to travel?

All of these questions are important so that you can have a shared vision of what your future together will look like.

Next, how do you deal with a struggling marriage? When you are unhappy in your marriage, what are you supposed to do about it? No one gives us a rule book about how to fix a broken relationship, right? So, here are some tips for how you can start to heal your marriage:

16. Talk about Your Problems

You can’t change, or fix, what you don’t recognize. So, talk to each other about your problems – don’t avoid conflict.

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But when you talk, be rational and have empathy for your spouse. Try to see the situation from their perspective, not just yours. I cannot stress how important empathy is to a healthy marriage!

17. Rediscover Commitment

Some people “give up” in an unhappy marriage. They mentally and emotionally just “check out.” But you can’t do that!

BOTH people need to be 100% committed to fixing the relationship. One person can’t do it on their own. So, you need to talk and commit to making the necessary changes for the relationship to rebuild.

18. Seek Professional Help

Many people simply can’t do this on their own because they don’t have the necessary skills. That’s where a trained professional can help you.

Don’t feel like a failure if you seek out a therapist or marriage counselor. In fact, you are the opposite – you are winners for trying your best to save the marriage. It’s a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness!

Final Thoughts

If you are in an unhappy marriage, don’t be discouraged. There are many relationships that have come back from the brink of destruction, and yours can too.

And if you’re not yet married, I hope you will take this marriage advice to heart when trying to find the right partner (or wondering if the one you’re with is “it”).

Marriage doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s the people who make it hard. So, just remember these tips, and you can finally have the happily ever after that you’ve always dreamed about.

Featured photo credit: Alvin Mahmudov via unsplash.com

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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