Improving, Saving And Making Your Marriage The Best It Can Be

There are plenty of studies on how to make your marriage work, but some of the best advice comes from people who have been there and done that.

This August my husband and I will be married 10 years.  While we still feel like we are newlyweds…here are my top 4 tips:

Be Excited For Him –   So you have different passions and hobbies, …..suck it up and be excited for what gets him going.  You don’t have to watch the whole season of football, but you can ask questions after every game. Show your interest in some way or another. Be his cheerleader, and be excited for the journey he is on, because you are walking together on the same path ultimately.  A partner who is invested, interested, and happy to walk along side her man is a woman that that is fun to live with.

Complement Him– If you are not going to be his cheer team, who is?  Don’t be the woman to always correct him in public.  Recognize his best assets publicly and privately often.  Don’t give back handed complements- meaning complements that make fun of him, as a gesture of love. Have you told him what he is gifted in?  Lift him up and don’t tear him down in your conversations.  Learn to let some things go.  Being a nag who has his schedule, chore list, and duties set out in front of him every day isn’t someone he wants to spend time with.  A smile can go a LONG LONG way.

Have A Daily Ritual That Brings You Together– For my parents, it is doing the dishes together.  They use this time to talk with one another.  For my husband and I, we prayed together the first time we talked on the phone so many years back, and since, we have made a habit to set aside time daily to come to God as a couple.  You cannot hide things before the Lord Almighty, and it is our glue to our marriage.  Maybe it is having a bath together at the end of the night, or having your reading time together before bed….what ever it is…do something together.

Apologize Quickly In Any Argument-  I cannot take credit for this one, as I learned it from my husband, and now do it myself.  If you find yourself in a disagreement, just swallow your pride, and apologize for ANYTHING that you could have done wrong in the situation right away.  You will find that the other person will then, or should apologize for their part of the disagreement, and the meddling will settle within minutes.  At first, I was a hard head, and couldn’t do this, but after seeing my husband do this several times, I learned that being humble allowed us to settle things quickly and grudges couldn’t settle in.

Don’t Live Together Before You Get Married – You want to give the other person a try before making a commitment, is the reason behind “trying before buying“.  More dangerous is the “mindset” that there is an easy escape route if things go wrong.  Essentially, you give yourself permission to back out when things get tough.  You may not think about this in the good times, but in the bad, you certainly give yourself that liberty.  The same with divorce.  If you think it is an option, and it is “ok” in your mind, you accept that “fail” is perfectly acceptable and it will govern your actions.  You are either in, or you are out before you move in and after you get married.  Marriage is a choice, not a feeling.  Don’t give your partner or yourself the option to “quit”.

If you are looking to improve your marriage, here are 80+ of the best tips from those willing to share the most memorable advice they ever received.

Never Stop Flirting With Each Other “Never stop flirting with each other. It’s easy to flirt and compliment the other in the beginning of dating, but I think it’s important to keep those sparks alive by being playful and complimentary as often as possible.” — Desiree Hartsock

Be Honest About Money, And Have A Plan “Compromise in every way possible. Its not about 50/ 50. Try to go the full 100 and if the other person does the same, you will be in a good place. Never argue about the small stuff. Think for just a moment before you start a disagreement, “will this matter or affect us in 10 years?”. Never contemplate divorce. You are giving your soul and effort to someone for the rest of your natural lives. Good things, bad things, horrible things, sad times, great times and amazing times. It wont all be sunshine and rainbows but the good will always overcome the few rough parts. Have your finances in order and have the long talk about where you want to be in the future and how you plan on getting there. Don’t try to wing it. I found most of my arguments or disagreements were over money or sentiments that stemmed from money. And in the end, just try to be the best person you can be to this individual. Trust that they will do the same.” Rob S.

Go to bed at the same time as one another (if possible, of course). “I recently asked a man who had lost his wife of 36 years what his number one bit of advice was regarding marriage and he told me, “When in doubt, don’t say it” and I think there is a lot of truth in that. He also told me, “You do not make jokes about the person you love” and that is definitely true as well. While I do think it’s okay to tease each other when it’s in good fun, cutting down your wife/husband in the company of others for the sake of humor is really not something you should ever do”  callmegoat

Pretend To Like Baseball Sometimes.  “Okay, not specifically baseball, but whatever your significant other is into, be into it sometimes.  Do I want to hear about who’s getting traded and who got injured in today’s game ALL THE TIME?  No way.  But I make it a point to see a couple of games with Johnny each baseball season because I know he likes it.  Does he really care how many snap peas are on my plants today?  Possibly not, but indulging each other shows you care” Katie Skunk Boy Blog

Important Conversations Should Be Face To Face, Not On Text “Unlike a face-to-face argument, there are no safety checks to slow down a text-fight. There’s no opportunity to shake your head and say, “Wait, that’s not what I meant! I love you, let’s bring this down a notch.” There’s no chance to defuse the situation with a spark of affection or humour, a soft word or even an unexpected embrace. There’s only unbridled, unchecked, unrestrained and utterly self-focused emotion and assumption.”

Tell Him You Have Confidence In What You Have Together OVER and Over “Be each others partner. I know this maybe a weird example but it just happened to me the other night; my husband and I were watching a movie (Fargo) and the husband in the film was in financial trouble and did something awful to try and fix it, obviously his wife had no idea about the finances. Well I turned to my husband at one point, took his hand and said “I’m really glad we’re partners”. Even though I stay home and he goes to work, we are each others partner, we tell each other things we are worried about, stressing about, happy about, excited about, etc.. Be a partner to your spouse, not a dependent. (Finance is the obvious example where this is important but there are plenty more)” dontcallmeclown

Don’t Be The Spouse To Threaten To Leave EVER “My mother told me to make sure he knows I have no intention of hurting him or leaving him.”

Try Something Different Together ““Variety is the spice of life.” If you keep doing the same things over and over, life gets predictable and mundane. Make sure to change things around. Two of the most important components of a successful relationship are a balance of compromise and sacrifice.  If each partner understands this, it is easy to avoid only doing what one partner wants to do. Thus, each of you are able to do all the fun things that you want to do and your partner doesn’t have to complain, as he or she knows that next week, it’s his or her turn to decide what to do. Keep things new and alive by seeking out new places to go and new activities to participate in.”

Realize There Is No Perfect Person or Relationship “This is something i’ve recently discovered and it shattered my idea of a good relationship. For the better. Once you accept that there isn’t one perfect person out there “waiting” for you, you can find someone who makes you happy and accept their flaws and WORK at being happy with that person. Love isn’t a Disney movie” Breezy6x9

Work At Your Relationship, But Don’t Be Controlling “My father is a pretty simple man, so when my mother forced him to give me the talk he summed up an analogy that I will never forget. He told me “Chris, holding a woman is a lot like holding onto a sandwich. If you don’t hold on to her tight enough things will fall apart and she’ll slip right through your fingers. But Chris, if you hold on too tight, one day she’ll slip out the back and end up on the lap of someone you’re closest to.”It sort of worked. I really know how to hold a sandwich now.”desheik

Stop Being An Annoying Dripping Faucet  “You’re a nag. If your husband has a free moment, you pounce on him and order him to fix something around the house. If he goes out with friends, you text him incessantly, asking when he’ll be home. Basically, you’re a matrimonial version of the micro-managing boss.” huffingtonpost.ca

Don’t disrespect your spouse publicly. “I didn’t even realize I was doing this, and felt awful once I realized I was disrespecting Marcus. I am sarcastic in nature, as a defense mechanism and have learned how to reign that in.-Ash” ourpeacefulfamily.com

Loving Someone Is A Choice, NOT A FEELING ” Understand that women and men were built to think and react differently. It’s OK if you don’t always agree with your partner so long as you disagree respectfully and never belittle their thoughts and ideas. Accept and support your differences” “Love is not a feeling but rather a verb. There are times when you don’t feel in love and it’s moments like that you have to choose to actively love. Every day you must wake up and make the choice to love your partner. By doing this not only are you more appreciative for what you have but it strengthens your bond to know that you have the power to choose the quality and level of happiness in your relationship” Sisi

Know who you are first  “Learn to love yourself and live your own life first. Marry someone who has done the same.In Christian circles especially, it seems many women and men look forwards to being married and rush in to finding a life partner. They become defined by their search, rather than by anything of their own volition. Once married, that identity (searching for a spouse) disappears and you’re left to re-figure yourselves out. I’ve seen this end very badly, first and second hand.” deviantsource

Notice his effort and sincerely thank him for it.- “In my survey, this mattered to nearly all men, with 72 percent saying it deeply pleased them when their wife or girlfriend gave them props for their hard work. In fact, ‘thank you’ appeared to be the guy’s equivalent of ‘I love you.'” glamour.com

Keep A Check On Technology – It Could Be The Third Wheel In Your Marriage “Here’s a dismal (and all too familiar) scene: husband and wife sit side by side on the couch, TV on, not saying a word. The wife thumbs through an article on her smartphone, occasionally glancing up at the television, and all the while the husband plays a game on his iPad. The couple is “together,” but at this moment, they couldn’t be further apart. You can wean yourself away from screen-dependence. Remember, the real world is full of stimulating experience and conversation – not everything needs to happen on the screen”

Have A Balance “Have a life outside of the relationship—and enjoy it. While it’s easy to fall into a regular routine with your partner of work, home, sleep, repeat, it’s important to make time for your solo self, whether it’s a date night with your best gal pal or volunteering at a local shelter. Too much focus on your relationship can actually harm it, so step away every now and then—you’ll be surprised at how satisfying it can be. Bonus: it’ll give you something to talk about when you get home other than what to do for dinner.” — Brittny Drye, Love Inc. Magazine

Don’t let others’ lack of support affect your joy- “I found the negative attitudes of these ‘friends’ very hurtful until my mom reminded me their bad attitude is a problem they have with themselves, not me. And I shouldn’t let their personal problems affect my happiness and excitement.” Kourtney Joy Brides

Resolve issues quickly, forgive and move on-“If your spouse is constantly bringing up a mistake or something bad you did in the past, it’s not because he/she is a jerk that likes to remind you about failure, it’s because you both didn’t get closure. Apologize, work it out, even if the problem is years old, long gone, and “doesn’t matter” the hurt can still be there. Time doesn’t heal wounds, fixing it does” KitNKaboodles

Make The Effort For Your Spouse ” It is all too easy to become complacent after many years of marriage. Most couples I know started out as passionate partners. At the start, they rarely took their partners for granted. They didn’t make excuses such as being too tired, stressed or busy to give their partner the attention they deserve. But over time their effort waned little by little. Many didn’t notice that they had unwittingly wandered into the friend zone, like tourists who end up in the wrong part of town. Entering the friend zone is like being on a one-way dead-end street. How many couples do you know who have come to think of their partner as a friend, brother or sister rather than their lover? You can move from lover to friend, but it is next to impossible to put the relationship into reverse to become lovers once again. Being in the friend zone is like relationship quicksand.”

Realize their family is also part of the package – “You’re not just marrying your wife. You’re also marrying her family.”That concept really helped me out. If a girl had a bad family life I knew that it was going to be a part of my life whether I liked it or not.” alonsaywego

Don’t Stop Being A Wife First And Foremost – “You’re a “Mommy” — and nothing else. You get way more excited about a Mommy & Me playdate than a romantic evening with your husband. Just keep in mind that a child-centered marriage isn’t a marriage at all, it’s just a daycare.  You’re a cold fish in bed. If he flashes you a flirtatious wink, you roll your eyes. If he reaches for you in bed, you turn your back to him. On those rare occasions you do give in and have sex, you lie there and stare at the ceiling, waiting for it to be over and sapping all the fun out of it”

Communication Is Key “I think you need to realize that a good marriage doesn’t just happen, it takes work. Communicating and resolving issues makes the relationship stronger. I think too many people just see the rosy romance. When problems arise they are appalled and don’t work through them together. Being in love doesn’t mean you will agree with each other all the time! How you handle issues will make or break the relationship” Shelly S.

Don’t Use Sex As A Tool To Punishment Or Getting Your Way “I see way too many relationships where the woman is holding sex hostage and they wonder later why the hubby was eyeballing another woman. Its important for men to also remember that romance does not end after the first year and these things are intertwined. If you don’t validate your spouse it can snowball easily.” TJ M.

Trust and Value Your Husband Enough To Give Him The Lead “There is nothing wrong with a woman being submissive. The problem with that is it doesn’t work if the guy isn’t also submissive. People misread what the bible meant by that. A marriage is suppose to be the human example of God’s love for his church. God being the head and the church being the bride. For a woman to be submissive to her husband means that the man must be submissive to God. If he isn’t then he will not be fit to handle having a submissive wife thus turning him to an abusive husband. When it’s done right then there will be an equality in the relationship cause both are giving to the other what each of them need in order to make that relationship work. A women needing love to which he worships her and a man needing respect in which she supports him.”Rick F.

Don’t bring up exes-“I don’t bring up exes. I don’t remember them or have any fond memories. I didn’t know anything until my wife came along.” — Steve Harvey

Winning The Argument Isn’t The Goal “Forget whether you’re right or wrong. The question is: Is what you’re doing working or not working?” Dr Phil

Give Specific Complements – “Be sure these compliments and thank-yous are heartfelt and specific: “I can always count on you to make sure my car is safe and ready to use.” “This new tablecloth is nice—you’re always thinking of ways to make our home pleasant.” Make eye contact when you smile or deliver a compliment.” rd.com

Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Elephant Journal

Step Forward And Make Dinner, Lunch Or Breakfast “We have a Sunday ritual where I make a really great breakfast, like waffles; later we follow it up with a big home-cooked dinner.” — Tony Goldwyn

Fix Up Anything Around The House “I secretly renovated our bathroom and surprised her with a giant bathtub. She really loves it. There was a lot of espionage (and a separate email account) involved.” — Kevin Bacon

Stay Away From Personal Insults ‘Attack the issue, not each other.’ How it works: If my husband and I disagree about something, we stay focused on the issue and skip the personal put-downs.”—Melissa Gitter Schilowitz, 31, Metuchen, NJ

Agree to Disagree “Before we got married, my minister told my husband and me, ‘You are two imperfect people making an imperfect union, and that’s wonderful.’ This advice made me ditch my belief that in a happy marriage, the couple always agrees. My husband and I have learned to appreciate our differences (yes, even differences of opinion!); in fact, we encourage them because we realize now that those differences are what makes each of us unique and special.”
Beth Swanson, 28, Chicago

Make Time For Sex, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It “Carol and Greg had sex only about once a month, and even then it felt perfunctory. Carol was seldom in the mood for lovemaking and noticed she was beginning to fantasize about other men. She believed Greg didn’t care about her, so she began to reject him when he initiated sex.Greg felt hurt, so he lost interest in buying flowers and thoughtful cards for Carol on special occasions, which reinforced her belief.At this stage, intimacy is on the decline, and sexual encounters decrease from lack of interest, anger, resentment or rejection. Partners may fantasize about intimacy with other people”

In The Heat Of The Moment, Resist The Low Blows- “Do not choose hateful words when you are angry.  You can’t take them back, and the damage is lasting. Advice (given by spouse!):  It’s never too late to write a love letter. My advice:  Be a giving person, and marry a giving person” Larry B.

Keep Focused In Fights – “You will argue.  But always remember you are on the SAME team.” Michelene E.

Tell him he did a great job-Inside that oh-so-confident manly exterior, they are still those young boys anxiously hoping their mom likes the vase they made at school. Complimenting a man on a job well done has a huge emotional impact.”glamour.com

If You Give, Don’t Expect Something In Return “I told my boss once that I was going to get married soon and he asked if it was alright if he shared some advice with me. I responded that it was fine and this is what he told me. He said that most people in a relationship think that compromise is the best way to for longevity, however in most cases that isn’t the case. When you focus on compromise you expect something back for what you give. Instead, focus on just giving. Give your all and let them give back, that is true compromise. If you only focus on getting back something for what you give then you have the idea wrong.After that I sat down and critiqued my viewpoint on what I already thought was compromise and realized that I was indeed doing just that. I focused more on just giving what I could selflessly and not expecting a compromise, just giving to see her happy. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been happier because I found that as I began giving selflessly, so did she.” TheCrazySupportGuy

Always Have Something You Can Do Together “Find a common hobby to do together—e.g., work out together or start reading the same book. I once met a couple who had been married for 75 years and they told me they always had one indoor activity they liked to do together and one outdoor. It’s important to keep finding common interests.” — Shawna Gohel, Maharani Weddings

Solve Fights Before Bed “Don’t go to bed angry at each other.” ~ Ibn Tumart About Relationships

Learn to forget about feeling awkward when discussing your feelings and understand that great relationships only occur with good communication. “Too many times in the past i’ve had arguments or disagreements with girlfriends which could have been avoided if i’d just told her what I was feeling from the start. As humans we need to forget that we can’t mind read.  I think a lot of guys start to feel distant from their girlfriend, they don’t discuss it and start to harbor feelings of anger and mistrust. This manifests itself in meaningless arguments and passive aggressive behavior. A key sign of this is when you start finding yourself arguing over mundane trivialities like who should wash the dishes or take out the trash. Instead, when you’re feeling distant, or distrustful, or some other issue with the relationship, you should talk about it!”  finebushlane

Pick Your Battles -“Choose you’re fights and let the small stuff go. Is it really worth it to lose the person you love for a prideful argument? Not really” Shawn S.

Choose Your Battles “My dad always taught me to ask myself “Is this the hill you want to die on?” In other words, before you refuse to budge on an issue, make REAL sure it is something you actually care that much about. Just regularly do little things you don’t want to do. On the other side of that, of course, is that when you DO choose to stand your ground on an issue, your spouse will know it really matters to you because you don’t make a fuss about trivial sh** all the time.I see so many couples get into fights over meaningless bullsh** because neither one of them will budge an inch on something as stupid as who is going to do the dishes on a Wednesday night. Just let sh** go sometimes” Unknown

Be Emotionally Available For Him “You’ve got to remember this. Anyone can iron Jim Bob’s shirt, anybody can make lunch for him. He can get his lunch somewhere else. But you are the only one who can meet that special need that he has in his life for intimacy. You’re it. You’re the only one. So don’t forget that, that he needs you. So when you are exhausted at the end of the day, maybe from dealing with little ones, and you fall into bed so exhausted at night, don’t forget about him because you and he are the only ones who can have that time together. No one else in the world can meet that need.” “And so be available, and not just available, but be joyfully available for him” Michelle Duggar-19 Kids and Counting

Sometimes You Have To Be Willing To Give More Than You Get -Don’t expect everything (chores, spending, etc) to be split 50/50. April C.

Have Space Apart From Your In-laws At First “The best advice in my opinion is to live in a different town than your families when you get married. My hubby is in the Air Force and lucky for both of us, we moved across the country! We both grew up in negative environments and the space is a blessing! Now we appreciate talking to our families and they are far enough away where they can’t interfere and smother us with negativity.  ~ GirlyGirl220 About Relationships

KNOW The Boundaries -Don’t Get Too Close To A Co-Worker, Or Have Ex’s On Facebook “Carol had been totally honest with Greg in the past, but now she began keeping secrets. She started looking at men on Internet dating sites, thinking it was a harmless distraction. Then she joined a classmate site and found her old high-school flame, Rick. They met several times for drinks and decided to start an affair.”

If you’re in a relationship, be in a relationship. Don’t cheat or keep a foot halfway out the door. “If you feel compelled to be that way, it means that the relationship is not what it should be. Be honest about that with yourself and partner and move on if you’re not both on the same page. If someone doesn’t compel you to choose to be committed to them, then don’t commit to them. You’ll both end up unhappy. I don’t suggest that commitment isn’t hard or doesn’t take work of sacrifice, but you should at least genuinely want it, not need to work on wanting it.” employeeno5

Your Spouse Should Come First, Not Your Friends “Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else” Dave Willis

Know when to walk away from an argument before it turns toxic- ” It’s really not that fine a line – when you’re repeating something for the second or third time, recognize that you’re getting nowhere and step back. At a certain point, you’re both too tired and frustrated to make any headway on whatever problem you are facing” ANewMachine615

Pay Attention To Touch Like You Were First Courting “Brush her cheek with your fingertips when you smooch good morning. Revive the ways you touched in the early days—a kiss on the back of the ear, a hand through her hair. Touch is a complex language. It pays to improve your vocabulary” rd.com

Date Only Those You Would Marry “From the time we were little kids, my dad told us “Never date anyone you wouldn’t marry” …. when we were kids this made zero sense, but as I got older, it became clear.  The selection process of who to marry is complex, but makes a huge difference.~ shopper113 About Relationships

 

Heading In The Same Direction Should Be The Focus “After a disillusioned first couple of years of marriage, my husband and I went to a therapist who told us: Marriage should not be so much about looking at each other but looking in the same direction together.  ~ Deb V.  About Relationships

Don’t Give Up When Things Get Hard “Pick your battles, but don’t let your frustration build up over things that really make you upset.  I wish I could follow this advice myself, but keep “doing it” no matter what. Our pastor even warned us that this aspect would change, and it does eventually. But, as my mom once told me “If you don’t do it, someone else will.” Truth.” Cindy J.

Pick Friends Who Push You To Do Better– “Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage and remove yourself from people who may tempt you to compromise your character”. Dave Willis

Resist Drifting Apart And Doing Your Own Thing-“Greg started spending long hours at work. Since Greg didn’t have time for hiking and biking on the weekends, Carol started watching too much television, which irritated Greg. They both felt annoyed, so they started bickering. Carol felt like Greg didn’t accept her for who she was, and Greg felt misunderstood. They always seemed to be at odds with each other and they no longer felt like best friends. It’s common for couples to get stuck in dysfunctional patterns after the romance wears off and individual issues emerge. At this early stage, some short-term therapy or a class in effective communication or relationship development can help you identify problems and keep moving forward” 

Build Your Career, But Also Put As Much Work Into Building Your Marriage “It is work and it is sad how many people who are willing to work at their career, won’t put the same effort into their partnership at home.  I also agree that sex is important, but it can’t be the main thing since that will fade a bit no matter what.  You have to be best friends first.  Always find new things you enjoy doing, travel, hobbies, studies, etc.  to keep things fresh.  And don’t spend too much on trying to have Barbie’s wedding.  You won’t remember much of the details anyway.  Only the guests really enjoy it as you are too nervous, then too busy to do so.  Save the money for a great financial start together, like a home” Sue P.

Hang Out Together In Groups  It’s great to have your couple time, but don’t forget to have friends!  Some of our best times together are spent laughing with our friends over drinks or games.  It’s important to have common friends. Hang Out With Other People.  Go on dates.  Do that.  Hang out with your friends together” Katie Skunk Boy Blog

Don’t Compare Your Marriage To Others “Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is masterfully unique!” Dave Willis

Don’t Beat Your Husband Up In Small Talk With Friends -“Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online. Protect your spouse at all times and in all places” Dave Willis

Ask For Help, Ask For Advice- Make Your Other Feel Like They Are Needed “Ask one another for assistance periodically, even if you are aware you could manage the task alone. This will grow your shared responsibilities, and even if the task is not one that necessarily requires her help, the task at least becomes a shared experience. And your partner will become more aware of and knowledgeable of the activities and tasks that your perform, thus growing your shared foundation, and she may eventually become capable of performing the tasks on her own on those days you become indisposed. In this way you become experienced collaborators, and you less need fear that rainy day when one of you becomes incapable of fulfilling your usual role.” Leuku

Think Before You Speak “My mother always made a big breakfast when we were growing up, and I told my wife about this when we were first married. So she got up early in the morning, shortly after we got married, and made this gargantuan breakfast. And I looked at this food and was completely overwhelmed by the size of it. Now, I was a sales rep, so I said something to the effect, “What do you think, I’m going to be breaking rocks with a sledgehammer all day?” And that was the last time I got such a breakfast. You always have to think before you speak” —Vic Massara, married 41 years to Ann esquire.com

Happy Couples Have Conversations With Each Other “talked to each other frequently — not about their relationship, but about other things.” Relationship Expert Terri Orbuch

Let Him Know He Makes You Happy “You’re a grump. When you speak to your husband, your voice tone is full of negativity, contempt and criticism. If he tries to express a concern or complaint about the marriage, you rise up in angry defensiveness and throw the blame back on him instead of hearing him out.”

Tell Your Family How Great He Is “Compliment your husband to your mother, your children, your friends, whatever, within earshot of your husband, every chance you get” tolovehonorandvacuum.com

Choose To Be Loyal “Choose a companion carefully and prayerfully; and when you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Priceless advice comes from a small framed plaque I once saw in the home of an uncle and aunt. It read, “Choose your love; love your choice.” —President Thomas S. Monson

Forgive Quickly – “Choosing to quickly forgive shouldn’t be mistaken with pretending we aren’t disappointed or upset. It is not an excuse to ignore problems or to refuse to take responsibility for unhealthy patterns within our marriages. Instead, it puts conflict within boundaries. It provides a space to work things out and it refuses to let the issue infect the rest of the relationship. Choosing to quickly forgive recognizes the point at which it is time to move forward. It means that we do not withhold affection or kindness from our spouses as a form of passive-aggressive resentment. We do not sulk or complain to our friends. It means that even if sorting through a problem takes months of hard work, we will continue to love each other well in the midst of that work. We will not wait until we “feel like it” before we choose to extend grace. It means that in the heat of the moment, we breathe deeply and remember how we have been forgiven through the Cross.” Cara Joyner todayschristianwoman.com

Marriage is about giving in sometimes even if you don’t feel like it. “When your spouse is upset about something, listen to what they say, they are not talking about facts, they are telling you how they saw things and how they feel about something. Give those feelings room and respect, people calm down alot faster if they feel they are heard.” amkftb

Keep Focused On The Matter At Hand In Arguments “When you argue (and you will argue), focus on the issue at hand. Don’t get historical. Throwing past issues in your wife or husband’s face is both selfish and a recipe for discord.” Unknown

Spend Time Talking With Each Other Daily “Make a commitment to spend up to 30 minutes a day chatting with each other about everyday plans, goals and, yes, dreams. One rule: no household-management or “what about our relationship” talk. This is time to build a friendship. Studies show that being friends pays off over time, ensuring a closer, sexier union”rd.com

Be Willing And Open For Feedback  “I’ll add to think of your spouse as your greatest opportunity to become more like Jesus. By this I mean that your spouse will know you better than anyone, will suffer from your shortcomings more than anyone else, and will love and forgive you more than anyone else. In many ways, this close relationship is a mirror for your relationship with God. With that in mind, pay attention during times of tension and always, always ask whether you are at fault or whether you could change. Of course, it won’t always be your fault, but always check and then…repent/metanoia! Be willing to change!If you both try to do this, you will not fail, you will become more like Jesus, and you will glorify God in your marriage through your love for one another.jesushatesclams

Do a Ritual Together “My wife and I, every evening, sit down in the dining room and have dinner. No television, no distractions, and we never bring up disagreements at mealtime. That’s our safe harbor”  —Robert Tager, married 47 years to Gail  esquire.com

Show Your Enthusiasm For Gestures– “I asked my girlfriend: How did your dad show your mom that he loved her? Her response: “Ceaseless appreciation of everything she did for him. He treated everything she did as if it were a surprise, as if it were the first time he’d ever had her chili or smelled her perfume. He noted every routine kindness. And he loved her the same way, consistently, even when she got fat.” Tom Chiarella

Embrace Your Differences, But Be On The Same Page With The Most Important Things “I was told by a friend to not get totally consumed in the relationship. Marriage does not mean that you become your partner. You do not have to do everything they do and you do not have to enjoy everything they do. Support each other and understand you have different passions. You can’t be the be all end all for your partner. You can’t be there everything. All you can do is support them and love them. Help each other learn and grow and you’ll go far.” 112233445566778899

Don’t Be The Spouse Who Enjoys A Fight “Do not plan an argument. If you find yourself planning what you’ll say if they say ‘x’, you need to take a different approach” walk_through_this

Grow And Change Together – “Hilary tells me that women say that they need three husbands in their lifetimes. As a young woman, they need an adventurer. As a mother, they need a father to their children. And as an older woman, they need a companion, a steady type of guy. If you can fill those roles over the course of decades, you’re in luck” —Paul Wexler, married 40 years to Hilary  esquire.com

Avoid Using Sex For Something In Return “From a Christian perspective generally try your best to avoid sexual stuff. The following is a rule applicable to all people, not just Christians: Try to avoid using/waiting for sex as a means to Cement a relationship. That whole “I’m giving away that which I consider a precious gift as a testament to our love” – not a good idea. Try your best not to think of sex as a “gift”. Gifts can be returned. Thrown away. Sex can’t be. Try instead to consider sex as a mutually shared activity to share one another, in addition to its ability to make babies and being a Godly communion.” Leuku

Men and women communicate differently. We speak different languages. I know we hear it all the time, but actually experiencing it is something else! That first few months I can remember not having my husband understand me and getting so frustrated. “I am speaking English aren’t I ?!” – Ash  We both learned we communicated vastly differently. So take the time to think of another way to explain something to your spouse, try to look through their eyes, listen through their ears” ourpeacefulfamily.com

Men Need To Feel Respected, Women Need To Feel Loved “I heard from a marriage speaker when he was talking about when couples fight or are having some problems, the thing he found was that men need to feel respected and women need to feel loved. So, the cycle just ends up going around and around. “Without love a woman reacts disrespectfully, and with out respect a man reacts unloving.” He also said that even though the man and/or woman may not be deserving of that respect or love, the significant other should still show it. Because of the commitment they took at the alter.” Sydney

Being Romantic Is A Learning Process -“A marriage is always between 2 people not 3, so keep your business to yourself. & this is the best quote/advice that I have heard about marriage/relationships: “Marriage at the start is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage. Love is in people and people put love into a marriage. There is no romance in marriage. You have to infuse it into your marriage. A couple must learn the art and form and the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising, and keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty” Kari

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