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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.
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.
What is your best tip for a happy marriage?