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 The tips, tricks, and marriage advice offered by relationship experts in the past have become outdated in the face of these new challenges.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 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.



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.


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.


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.


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


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