Advertising

15 Pieces of Best Marriage Advice All Couples Need

15 Pieces of Best Marriage Advice All Couples Need
Advertising

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]

Advertising

“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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

More Marriage Advice:

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

Reference

More by this author

Rossana Snee

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

11 Relationship Goals Happy Couples Have I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse Why You Feel Lonely In Your Marriage And How To Deal With It 11 Red Flags in a Relationship Not To Ignore How To Teach Your Kid About Emotions And Feelings

Trending in Relationships

1 11 Relationship Goals Happy Couples Have 2 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 3 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 4 The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You 5 The Purpose Of Friendship: The Only 4 Types Of Friends You Need In Life

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
Advertising

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

Advertising

  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

Advertising

Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

Advertising

However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

Advertising

Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

Advertising

  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

Read Next