Published on December 25, 2020

25 Pieces of Marriage Advice All Loving Couples Follow

25 Pieces of Marriage Advice All Loving Couples Follow

In an ever-changing world, today’s married couples have faced many challenges that previous generations have never had to face. The tips, tricks, and marriage advice offered by relationship experts in the past have become outdated in the face of these new challenges. Thus, couples today often feel that they are on their own when trying to figure out how to create a happy and loving marriage.

When looking for marriage advice, it would make sense if newlywed couples sought out guidance from older married couples that exemplified successful relationships. However, a study by Sheela Kennedy and Stephen Ruggles out of the University of Minnesota showed that it is actually older married couples who are contributing to the rise in divorce rates in the United States.[1]

This dilemma creates a void of successful role models for couples struggling in their relationships.

Having worked with couples daily for nearly twenty years, it has been observed that healthy couples and unhealthy couples follow similar patterns and engage in similar behaviors that either contribute to happiness or unhappiness together.

Regardless of the marriage advice received, healthy and happy couples tend to invest more in their relationships than those rating their relationship as unhappy and unhealthy. Specifically, there appear to be twenty-five things that successful, loving couples do that contributes to overall happiness and success in their marriage.

1. Have Physical Affection Everyday

It would seem that giving physical affection to your spouse is a simple and common sense thing to do in your marriage. However, you would be surprised as to how many couples go day after day without physical contact. This kind of physical contact is nonsexual in nature and is as simple as holding each other’s hands or hugging each other. Loving couples make it point to be physically affectionate with each other at least once a day.

2. Have a Common Vision of the Future

Another often overlooked marriage advice is to have a common vision. When companies are formed, they often create a vision statement of what they want their future to look like. This vision statement helps focus everyone working at the company on what they are creating together and the direction they are heading towards. Similarly, loving couples have a clear vision of what they want their marriage to look like in the future.

3. Be Transparent

Being honest in your marriage is one thing most couples would agree is necessary to building and maintaining trust in a relationship. However, transparency takes honesty to a whole new level.


Being transparent implies that there are no secrets between you and your partner—not even keeping passwords to bank accounts, emails, social media accounts, or even keeping phone lockout screens private. Loving couples seem to do this naturally, ensuring a strong trust bond.

4. Create Face to Face Time

Most couples think that spending quality time together includes watching their favorite shows together or spending time with good friends on a night on the town. Although these activities can be enjoyable, spending time alone together doing an activity where partners have to face each other activates a whole different level of intimacy and bonding that most couples neglect to nurture.

According to John Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, loving couples spend over 5 hours of quality time together per week.

5. Make Sexual Intimacy Important

It would surprise most people to learn that many couples struggle with a lack of sexual intimacy. According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior the frequency of sexual intimacy has declined amongst American married couples.[2]

Moreover, it has been estimated in a study in the Journal of Marriage and Family that almost 15% of American couples are living in a sexless marriage, which is defined as having sex less than twice per year.[3] It goes without saying that a lack of sexual intimacy in marriage points to a serious issue that can contribute to the end of the marriage if not addressed. Loving couples make their sexual life a priority in their marriage.

6. Experience New Things

Another key marriage advice for couples is to try out and experience new things. Everybody says that spontaneity is the “spice of life”, and healthy marriages are not exempt. Couples need to try new things and have new experiences to continue growing together. It is these new experiences that give loving couples new topics to talk about and share.

7. Laugh Together

Humor is such a powerful emotion that it facilitates bonding in a marriage. Couples who enjoy each other’s company and can laugh together build upon their foundation of trust and respect for one another. Laughter truly can be the ‘best medicine” and loving couples get a lot of it.

8. Have Common Spiritual Beliefs

In a study in the Journal of Family Psychology, it was found that couples that shared in religious or spiritual activities together with a shared meaning found more satisfaction in their marriage.[4] It should be said that although couples with different spiritual beliefs can still have a healthy marriage, this area can become a point of contention especially when children are involved. Loving couples encourage, develop, and share in this essential part of a marriage and pass these beliefs onto their children.


9. Be Best Friends

This may be the most common marriage advice in the current generation of couples—be best friends. Friendship in a marriage is just as important as all other parts of a marriage. Along with laughter, healthy married couples enjoy spending time with each other and consider each other their best friend.

Even couples who enter into marriage with best friends from their past convert their spouse into their new best friend. In this way, loving couples always see their spouse as their best friend for life.

10. Keep the Marital Bed Sacred

This applies to married couples who are parents with little children. It is customary for small kids to come to their parents’ bed from time to time when they are scared of the dark or when they don’t feel well. However, many parents “cosleep” with their children consistently. Thus, couples spend many nights apart from each other and don’t even sleep in the same bed with each other. This can take a toll on physical affection and sexual intimacy. Loving couples maintain a sacred space in their bed for each other.

11. Show Small Gestures of Love and Consideration

It is said that “it is all about the little things”, and this is true in loving marriages. Couples who are happy in their relationship make an effort to consistently show love and consideration for their partner through small gestures, such as bringing their partner a cup of coffee, leaving a positive post-it note, or picking up their favorite scented candle from the store.

12. Surprise Each Other

Surprises can come in all different forms, but for the most part, couples who surprise their partner with a gift or fun experience, for example, tend to be happier in their marriage. Taking your partner on a surprise trip or to see their favorite band perform adds a bit of excitement and mystery in a good way. Loving couples see surprises as a way to show their love for one another in a fun and exciting way.

13. Take Something Off Their Plate

In our busy lives, we are often overwhelmed by all our obligations. This can be very stressful for ourselves and our partners. Loving couples can observe that their partner is stressed and take the initiative to step in and alleviate some of the stress by taking something off their plate, such as doing the dishes or running their errands.

14. Create Together

Another important marriage advice is to create things together. Creating a project, a piece of music or even a piece of artwork can be an extremely satisfying experience, and it helps us feel alive. Healthy and loving couples create together, whether that be working in the garden, remodeling their house, or cooking together. This helps them feel like a team and proud of what they have accomplished as partners.

15. Have Common Interests

Loving couples enjoy spending time together and enjoy that time more when they share in common activities. Even if the activity is something that only one enjoys more than the other, the act of engaging in the activity together creates mutual support and facilitates couple bonding.


16. Support Each Other’s Personal Time

As much as couple time is important, each person in the relationship should have personal time. This time is not spent running errands or spent with friends, but it is time for the individual to process their own feelings and priorities in life. Loving couples support their partner’s personal time and encourage it as it adds to the strength in the relationship.

17. Create Time Away Together

Many couples feel guilty about going on trips together, especially when they have to leave behind their children with family or friends. Often, this results in “family vacations” but not time away together alone. Loving couples make sure to create trips away together in addition to family trips.

18. Do Date Night

Every couple has heard of date night together. However, very few make date nights a consistent part of their marriage. It is easy to justify rescheduling date nights when obligations with children and family become more of a priority in a couple’s life. Loving couples, however, understand that if they do not make their relationship the number one priority, it can erode the structure of the entire family.

19. Share Your Vulnerability

Another key marriage advice is to share your vulnerability. Sharing vulnerable emotions is not the most pleasant thing to do with your spouse. However, it is necessary to strengthen the marital bond and help them grow together. Loving couples balance having fun together and sharing their vulnerability because they see the value it brings to their overall relationship.

20. Balance Giving and Receiving

They say that relationships are about “give and take.” It seems that loving couples do more than just that. They can balance giving and receiving with their partner. This is always a tricky thing to do since it involves not taking your partner for granted and keeping them at the forefront of your intentions. It also takes being gracious about receiving from your partner and being open to it.

21. Respect Your Spouse’s Family

Comedians have made entire careers off of mother-in-law jokes and although in-law conflict is often a real thing, it is far from being humorous. Showing respect for your spouse’s family can be very tricky, especially if a conflict existed before you came into the picture and especially if your spouse has a contentious relationship with them, to begin with.

This is also especially difficult if you dislike your in-laws. However, loving couples follow a good rule of thumb of showing respect to their in-laws while also supporting their spouse. This marriage advice might be a no brainer, but it’s important nonetheless.

22. Have Good Boundaries with Friends

External friendships can take a lot of energy to maintain. When balancing the amount of energy and attention needed daily to nurture a loving relationship, external friendships can sometimes put a strain on a marriage. Loving couples set appropriate boundaries with friends that don’t take away from their marriage.


23. Utilize Discretion

You may have had the experience of being around another person that speaks badly about their spouse behind their back. This is not only detrimental to the marriage but also prevents the couple from working on their problems and focuses on seeking validation for their position from others. Loving couples realize that problems will arise in any marriage and utilize discretion when talking about their spouse negatively so they can work on their issues in private.

24. Say “I Love You”

Couples show their love in many different ways. However, some couples often neglect to express it in the simple words, “I love you.” Saying this out loud never loses its impact, and loving couples know that over time, it can mean even more as their love develops.

25. Verbalize Appreciation

One of the needs we have as human beings is to feel appreciated, and this is even more important in marriage. Loving couples not only show appreciation towards each other but also verbalize that appreciation.

Final Thoughts

Given these specific behaviors of loving couples, it would appear that marriage advice can be taken from what loving couples are currently doing and not from what the experts used to say.

Happy, healthy, and loving marriages in today’s society have adapted to the new challenges by adopting new bonding behaviors that ensure love and a true connection. It would also seem that the adage is incorrect—that if everyone else is doing it, you and your spouse probably should, too.

More Marriage Advice

Featured photo credit: Alex Blăjan via


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Dr. Ray Kadkhodaian

CoFounder of Couples Synergy and the Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center

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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)

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:


  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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


  • 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:


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