Looking for 15 tips for a successful marriage? What are healthy marriage tips for husbands and wives?
Have you thought about why some marriages break up before reaching the three-year mark while others last for decades? Do long-lasting couples know a secret that others don’t? Well, yes and no.
The recipe for successful and happy married life is constantly working on relationships. In a way, it’s the little things that are the foundation of most successful marriages. Luckily, there are happy marriage tricks anyone can learn, and you’ll explore each of them in this article.
But before getting down to the 15 tips for a successful marriage, let’s look at the basic principles and stages of any marriage explained below.
Meet the 7 Stages of Marriage
It turns out that life in marriage does not just flow chaotically from the wedding day and onward. Instead, it resembles a staircase with seven main floors, a.k.a stages.
Why is it important? If you know what stage you are in and which one is next, you can use appropriate tricks to reduce the emotional turmoil coming ahead. So, what are the main seven stages of a successful marriage?
#1. The Honeymoon or Passion Phase
The couple idealizes each other, completely ignoring any shortcomings. It’s also when the spouses build a foundation of trust and emotional attachment.
#2. The Awakening Phase
Spouses begin to assess each other’s character and actions realistically. As a result, their behavior becomes more natural because they know that neither is flawless.
#3. The Rebellion Phase
It is when the real power struggles begin. Each spouse wants to live their life comfortably, often making rebellious decisions, such as spending money on an expensive car.
#4. The Cooperation Phase
During this period, the spouses understand that marriage is not only love but also many responsibilities: maintaining a household, paying bills, and raising children together.
#5. The Second Honeymoon or Reunion Phase
It is a stage of stability regarding career and finances. Children leave the nest, and the spouses learn to appreciate each other as lovers once again.
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#6. The Explosion or the Midlife Crisis Phase
It’s a difficult time when people can’t believe that their golden years are long gone and want to get back into the saddle by any means, including infidelity and divorce.
#7. The Completion or Fulfillment Phase
It’s the stage of harmony and gratitude for having each other, which forms after surviving all sorts of challenges during a long life together.
Now, there’s no rule of thumb that you’ll experience each stage in the same order. For instance, they may interchange or be completely absent. The point is to be aware of the following possible outburst and be ready for it. Use this as a template to help you set realistic expectations for what a successful marriage takes.
Principles of a Successful Marriage
According to John Gottman, there are seven principles of a successful marriage:
- Sharing Love Maps. It’s the knowledge of what your partner loves and dislikes.
- Nurturing fondness and admiration. It’s about caring for the other person.
- Turning toward each other. It also means supporting one another.
- Letting your spouse influence you. Again, it’s about respecting your partner’s point of view.
- Solving the “solvable” problems. It includes a calm way to compromise.
- Overcoming Gridlock. It’s finding and overcoming blocks in a marriage and not necessarily fixing them.
- Creating shared meaning. It means to achieve a stage where you and your spouse have an inner connection, shared dreams, goals, and rituals.
We’re getting closer to understanding what a successful marriage looks like and how to make it sustainable. There’s one last stop, and you’ll learn those valuable 15 tips for a successful marriage, which are closely connected to the stages and main principles of marriage.
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The 3 Most Important Things in a Marriage
You’re right if you believe that love is the most important thing in a marriage. But don’t you think that love is too much of a broad concept?
It’s a complex feeling that forms from sympathy, care, attention, and dozens of other things. If it was unconditional and did not depend on external factors, why would it disappear in many marriages? So you see – it’s your responsibility to keep love alive. Knowing your spouse’s love language, and how they show and prefer to receive love helps.
How? Do the three following things, and your marriage will thrive.
- Provide security – financial, emotional, physical, etc.
- Satisfy sexual and emotional needs, including communication.
- Stay attractive to your other half.
This third piece of relationship advice for married couples is often neglected, which is unfortunate. Plus, “attractive” doesn’t always mean visually appealing, slim, or fit. It also includes being intellectually interesting. So, don’t forget about constant self-growth and improvement, or else your other half will feel bored.
Top 15 Tips For a Successful Marriage
Finally, we got to the marriage tips for husbands and wives who desperately want their married life to survive all the storms and flourish like an evergreen. So, without further ado, let’s dig into them.
#1. Respect Your Spouse’s Individuality
A healthy marriage is built on the respectful attitude of partners towards each other’s individuality. When people get married, they don’t wish to change or “fix” their partner. On the contrary, their uniqueness attracts them to each other the most.
Respect implies recognition of another person’s independence. And your task is to remember that your spouse is a separate person with their own desires and needs that do not always coincide with yours.
So, if they want to start a new career, learn another language, or change their hairstyle, you shouldn’t stop or criticize them. Instead, help your partner gain confidence and increase their self-esteem because the strength of your union largely depends on your support.
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#2. Master Active Listening
We often hear that men and women think differently. For example, women are more emotional, while men use analytical categories. According to research on brain and gender, the brain of a man and a woman functions differently, which primarily affects the collection and processing of information.
It leads us to another trick out of 15 tips for a successful marriage. The differences between men and women require active listening to understand each other. What you think they’re saying may be far from reality. So, before jumping to conclusions, ask them questions, don’t interrupt, and dig deeper. It’s the only way to build a strong connection between the couple.
Listening is the most important part of communication, and communication is key in relationships.
#3. Avoid Baseless Jealousy
Jealousy is probably one of the most unpleasant feelings that eat a person from the inside and make them distrust their partner. You begin to suspect your loved one of infidelity, constantly spy on them, and try to keep them close. In the meantime, the trust between you is slowly melting away.
The feeling of jealousy itself is not something shameful. It is a natural reaction to the danger of not getting some resources, for example, the love and care of a partner. So, accept this feeling, but do not let it take control of you.
You need to build an open and trusting relationship with your spouse where you can calmly discuss any situation. This way, you will avoid negative emotions like aggression and mistrust, which can eventually destroy the marriage.
You’ve got to learn how to stop feeling jealous in your relationship for it to be happy and healthy.
#4. Use Compromise and Forgiveness as the Best Weapons Against Conflict
Of all the 15 tips for a successful marriage, this one will probably be the most difficult to follow. It requires you to shut out your ego when necessary and agree with your spouse, even if you’re used to winning every argument.
A successful marriage does not equal a conflict-free marriage. Instead, it’s the art of resolving the conflicts that makes it resistant to a breakdown. And yes, it takes time and patience to learn to compromise, but isn’t a happy marriage worth the effort?
Also, learn to apologize when you were wrong and accept your partner’s apology rather than holding a grudge for days after the incident. Be a bigger person to maintain a healthy psychological environment in your family.
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#5. Don’t Neglect Your Sex Life
Sex may not be the most fundamental element of a relationship, but neglecting it can be dangerous to the integrity of a marriage. Unfortunately, lack of sex is a sure way to divorce for some people. So, if you treat physical intimacy only as a duty, it’s time to change your beliefs.
As paradoxically as it may sound, physical intimacy begins from a spiritual closeness. That’s why one of your main tasks should be maintaining emotional bonds and tenderness every day, not just when you are going to have sex. Also, try new tricks to diversify this side of your marriage. Do some research, think of new places, role-playing, sexting – the list could go on.
#6. Don’t Take Each Other For Granted
After the passion of the first years of marriage subsides, we often begin to take the other person and their care for granted. For example, cooking, buying groceries and picking up from work become invisible duties. But it shouldn’t be that way.
You should remember to be grateful for the things your spouse does for you and the family and express your appreciation more often. And don’t be a bystander whenever possible.
For instance, when your wife or husband cooks dinner, offer your help and actively participate. It’s not their obligation to make your life comfortable. You are partners in everything, and housework is not an exception.
#7. Find Activities You Can Do Together
Another one of the 15 tips for a successful marriage is to communicate more often. And what can contribute to it better than a joint activity where you spend a lot of time together? To make a marriage successful you have to have fun together.
Traveling is one of the great examples. But essentially, it can be anything that brings both of you positive emotions. Dancing classes can also be an excellent way to have fun and get closer.
A shared new hobby will help keep the marriage from becoming a tedious routine. It will also add more colors to life and new refreshing experiences. And remember that a hobby is not an exam or a competition, so don’t take it too seriously.
Keep it fun and have regular date nights, too! To make a marriage successful you have to have fun together.
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#8. Remember About Romantic Gestures
Every day looks the same in many marriages – kids, work, gym, rest, and sleep. But what about romantic feelings? Research shows that, on average, vivid romantic emotions last three years. After this mark, you must constantly renew passion and mutual attraction, as if refueling a car.
So what can you do? A candlelit dinner and expensive gifts are certainly a good idea, but you also need to find other ways, small things really, to make your partner feel good. It can be anything from massage and coffee in bed to flowers for no reason and a romantic trip.
And don’t think that if you’re together for 20 or more years, your relationship can go on without romantic gestures. Bringing in some spice is good marriage advice for old couples, just as it is for newlyweds.
#9. Support Each Other
Support is also one of the 15 tips for a successful marriage because it’s the foundation of every happy union. Do you remember your wedding vows? Be there on days of illness, sadness, or weakness and help overcome difficulties. So stay true to those promises and support each other, be it personal issues or professional projects.
Emotional support is sometimes even more important than any actions. For instance, when your spouse complains about a job or a rude bank employee, don’t rush to give your brilliant advice. More often than not, your partner just wants you to listen, nod your head in agreement, and sympathize.
#10. Don’t Threaten to File for Divorce Every Time You’re Fighting
Since women are more likely to throw the “D” word during the fight, this is one of the essential marriage tips for a wife. Of course, disagreements happen in every family, with some people experiencing them more often than others. But quarrels should be a reason to work on yourself and reach a different level of relationships, rather than ruin a marriage.
So, it’s imperative to control your words amid a heated argument. Your task is to let off steam and point out specific problems in the relationship so that you can solve them later. But if you use divorce as leverage in every fight, sooner or later, your spouse may agree that breaking up is actually a good idea.
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#11. Praise Your Spouse Regularly
Out of the other 15 tips for a successful marriage, praise and compliments are the easiest things we can do. It is hard to find a person who does not like to receive compliments. And what a wonderful feeling we experience when we are praised, right?
In response, we want to do even more good things to hear nice words addressed to us again. Praise is a powerful instrument to improve someone’s mood and encourage them to grow and improve. Imagine what miracles it can do to your spouse and their desire to work on your marriage.
#12. Give Each Other Space
People in happy marriages respect personal space. Each spouse should have a place where they can be alone. Don’t take it personally or think your partner is bored with you. Maybe they just need to gather their thoughts or find a solution to some problem.
Spending time alone is especially vital for people with high sensitivity, who find it challenging to be around others for a long time without recharging. Thus, if your spouse reads a book or watches a movie, don’t interrupt or demand their attention. Remember that marriage unites two independent people, giving each other some freedom.
#13. Celebrate Positive Moments More Often
Everyday routine can slowly kill all romantic feelings between the couples. Over time, people stop noticing good events and focus only on negative ones, such as increased taxes, problems at work, etc.
That’s why another one of the 15 tips for a successful marriage is to notice and celebrate life’s small joys. For example, a new bookstore opens its doors in your city, or the weather is sunny outside – all such moments are worth capturing.
So go for a walk on a warm day, enjoy new purchases, visit newly opened stores, etc. Otherwise, the routine will destroy your life and marriage brick by brick. Get outside more together, and find happiness in nature.
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#14. Trust Each Other
Trust is one of the most basic and necessary conditions for harmonious relationships. If you do not trust your spouse, you can hardly expect happiness in such a marriage.
Trusting relationships are often hindered by negative experiences and the expectation of some unpleasant surprise from a loved one. To stop dwelling on negative thoughts, try replacing them with empathy and understanding, and don’t compare your spouse to someone from your past.
Find those traits you value in a partner and remind yourself of them when you slip into negative thinking. After all, happiness often means appreciating what we have and not wanting more.
#15. Take Care of Yourself
Happiness in marriage begins with the satisfaction of each spouse taken separately. So if you radiate positive energy and feel cheerful, your relationship will flourish day after day. That’s why the last of the 15 tips for a successful marriage is self-care.
So, find time to improve your body, mind, and soul. Rest well and sleep for eight or more hours (different people need more sleep than others, according to CDC.gov). Visit a gym or spa when you need it without feeling guilty. Remember that you only have today to be happy and enjoy your marriage, so don’t waste it.
Just as there is no perfect partner, there is no successful marriage without working on it daily. Life depends on what each of us puts into it.
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Thus, the amount of our effort will define whether we can create a long-lasting and happy marriage.
And now, when you have the tools, it’s your responsibility to use them to build your “happy ever after.”Want to know the secrets to a happy marriage anyone can learn? Click here for the top 15 tips for a successful marriage for husbands and wives by @Online_Divorce_. #Marriage #RelationshipGoals #Relationship #HappyWifeHappyLife
Any other tips for a successful marriage?
More About Guest Contributor
Natalie Maximets is a certified life transformation & relationship coach and a freelance writer at OnlineDivorce.com with expertise in mindfulness, sustainability, and building healthy relationships. She is a published author focused on the most progressive solutions in the field of Psychology. Natalie is proficient in CBT, REBT, Trauma Recovery, Mindfulness Meditation, Storytelling, and Wilderness Therapy.
Last Updated on August 16, 2022