Advice For a Strong Marriage
The other day, I had this idea that it would be fun to gather some advice from people about what has made their marriage/ relationships work. I feel like there is such a gap in our society now between generations and that often means that we miss out on so much knowledge and wisdom, so I thought that maybe I could gain some relationship wisdom this way. Relationships aren't a Disney movie. They're work, magic and mud. They're both hard and amazing and totally worth it- or at least I think so anyway.
I asked friends, past clients, etc. if they could share one piece of advice for a happy marriage, and this is what people said:
"Don't think it's easy. Live together first if you can. Listen."
"Don't live with your in-laws."
"Be best friends, don't be afraid to laugh and have fun. Share the honesty of friendship and the strength of partnership. Don't ever forget that you're individual people living a shared life, walking side by side, not on each other's paths. Do not expect things you haven't vocalized. It's not someone's job to read your mind. Never use ultimatums, be together or don't, there is no in between. Love fiercely with your entire heart and always go above and beyond for yourself, each other and your partnership."
""Never go to bed angry, you won't sleep anyways" Basically, if you're upset\bothered\concerned\worried about something, communicate and discuss openly. Don't just talk, listen and REALLY listen."
"Don’t lose your own identity... still have times you go out with your friends and vice versa... you may become a “we” but don’t lose the “me” or “I”"
"When things are said in anger take it with a grain of salt. Cool off before talking if possible."
"Things WILL get hard. Stick through it, talk through it, love through it and he/she will end up your best friend forever! I am 45 years old and have been married for 24 years, been together for 25."
"Soak in all of the good times together, study each others little quirks and freckles on their nose but when times get hard or the conversation gets heated... remember you are on the same team. Take the time to respond and not react. " Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger" James 1:19. It may be cliche, but never go to bed angry and always kiss each other goodnight!"
"Never put your happiness in someone else's hands 🙏"
"At less than a week away from being married 30 years (over 32 together) I can say - laugh much, forgive often."
"Knowing that won’t agree on absolutely everything, it is perfectly ok to “agree to disagree”. Doesn’t mean you don’t love each other any less.Also, a marriage is rarely 50-50. The balance can be 80-20 or even 90-10 either way depending on the circumstances. Life goes that way sometimes."
"Be kind to each other."
"Marry someone who cherishes you and makes you laugh every day. Someone who also calls you out in your short comings and helps you through hard times. I’ve been married 29 years now and still love him madly and deeply."
"Patience. Wait out the rocky times."
"21 years next month and this has always been my guiding light when it comes to relationships (pictured below). And also don’t forget to laugh often"
"I've been married 20 years this year, and I think it's important to have something to admire about the other person. And also to respect what they find meaningful and thoughtful. My husband is not one for flowers and grand gestures of romance, but it matters to him that I wave from the window each time he leaves, even though he started it and I find it slightly annoying (and found it dumb at first). Now I miss it if he's not there to wave at me when I leave. Also, FORGIVE THE SMALL STUFF QUICKLY, and definitely learn to go to bed angry!! Yes, you heard that right: DO go to bed angry, rather than staying up all night when emotions are raw and you're making no sense. Often in the morning the thing you were so pissed about doesn't seem quite as bad, or at least you can talk about it more rationally. And when I was complaining about my husband to a woman in the fabric store a couple years ago, she said, "well, would you want to live with another you?" Hell no! So, realize your own faults and things that drive them crazy as well, and always always find a way to joke about it. 20 years - yup, time flies when you're planning a murder!"
"My biggest one is: remember that your marriage is YOUR marriage; you and your spouse get to choose your story."
Advice from my grandma, shared by one of my cousins:
"Grandma Gaylia once told me when I asked what her and Grandpas secret had been....'Never fall out of love at the same time' I always held that close and thought it quite wise and beautiful."
A couple of weeks before she died at the age of 84, she told my cousin's boyfriend that she was ready to go and be with my grandpa again. He passed away 14 years before her. They were married for over 50 years.
My advice: Don't fight to win. If you fight, do it to understand each other better. If someone wins, your relationship usually loses. Instead, genuinely listen and BE with your partner. It's all the little things that make a life, and they really, truly matter.
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