I have been married to my husband for 8 years and we first starting dating 16 years ago! He is wonderful but sometimes we still hit a rough patch. My gramma told me after sixty years of marriage, that sometimes it was work! Marriage is worth the work. After all, that is what marriage is- the commitment to each other in good times AND bad. We owe it to each other to work at making them good times! Here are some successful marriage tips and advice from others with successful, long-lasting marriages.
Successful Marriage Tips:
“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -Rumi
Three Ways to Nurture Your Marriage from Angie Eller of Salem, OR (“happily married” for over 16 years)
There are many little things that we do to continue to nurture our marriage on a daily basis, but 3 of the biggest and best contributors for us are:
1) Praying together daily- every morning before my hubby leaves for work we say a prayer together-just the two of us. That block of time reconnects us not only to each other, but to our third partner in all of this, the Lord. There’s nothing that fills my “love tank” more than hearing my husband pray on my behalf (or on behalf of our four little girls). After we’re finished there’s always a hug and a kiss…I’m ready to greet the day
2) Date Nights- we try to set the goal of going on a date just about every week. Sometimes life gets crazy and it doesn’t work out, but we find that even if things don’t happen one week, we know that we are TRYING to plan to spend time together. (We don’t always go out either… watching a movie together after the kiddos are in bed definitely counts)!
3)Taking annual couple trips- I know that the economy has made it difficult for many to get away, however, even if it’s just an overnighter in a $36 hotel an hour away with free breakfast the next morning, it will help you become better acquainted with your spouse and allow you the privacy to enjoy one another without the (often constant) interruptions that just happen when you have children! We recognize that marriage is a journey, and although there are ups and downs, it seems like the ups are more frequent and the downs a little less “down” when we’re actively participating in the above three!
Nuggets of Marriage Wisdom from Jeanne Koesters (married for 31 years)
1. What I would like to tell your readers is, if they are with a good, decent woman or man – to remind themselves of what was that “thing” was about that person that made them fall in love. Chances are its still there and they may just need to bring it out again.
2. Changes are going to occur at different times for each of them, but the trick is to hang on, even if they feel they are hanging on by their finger nails.
3. Trust is the most important part of a marriage. It’s never greener on the other side; don’t nit-pick; and don’t do anything stupid. Like Jimini Cricket used to say – “always let your conscience be your guide.”
Marriage Advice from Dennis Yanke, speaker and author of “Love your wife – Get better sex!” (married 35 years)
Many married couples, at some point, wonder where did the magic go? They make “the magic” sound like something you get out of a marriage. The reality is “the magic” or “the romance” was always about what you put into the marriage. Remember how you planned those next dates, what to wear, how to do your hair, should I go with the have not shaved for 2 days look, the special gift waiting at the table. The magic was what you did for that other person, that is when you feel more in love. Love is always about what you give because when you give your love away you are filled up with more love. The cure to get “the magic” back is to Love On Purpose, love with intention and the magic ooh baby is back big time.
Secrets to Marriage from Michelle Monroe Morton (married for 12 years)
1. Recognize that it is not always going to be ‘happy’ ~ you will disagree, you will argue and that is ok but remember to be honest and share rather then yell and accuse.
2. It is not always easy to listen to another point of view but there are two sides to this marriage and often times we get lost in our beliefs.
3. Communication! Find ways to communicate every day ~ good bad or indifferent but talk!
4. MAKE time to be with each other alone. One on one.
5. Go on dates! YES, get dressed up and go out ~ who cares if it is only to McDonalds or the grocery store, but go, just the two of you! Meet for lunch, go to coffee, find a way. If you can’t leave the house together alone then make time after the kids are in bed, create a movie night and order take out food, or have happy hour at home.
6. LAUGH!~ find ways to laugh with each other ~ just laugh at the stupid stuff!
7. Flirt ~ find little ways to unexpectedly flirt ~ it will make you both smile!
8. Kiss each other every day! Say I Love you every day!
9. Share the good things, don’t just always talk about the bad it is so easy to only talk about what our partner does wrong that we forget to recognize the good ~ appreciate each other and let the other person know. Say THANK YOU!
10. Say I am SORRY when you are wrong or when you have done something to hurt the other one, even if you don’t think it is hurtful if the other person feels hurt recognize that those are their feelings and let them know
you did not mean to hurt them.
Marriage Tips from Elaine Smith (happily married 29 years)
Just last night we were outdoors, looking at the stars and talking about how our marriage has survived. Working through things, letting things go, not letting stuff get under your skin are a few key items we believe has helped. No kids, another one – meaning no distractions from OUR relationship. Seems like the male feels left out when kids come into the picture when it comes to getting attention and love. And by love I mean emotional love, not sex. We have made it a point to kiss each other goodbye every time we leave the house without the other. We kiss goodnight without fail. We compromise on lots of things and work together through the rough times. A partnership, a soulmate, a “I can’t imagine living without you” feeling is what should be preserved, no matter what the outside pressures, distractions or influences. Be patient, understanding, and above all be absolutely positively sure the other knows you love him/her. Do not let love die; it can be killed by hurt or neglect. Stay aware of situations which could harm your love and avoid them like the plague. It isn’t easy. But isn’t all that hard either. If you care about each other, and preserve that care from all assaults, you’ll be AOK. It doesn’t just happen…you have to help it along.
Advice to Newlyweds from Elisabeth Morrissey (married 25 years)
There are two pieces of advice I always give newlyweds.
1) “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be married?”,
2) “Never go to bed angry, stay up and fight!”, because eventually one of you will get tired and conceed, then you can go to bed and make up!
Marriage Advice from Roy Martin (married 50 years)
Speaking from a man’s viewpoint, this is the advice I offer. Stop living your marriage based on your feelings. When I got married the preacher didn’t say, “Do you promise to love Betty as long as you feel like it?” He said, “Do you promise to love Betty as long as you live?” Which implies, “Whether you feel like it or not”. When I came into a full understanding of my marriage vows, my marriage went to a higher level. I deciding to honor my vows by always thinking of my wife as my bride. I even addressed her as “My Bride”. She liked it. My bride passed away shortly after our 50th Anniversary. I wrote on her gravestone these words: The bride of Roy Martin for 50 years. So, there it is, etched in stone, for all posterity to see. A monument to the power of an honored vow.
Three Rules for Marriage from Juli Settlemire (married 19 years)
It was truly a case of “blind date & love at first sight.” I will say that we are VERY opposite (he’s a scientist, I’m an actor) but we have three rules that make it work:
1) Never EVER swear at each other or call each other (mean) names – It’s amazing what this will do for your relationship. By not swearing/calling names you give your mate respect and it forces you to deal with the issue at hand. (Kevin Bacon said it best, “Clean fighting and dirty sex.”)
2) Being right won’t make you happy. If there’s one thing being married to your opposite does – is allow you to get over trying to agree. We never expect to agree on anything and we never try to change each other’s opinion – we respect the fact that we’re very different. When we do agree it’s like Christmas!
3) Always think of the other before yourself. This is the best piece of advice our Reverend ever gave us. If you both always think of the other first – you’ll both feel loved and honored and valued – and isn’t that why you got married in the first place?
Successful Marriage Insights from Jeff Katowitz, LMFT (married 15 years)
I am actually a licensed marriage and family therapist by trade so I feel that I am able to provide input from both personal and professional experience. My wife and I share a very deep and rich relationship and can tell you that we have shared both wonder moments and experiences that presented difficult challenges in our relationship. It has actually been from the difficult moments that we have grown closer and appreciated one another more. I have felt truly blessed to have such a supportive and loving partner and appreciate her even more having the support through difficult moments and challenges. From a professional standpoint and perspective couples tend to struggle with how they feel that the relationship “should go and develop.” The difficulty with this expectation is that it places a great deal of pressure on your spouse to “be something or someone” that you want them to be rather that accessing the strength and wisdom that each of us holds within. I hear spouses saying in session “if he/she would only change or refrain from doing what I don’t like then I’d be fine.” The opposite actually holds true – when a spouse sees their partner in distress it is advantageous to become interested and curious rather than burdened, defensive and offended. Once couples learn to break this pattern or “dance” as we call it in our profession, they learn to dance to a new “step” if you will, one that helps them to become reacquainted and genuinely interested in what the other is attempting to communicate and articulate.
Marriage Advice from Misty Young (married 32 years)
We got married at ages 17 and 22 after 6 months of dating, no pregnancy, we married for love. People were literally taking bets at our marriage. We were too, but we bet with us, not against us.
Best piece of advice? Laugh. Laugh alot. Don’t even get married if you don’t laugh together. Make each other laugh and stay connected to it. It’s the thing you’ll come back to when you’re down, when you’re mad, when you argue, and of course, when you’re happy. Sometimes, although we’ve had many disagreements over the decades, I can count true “fights” on one hand, we’ll each end up trying to defend our position, then, in the midst of the mayhem, we’ll see the absurdity of it all and just bust out laughing. Then comes the hugging, then the I’m sorry’s and the explanations. Laughter has taken us from a couple of young punks just starting out on a fun journey in 1979 to a seasoned couple together with many wonderful memories here in 2011.
Second best piece of advice? Write each other love notes. Not big old long letters, just love notes. Keep them and read them over the years. Good stuff, excellent reminders.
Tips for a Long Marriage from Judy Goddard (married 33 years)
#1 tip: Make sure your love for God is more important than your love for each other.
#2 tip: Have different interests and make sure you talk about them with each other. Fill each other in on your day and/or your adventure. When you have things to talk about, you stay best friends.
Advice on Marriage from Diana Fletcher (married for 26 years and very happy)
Don’t do every single thing together. Have your own interests and time away from each other.
Respect the other person’s opinion and this will sound funny, but use manners.
Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated.
Support each other.
Tell each other that you love each other every day. Yes, every day.
The Secret to Happy Marriage from J. Lucy Boyd
The secret to a happy marriage is to love your spouse unconditionally. Pure and simple.
Advice on Staying Close in Marriage from Danny Jackson CHt
My wife and I have always had at least one and very often two or more date nights each week. Occasionally this means going out for the evening, but with five children, usually simply means having a dinner at home after the children went to sleep and really just having that time to appreciate one another beyond the excitement of the day. This has helped to keep us intimately close and connected.
The Secret to Long Marriage from Kyle James (married 12 years)
Our secret is communication. No really a secret, but hard to do a times. Our policy is full disclosure in all things. It works for us. She helps me with my business, I work at home, and when you work together you had better have some solid guidelines in place or you will drive each other crazy. We make it work by constantly communicating and working together to solve problems. I always tell myself, “mold only grows in the dark.” Expose it to the light and it disappears.
10 Steps to Happy Lasting Marriage from Keith Dent (married 15 years)
I am also the President and Founder of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services, an organization that focuses on empowering couples before and during marriage.
Here are my ten steps to sustaining a happy marriage beyond 10 years.
Step #1 – Establish a common purpose for your marriage!
Step #2 – Define what will make your relationship great!
Step #3 – Keep your target stationary! –Don’t change your expectations without discussing them with your partner first.
Step #4 – Make a great relationship seem possible to achieve!
Step #5 – Believe in a Great Relationship!
Step #6 – Make your relationship a top priority!
Step #7 – Follow through!
Step #8 – Hold your partner accountable!
Step #9 – When challenges come, DON’T GIVE UP!
Step #10 – If you need help, hire a coach or a marriage counselor that can help get through the obstacles.
Marriage Advice from May Leong (married 24 years)
We are an international couple – he’s Irish, I’m Chinese-American and our 19-year-old daughter is American.
1. Encourage and support each other in doing things with others “girls night out” & “boys night out” – you don’t have to do everything together and you want to make sure to keep in touch with all of your friends, single as well as those who are in relationships.
2. One time when we were arguing, just around our 10 year anniversary, I was so mad I said maybe we should just get a divorce. My husband’s response was something like – “Maeve’s parents are never going to get divorced, get over it.” It kind of shocked me into realizing, that if I’m going to be “stuck with this person for the rest of my life, then I’d better make it work out.”
3. Our “rule” has been that we can go to bed mad at each other, but we need to make up the next day or a few days after. No “sleeping on the couch” allowed. In the 24 years that we’ve been married, once he slept on the couch and once I did – luckily at different times. It was enough to scare us into the “if this is the first step down the divorce path, we’d better patch things up”.
4. Marriage is like a wave – you’ll have your ups and downs. If you can work through the downs, the ups are really fun.
5. When you start to feel like you’re going through the “roommate mode” where all you do is work, sleep and not have fun together, then you have to start shaking things up, making the time to romance each other.
You may also want to read 14 Ways to Show Your Love and Rekindle the Romance. Do you have any successful marriage tips you want to share? We’d love to hear it! Leave it in the comments.