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Marriage Advice: 20 Real-Life Tips & Lessons for a Happily Ever After

If you are looking for marriage advice, then look no further. We have everything you need to know to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

marriage advice

From quirky advice to cliché tips, there are a few important tips and marriage advice you must know to make your marriage go the distance. From furniture-breaking fights to mind-blowing makeup sex right after, a marriage has all of that, everything in between and a lot more.

Do not be fooled into thinking that these life long bonds of matrimonial love are walks in the park. On the contrary, you will be surprised at the myriad things you’ll experience in the years to come. But with some sound marriage advice and helpful suggestions, you can get through all of them and come out stronger with each passing year.

[Read: The first year of marriage and the surprising truths no one ever talks about]

The most important pieces of marriage advice every couple needs

So what are you supposed to do when the honeymoon ends and real-life sets in? Do you simply give up and walk away or stay and fight to keep it alive? 

You may have come across some of this advice in the past, but there is no denying that they hold some truth. Here are the most important pearls of wisdom from those who know exactly what they’re talking about.

1. Don’t let your moods affect your words

Just because you feel one way, your partner doesn’t have to, as well. After a long day at work, it’s not uncommon for people to take it out on their spouses when they get home. You may be angry with your colleague, your boss, the cab driver, or yourself, but at the end of the day, remember not to take it out on your blameless spouse.

It wasn’t your wife’s fault that your boss trashed your presentation. It wasn’t your husband’s fault Lufthansa pilots decided to go on strike which resulted in your flight getting canceled. Leave your crappy feelings out in the cold and do not let them cross the threshold into your home. 

It will take lots of practice for you to get the hang of it, but it’s certainly one of the main things you need to focus and work on. [Read: 19 subtle signs you’re being selfish and a user in the relationship]

2. Don’t be afraid to be silly

Never be afraid to act silly. Whether it’s having a tickle fest with your husband, giving your wife a naked helicopter dance, or cracking a lame joke to diffuse a tension-filled situation, use humor as a way to keep the relationship healthy and fun.

Laughter truly is the best medicine and if you can’t have fun with your partner, why even stay together?

3. Never play the blame game

Another piece of marriage advice is to remember to never play the blame game, if you can help it. Sure, there are scenarios whereby the culprit is easily discernible, but arguing over who left the garage door open and who forgot to put the milk back in the fridge is not even worth the effort anyway.

We’re talking about big decisions here like blaming your husband for your loneliness because he uprooted you and moved across the country for his career. We’re talking about blaming your wife for your son’s bad grades, and so on. 

Remember that you are a team that promised to love and support each other. Take responsibility together and always remember to kill the resentment before it kills your marriage. [Read: What is a toxic relationship? 53 signs to recognize love that hurts you]

4. See the best in your partner

Always focus on the good in your spouse. Once you only start seeing the bad, you know that you have a big problem, and you have to do something to change it right away.

Instead of thinking, “Oh my god, he is such a child and cannot be responsible for things that go on around the house,” focus on, “I value how he keeps me young by encouraging me to not be stressed out by stuff that doesn’t matter.”

See the best in each other and you will not question why you got married in the first place. [Read: The secrets of a happy marriage that can make or break your romance]

5. Treasure date night

Life tends to get in the way of romance but doesn’t completely forsake the spark that made you fall in love. If you can keep appointments with your hairdresser, your bank manager, your boss, and your dog walker, you can definitely make the effort to keep a date with your spouse.

Schedule date night at least twice a week and focus on each other. Whether it’s going around the block to your favorite taco food truck or out to the cinema to watch a film, spend time with your spouse, no matter how busy you are. 

Take the time to communicate, laugh, touch, and appreciate each other. Having kids is no excuse for not spending quality time together.

Get a babysitter or pop open a bottle of wine in front of the fire once they have gone to bed – a very important piece of marriage advice. [Read: 50 date night ideas to try with your spouse]

6. Save a special place in your heart for your partner

Unfaithfulness is one of the main reasons couples split up. No matter how much you lust for your secretary or your tennis coach, do not even think about breaking the trust that you promised your partner.

You need to save a special place in your heart and soul for your spouse, and give them the key so that no one else is allowed in there.

Once you let someone else into that space, you will come to the point of no return. Guilt, anger, and embarrassment will come in one fell swoop and replace trust, loyalty, and love. Why do that to your special person? 

No one deserves to be hurt by your selfishness so ensure that you resist temptation. This applies just as much to emotional cheating as it does to let’s-get-naked-cheating. [Read: 18 clear signs you may already be having an emotional affair without realizing it!]

7. Learn your partner’s love language

Make the effort to make your spouse happy even if it means you will have a so-so time doing so. For example, your husband may love surfing whereas you prefer mountain getaways. However, you can always give in to him often and plan beach holidays so that he can have a spot of fun in the waves.

Learn your partner’s language and do what you can to let them know you love them. Try to cherish and appreciate the things they enjoy and even if you still cannot get the hang of it years later, it will not matter because your partner will know that you tried and supported them anyway. That is what counts. [Read: 25 simple romantic gestures that show how much you care]

8. Resolve arguments the right way

You will receive conflicting marriage advice when it comes to this point. Some couples will advise you to hash an argument out and never go to bed angry whereas others will tell you to sleep on it and deal with it when you are calm. This all comes down to the type of people both of you are.

If both of you need space, then sleep on it. If you want to sort it all out now, then go right ahead. The problem starts when both of you oppose each other, even when trying to resolve a conflict.

Someone is just going to have to put their differences aside and let the other win. As tricky as this is, it’s not that difficult to see through.

If you’re the one who wants to talk it through until you lose your voice, whereas your wife would rather ignore it till tomorrow, let her win. 

Compromise and sacrifice are two things that will keep your marriage alive so if you have to swallow your pride, then do it. Bring it up with your wife when you finally sit and talk the next day, and tell her that she needs to play a part in compromising next time. Work out a system that you are both fine with and all will be just fine. [Read: 23 do’s and don’ts of relationship arguments]

9. Never let money hurt you

Money certainly is the root of all evil, and people with financial problems will attest to this. If you have fallen on hard times and your wife refuses to cut back on her expensive spa sessions, then sure, it’s a cause for concern.

However, if it’s over little things like paying more for organic milk than a generic brand, then please just let it go.

Respond to financial troubles as a team and involve your spouse in all your concerns. Make an appointment with your accountant together for tips on how to deal with your money and how to streamline a realistic budget that the two of you can abide by.

Remember that there will never be enough money to go around anyway so what is the point of arguing about it? Another huge piece of marriage advice. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]

10. Work towards the same goals

The two of you need to be looking in the same direction if you want things to work out. If you have different goals of where you want to end up, then you will be hard-pressed to make your marriage work without too much sacrifice and resentment getting in the way.

You may be on different career paths, but that is no reason to not share the same goals. Buying a second home, sending your kids off to college, saving up for your 20th-year anniversary party, and so on are common goals that you can work towards together. 

Support each other’s individual goals, but remember to always look in the same direction when it comes to long-term stuff. [Read: 12 things happy couples talk about and come closer!]

11. Choose to be happy

Contrary to what many people say, happiness is a choice. If you choose to be grateful and appreciative for all that you have, you will find that happiness is much easier to come by. 

Never compare your spouse to someone else’s because at the end of the day, who knows what goes on behind closed doors. Never compare your spouse to random people you meet because who knows what they are really like.

12. Don’t be selfish

When you are married, there is no room to be selfish. Sure, we all want to do what we want to do whenever we want to do it. But you can’t do that in a marriage. If you play video games 24/7 or golf in all of your spare time, then you are neglecting your spouse.

So, you have to look at yourself and see how you are focusing on yourself too much. You shouldn’t sacrifice yourself for the sake of your spouse, but you shouldn’t expect your partner to do that either. [Read: Selfless love – 18 traits that sets it apart from selfish love]

13. Have empathy

One of the most important pieces of marriage advice is to have empathy. There are two sides to every story. Just because you see a situation one way doesn’t mean you’re right. So, you need to be open to listening to your spouse’s side of the story. You need to see the world through their eyes – not just your own.

Having empathy for their feelings will help you in many ways. You will work through conflicts more effectively, and they will feel more “heard” and loved by you. Plus, they are likely to have empathy toward you too.

14. Keep intimacy alive

There are different types of intimacy, but the most important ones are physical and emotional. Having a healthy sex life is key to a happy marriage. Well, to put it more specifically, to be sexually compatible is even more important.

Both of you need to be happy with the quality and frequency of your sex life. [Read: Intimacy in marriage – 19 signs it’s fading and secrets to keep it alive]

But emotional intimacy is just as important. You need to spend time having conversations, talking about your feelings, and expressing your love for one another. Staying connected and bonded to your partner is essential.

15. Care about their needs

This goes hand-in-hand with not being selfish. Both partners need to put the other person’s needs at least equal to – if not before – their own needs. Everyone has their needs. It can be sexual needs, being alone, talking, cuddling, or anything else.

So, you can’t only be concerned about getting your own needs met. You have to care about your spouse’s too. If you don’t, then resentment will build over time. [Read: 19 signs of a taker in a relationship – Are you a giver or a taker?]

16. Always be kind

It should be easy to live by the Golden Rule *treat others the way you want to be treated* but for some people, it’s not. So, you always have to watch the words that come out of your mouth. Make sure you are always being kind. Don’t be critical or judgmental.

You also should have kind actions. Whether it’s cooking dinner or rubbing their feet. Doing kind things for your spouse is a very important piece of marriage advice.

17. Express appreciation

Sadly, the longer people are married, the more they take each other for granted. They forget to say “thank you” for anything. Maybe they do show appreciation for the big things – like a really great birthday present. But don’t forget to express appreciation for the little things too. [Read: 16 ways to show appreciation for someone you love]

Whether it’s doing your laundry, cooking a meal, or rubbing your shoulders when you have a headache, never forget to tell your spouse how much they and their actions mean to you.

18. Be affectionate

Beyond having a compatible sex life, it’s also important to be affectionate outside of the bedroom. Giving hugs, kisses, and holding hands is a great way to keep emotionally connected.

Not everyone is warm and fuzzy and likes physical affection. But, you can at least try to meet in the middle. Again, talk about your needs with your spouse and try to figure out how you can both act to make the other one happy. [Read: How to be more affectionate in a relationship and show them you care]

19. There will be ups and downs

Disney movies, fairy tales, and romantic comedy movies all tell us that we will ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after when we get married. But that’s not true. If you’re lucky enough to be married for decades, you will experience ups and downs.

But too many people give up when they’re in the low points of the marriage. Hanging in there and staying committed to each other is the only way to work through them. If you do, you will come back up to the high points.

20. Have realistic expectations

Everyone has certain expectations of how they want their spouse to behave. And let’s face it – most people don’t act the way we want them to. So, you need to make sure you have realistic expectations of your spouse. [Read: 20 healthy expectations in a relationship that define a good love life]

Remember, they are not you. We usually filter our spouses’ behaviors through what we would do. But that’s not realistic for them. So, ask yourself if you are being reasonable with how you are expecting your spouse to behave.

Final thoughts

When you got married, you promised to love your partner for better or for worse and nothing screams love and gratitude more than choosing to be happy with the partner you chose for yourself.

Value their presence in your life and make the conscious effort and decision to be happy and you will find that living happily ever after is possible. [Read: 20 things happy couples never do in a perfect relationship]

There you have it – the best marriage advice possible. There’s no guarantee that your marriage will be free from obstacles along the way. But if you find the time to strengthen your bond and work together as a couple, you’ll find that those roadblocks are nothing compared to the strength of your marriage.

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...