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Published on May 1, 2020

15 Pieces of Best Marriage Advice All Couples Need

15 Pieces of Best Marriage Advice All Couples Need

Being in a successful relationship is the goal for most, if not all, couples. It would be marvelous to receive a manual with the best marriage advice on how to go about creating a strong and desired union.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You and your partner are left to navigate those often turbulent waters on your own. But I have good news for you!

In this article, I will provide you with 15 essential pieces of advice that, if implemented, will aid you in solidifying and strengthening even the rockiest of marriages.

Some of the advice may seem simplistic but don’t let the simplicity fool you. It is the simplicity that guarantees success.

So, let’s begin…

1. Do Small Things

If you want to have a slam-dunk kind of marriage, forget the big gestures (i.e., dinners at five-star restaurants, a diamond in the champagne glass, a trip to Bermuda, etc.).

No! As enticing as those may seem, they are short-term investments. If you want to have an incredible marriage, focus on the small, daily things. They may seem meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but those small gestures will create a trail of memories that will keep you warm in the coldest of nights.

What do I mean by small things?

It’s bringing your spouse something they need before they realize they need it. It’s pouring them a cup of coffee before you pour your own. It’s making the bed before they get out of the shower, or turning it down before they come to bed.

Those simple, seemingly insignificant things, are huge. They spell L O V E. They are an investment in your marriage. Don’t underestimate their importance.

2. Become Best Friends

Remember when you were in high school? You used to share everything with your best friend. If anything happened, good or bad, you’d call them to let them know. If there was anything on your mind, you’d pick up the phone and spend long hours talking.

Your spouse needs to become your best friend. Make them the person with whom you want to share your life. Then share it whether good, bad, or indifferent.

In her article, Being best friends with your spouse isn’t just a cliché—it could actually have some science-backed benefits, Sara Hendricks writes:[1]

“When investigating the role of friendship in marriage, researchers also found that the benefits of marriage are even greater when people thought they had a friend in their marriage.”

According to John F. Helliwell, an author on the study:[2]

“The well-being benefits of marriage are much greater for those who also regard their spouse as their best friend.” “These benefits are on average about twice as large for people whose spouse is also their best friend.”

3. Lend an Ear

One thing we all love is to have someone who will listen when we have a problem.

In her article, Sometimes Lending an Ear is the Best Gift, Jennifer Preyss, writes:[3]

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“They weren’t seeking a solution to their problem. No, what they were seeking was an emotional release. They wanted to share and vent.”

In order to comfort someone, it’s not necessary to solve their problem. Quite often the best thing to do is just to listen.

If you are a woman, you may want your husband to listen, not to necessarily solve anything. If you’re a man reading this, you might be saying, “But I must solve the problem for my sweetie.” I am sure that you think you do. But frequently, the best thing to do is lend an ear, nod your head, and say, “It’s going to be OK.”

We all just want to be heard.

Lending an ear will go a long way into making your marriage stronger. Your spouse will know they can come to you at any time and talk to their heart’s content. That, believe it or not, is a gift.

4. Write a Love Letter

You’re probably asking right now, “Write a love letter? What do you mean?”

I know, times have changed. You’re used to texting, emailing, or just picking up your phone. But I happen to feel that there’s nothing more romantic than receiving a love letter in the mail.

It may be old-fashioned, but it is truly romantic. No one who receives a love letter is going to say, “What the heck is this?” Nope. They are going to read it, savor the words, and save that letter forever.

For Valentine’s Day this year, my husband wrote me a love letter every day for 14 days, starting on February 1st, and left it in places he knew I’d find it. What a beautiful way to start my day. Better than a box of chocolates and a dozen roses. Because long after the chocolate and flowers are gone, the letters will still remain!

Don’t allow technology to rob you of writing out your feelings on a piece of rose-scented paper!

Allow me to share an example with you—a letter written by Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera. Tell me this does not give you goosebumps.

“Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.”

Obviously, your letters don’t have to be on this level. This isn’t meant to deter you. It’s meant to inspire you.

Just write what you feel. That will be plenty good enough. Happy writing!

5. Forgo the Last Piece

One way to show love and create warm, loving feelings is to forgo the last piece.

Imagine there’s a chocolate chip cookie on the table—the last one. You know it’s your honey’s favorite. Do you eat it, or do you let them have it?

If you want to make your relationship great, let them have it. That gesture will not be forgotten. It shows how much you care and what sacrifices you are willing to make (especially if you want the cookie just as much as they do).

I know giving up the last piece of food seems bleh. But let me tell you, it speaks volumes. It says I love you in a deep and subtle way.

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6. Take Care of Yourself

When you first got married, you probably looked your best. Better than you ever have. But what happens over time?

You might become comfy, and stop really caring about how you look. Maybe you’ve put on some weight. Or maybe you don’t dress up anymore because you don’t think you have to.

But why not? You want to see your spouse looking their best, right? That means they want you to look your best. It’s only fair.

In his article, For a Strong Relationship, First Take Care of Yourself, Scott Christian writes:[4]

“There’s a lot to be said in a marriage, or in a committed relationship, for taking care of each other. But more often than not, relationships that run into stormy weather do so because the people in it aren’t taking care of themselves. This seems fairly straightforward, that living your life in total emotional disarray will inevitably drag down your partner, and yet it’s surprising how often couples forget it. Let yourself go, and the odds are pretty good your relationship is going to go too.”

So what are some ways in which you can take care of yourself?

You can eat well, exercise, and give up any deadly habits so you can be there for your partner in your later years when you’ll need each other the most.

Give each other the gift of you, in the best way possible.

7. Pay Compliments

When you first start dating, you may have complimented your partner often. Over time, you might start to take them for granted and think, “They already know how I feel. Why do I have to say it?”

Why? Because it feels good to hear it.

It’s a reminder to your partner that you think they’re tremendous, that you’re happy you’re with them. You can compliment your spouse on so many things: the delicious meal they cooked, the way they wear a certain outfit, how sweet they were for giving up the last piece for you (see #5 above); your appreciation for all they do to make your relationship special, etc.

I know for a fact you love to be complimented. Your spouse does too. If you haven’t been doing that, watch the surprised and delighted expression on their faces when you do.

Kim Leatherdale, in her article, The Power of Compliments in Your Relationship, writes:[5]

“Compliments are important to give to anyone, even a stranger; however, in a relationship they are doubly critical. Compliments show respect and are a fundamental building block of intimacy. Compliments show your partner that you appreciate them, see the awesome things they do, and recognize the good in them. This builds connection and helps your partner feel like they are seen, noticed, and loved.”

8. Lend a Helping Hand

From experience, I can tell you that you will feel really close to your spouse when you follow this little piece of advice.

Allow me to illustrate.

You’re in the middle of making the bed. Your honey shows up out of nowhere and starts helping. The job is done in half the time. No going back and forth around the bed. Or let’s say you’re doing the dishes and your spouse shows up, picks up a towel, starts drying and putting things away.

What a help! You would feel so appreciative. There are a million little things like this.

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Look for ways to help your spouse. It could be folding the laundry, housework, taking over parental duties (if applicable); doing a store run, etc. The list is endless.

How could you stay angry or feel bad about a partner that is always finding ways to help you?

9. Start and End the Day with a Kiss!

You might be wondering why this is important. It may seem like such a trivial act, but kissing is intimate; it’s endearing. And many couples don’t do it often enough, especially after they’ve been married for a while.

I’ve talked to many people who’ve told me they don’t ever kiss their spouses. It’s non-existent in their relationship. But there is much value in a kiss.

In 10 Reasons Why Kissing Is SO Important In A Relationship, the author, Lisa, writes:[6]

“The value of a kiss is so important because it shows passion, intimacy, desire and how much you adore a person. It can reduce stress and help with anxiety as well. It is very important in lovemaking and marriage. The passion and all the other stuff can get lost in your everyday life of work and kids when you are married. It is important to kiss and keep the spark alive in your relationship. It is important to show your partner how much they mean to you. A quick kiss before you go to work can go a long way and mean more than you know.”

Kissing can be playful, loving, and passionate. It’s a way to let your partner know everything is okay. It relays feelings without having to say a word.

Kissing doesn’t just have to be in the morning or before bedtime. If you want to spice things up, surprise your spouse with a lingering kiss. You’re going to knock them off their feet!

10. Take Walks Together

One of my favorite things to do is to take walks with my husband. It is a relaxing time in which we share our day, discuss important matters, or simply chit chat about what’s going on in the world.

There are multiple benefits to going on those long walks. Not only are you outside getting fresh air, but you’re also exercising as a couple and bonding just by talking with each other.

If you and your partner incorporate daily walks, your relationship is sure to grow stronger. It’s a wonderful way to connect, and one that is sure to bring you closer.

Working out together is also another great way to cement your relationship. According to the article, 10 Surprising Benefits of Working Out as a Couple, “couples exercising together strengthen both their bodies and relationship.”[7]

11. Be the Yin to Their Yang

You and your partner are not identical twins. If you don’t believe me, look in the mirror. In fact, you probably chose someone very different from yourself. That’s a good thing. You wouldn’t want to be married to you, would you?

In your differences, there are opportunities to expand and grow. Sharing your points of view with each other can be quite enlightening. You may not always agree, but being open will allow you to learn new ways of being.

For example, your husband may be very spontaneous, and you more on the conservative side. Each of you can benefit from each other’s distinct personalities. There will be times when being spontaneous is an asset, and there will be times when you’ll be glad you were conservative.

Instead of tearing you apart, differences can add another layer to your relationship and yourself.

12. Share Quiet Moments

While you might imagine that getting close to your partner means always doing something together, that’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes all that is needed is to share some quiet moments together.

Sitting in the same room reading, listening to music, or just working on crafty projects side by side can be relaxing and fun. You don’t need to carry on a conversation, just sharing the same space is good enough.

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Look for ways to share that quietude. Enjoy each other’s presence by just being present.

13. Check in With Each Other Throughout the Day

This is an easy thing to do and very rewarding. Checking in with your spouse throughout the day lets them know that you are thinking of them.

They don’t have to be long conversations. A simple text with a heart emoji, or a, “Thinking of you!”; a call just to say, “How’re you doing?” is a substantial way to stay in touch.

Keep your spouse informed of when you’ll be home, and let them know you can’t wait to see them.

Even as I write this, it seems so simple, not even worth the bother. But on the contrary, it is a terrific way to let your spouse know they’re on your mind.

14. Forgive and Move On

In any relationship, someone will make a mistake. It’s inevitable. But this little piece of advice can save your relationship and allow you to move forward, and become stronger.

Forgive and move on.

Don’t hold mistakes over the person’s head like a guillotine. If they’ve genuinely apologized, accept it. If the mistake was a big one, like financial infidelity, or an affair, that will take more than an apology; perhaps additional work with an unbiased third party.

I’m talking about the small mistakes everyone makes (i.e., breaking a favorite personal item, not remembering your birthday or anniversary, forgetting to take out the trash on trash day, etc.). I’m referring to hurtful mistakes, not catastrophic ones.

Believe it or not, some people hang on to small slights forever. Don’t be that person. Talk about it, forgive the mistake, and move on. There’ll always be more mistakes, so don’t allow them to accumulate.

15. Compromise

This piece of advice is very important. A relationship involves two people.

Each with a different point of view. When one of you refuses to budge, it can cause hurt feelings and resentment. The art of compromise is especially valuable.

One, it shows that you’re open. Two, it shows that you love your partner and are willing to take a look at their needs. Three, your willingness to bend demonstrates that you can put your partner’s needs before yours.

What better way to strengthen your relationship? And isn’t that what you want?

Final Thoughts

Relationships can be challenging, but with the above 15 pieces of advice, you are making them less so.

You are presenting your partner with the best pieces of who you are, and in turn, making them feel loved and wanted.

You don’t need a Masters Degree to implement the above-mentioned simple techniques. All you need is the willingness to love yourself and your partner.

The rewards will be priceless; your relationship will be more enjoyable.

More Marriage Advice:

Featured photo credit: photo-nic.co.uk nic via unsplash.com

Reference

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Rossana Snee

Rossana is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. She aspires to motivate, to inspire, and to awaken your best self!

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Last Updated on April 14, 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. 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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