I am excited to share this tip for a happy marriage with you … this is for BOTH of you.
Love, Respect and Pray together. The rest will fall into place.
In this post, I will share my best tips for a happy marriage (with my #1 tip for a happy marriage included!). I also added an update with advice from over 30 women, all in strong, long-lasting marriages. Before I move on, I want to remind you of what I wrote in my last post- there are 3 in every marriage that lasts… you, your spouse, and God.
So, I heard this early in my marriage and it has stuck with me ever since: “Treat your spouse better than you would treat a house-guest”. Think about what this means to you… (remember this applies to BOTH of you)
To me, it means:
Be kind to each other.
Speak nicely to one another.
Offer him/her a drink when he/she gets home or when you get one for yourself.
Prepare meals for him after he has worked a long day.
Clean the home. Keep it a place where everyone WANTS to be.
One thing that I try to do every day is to run upstairs before he gets home from work, and ‘freshen up’ – fix my hair, etc… just taking a minute to look nice. I did this before I would see him when we were dating and I still do this now. Why do we change how we act after we are married? Aren’t we still ‘trying’? I try to make sure that I look nice when he gets home, even if it means just a little mascara and a shirt that does not have spaghetti sauce on it, from cooking dinner. It takes less than a minute, and even if he doesn’t expect it or even notice it, it makes me feel better. (He usually does notice though & if not, I will give a little nudge… haha!).
My grandma once told me, when I was going to quit my job as a teacher to stay home, to make sure that when my husband came home from work, I never had the kids laying in front of the TV (I didn’t have any kids at the time, but was pregnant with our first child). She told me that I needed to make sure that when he comes home from work, they run to greet him (that happens naturally, but she was right- if the TV is on, they are too focused to greet him.) and that I do the same- greet him when he comes home. (This works both ways!) I love when I come home and I am greeted with hugs and kisses- it is no different for him.
You must listen and communicate in a marriage. I know about what he needs from his wife (his love language) and he knows what I need. (If you missed my post on the 5 Love Languages, find it here)
I have learned all that I know from my family. My mom and my dad have a great marriage. She and I have talked about our marriages, since my grandma has passed, and we have come to understand my grandma’s point of views on marriage. Her take was ‘happiness at all costs’ and while I didn’t always agree with this, my Mom and I have both said that we can see how it helps a marriage. It took a few years for me to understand this. I used to want to “be right”, but I no longer feel that way. I don’t see the point of “keeping score”. I just don’t. Who cares who is ‘right’? Really? Is it worth it? Do you really want to fight over silly things that really don’t matter? Do you really want to ruin your whole evening over being “right”? I certainly don’t.
MY TIP FOR BOTH OF YOU:
BE KIND, LOVING, ROMANTIC & RESPECTFUL to your spouse first! Treat others the way that you want to be treated!!! It is true and it works. Be kind to him and watch him be the same way. Also, read the 5 Love Languages and speak his language! It may take a few days, if you aren’t normally this way, but it will change your marriage. If you nag, complain, speak negatively, then you can expect your husband to do the same. How can you expect to get what you do not give?
Now- onto some great advice from other women with strong relationships.
Thanks to :stephanieteagueevents for the picture. It is beautiful.
PS- REAL WOMEN SHARE REAL ADVICE FOR REAL (strong) MARRIAGES.
What is your best tip for a happy marriage?
The hole we must not fall into is doing something for something. If we are nice to our mate and treat them well because we want to be treated the same, what happens when we don’t get the results or the payoff we expected?
We need to be doing the things you said because GOD expects it of us, because it is right and not because we expect something in return. Do right because it is right regardless of your spouse’s response.
In Love and Respect, Mr. Eggerichs details three cycles, one of which is the Rewarded Cycle. This is when a spouse is doing everything “right” and there are still the same problems and conflicts. We are not getting the results we “expected”.
That is because we need to lay aside the expectations and obey God, trusting Him to meet our needs even if our spouse isn’t. Most marriages won’t face this but some will and they need to know it is for God we do this.
I am not Lutheran, but this writer who is has hit the nail on the head in summarizing the Rewarded Cycle.
“The Rewarded Cycle
“His (the husband’s) love blesses regardless of her (the wife’s) respect; her respect blesses regardless of his love” (271). In this section, Eggerichs shifts the focus away from the earthly benefits that may result from applying love and respect, looking more closely at the heavenly reality. The Rewarded Cycle elevates marriage beyond itself to the very courts of heaven where it finds its source. As Eggerichs puts it, “Ultimately, all husbands and wives should be practicing Love and Respect principles first and foremost out of obedience toward Christ….In the ultimate sense, your marriage has nothing to do with your spouse. It has everything to do with your relationship to Jesus Christ” (272,279).
The main idea of this section—the lasting importance of faithful obedience to Christ in honoring one’s spouse—is particularly helpful for a person struggling in a difficult marriage. People often find it easier to love or respect their spouse out of obedience to Jesus than because he or she is acting in lovable or respectable ways. Eggerichs reassures the reader, “In marriage, everything you do counts, even if your spouse ignores you!” (271). Even if a wife’s best efforts to respect her husband or a husband’s best efforts to love his wife result in no discernible change, God promises to reward their faithfulness (cf. Apol. IV, 194, 355, 358, 368; SD IV, 38). Eggerichs shows spouses how “to develop the ability to give [one another] what he or she needs most as you bring your faith in Christ directly into your acts of Love and Respect. You will learn how a husband’s unconditional love mirrors Christ’s love for the church and how a wife’s unconditional respect is like the church’s reverence for Christ” (262-63).
“In my teaching and counseling, as well as in my own marriage, I have become convinced that ‘the Love and Respect Connection is the key to any problem in a marriage.’”
In my teaching and counseling, as well as in my own marriage, I have become convinced that “the Love and Respect Connection is the key to any problem in a marriage” (15). Though Eggerichs is not Lutheran, his book is solidly grounded on Scripture and his teaching on marriage is in harmony with the confessional Lutheran vision of The Hausvater Project (although his book does not address the vocation of parenthood). I eagerly recommend Love and Respect and Cracking the Communication Code to every married couple, pastor, and counselor. Besides being solidly Scriptural, Eggerichs’s material is instantly applicable to real marriages, as the scores of letters and anecdotes peppered throughout the book testify. Moreover, his style is highly approachable and easily comprehended.”
Your Modern Family says
Elise @ Harvey Ever After says
Great post! Looking forward to following your blog as we go through the blogging class!
Your Modern Family says
THanks!!! Glad to meet you, too! 🙂
Shana Norris says
I absolutely LOVE your advice to treat your husband like you would a guest in your home. I am guilty of sometimes being MORE grouchy with my husband than I would ever be with co-workers, friends, even my kids.
Your Modern Family says
I think we are all guilty of that. 😉 Its easiest to be that way when we know that they will love us no matter what.
Karen Beckett says
My husband & I were married for 32 1/2 yrs. before he passed away. My advice for a happy marriage is always take time to listen to each other; never go to bed angry; always respect each other & be kind to each other;also remember to praise your spose and compliment them. Keep the love alive.
Your Modern Family says
Those are great words of advice! Thank you so much for sharing. I am so so sorry for your loss- but your love for him speaks loudly.
“Treating husband like a guest” helped me two years ago. It was not quite that and came naturally. We were having a bit of a hard time in the family. It was hard to me talk to my husband without looking at him through the prism of the collection of things he did which were hurting me. I could not even talk to him normally without feeling hurt by the thoughts from the past. So i tried to feel and behave as if he is the man i just met: listening to him as if i do not know him, trying to know more because he seemed to be an interestng handsome man. I was trying to be nice like we are nice with the people we just meet. At first it was just funny and easy way to live through one night after another when he was back from work. And i dare say it worked. I felt interest from him. You know, the one you feel when you know the man is “curious” about you. In the nice way:)
Becky (Your Modern Family) says
Exactly!!! I love the way that you said it! Like you are getting got know him. 🙂
My best advice is to remind you the God brought random people together for his glory and though you don’t always like each other God commands the men to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. Also one thing I keep in mind is the enemy is always trying new things to break the union marriage because two are stronger than one but are one in God. Women, we are directly an enemy of Satan, the devil said to Eve, “you are my enemy… “ he didn’t however say that to Adam. This is why I feel women get attacked harder (not always) than men.