We live in an age where everyone seems to be in their second or third marriage. Divorce is so common that most millennials think that marriage is a trial-and-error institution. Gone are the days in which marriage was meant to last a lifetime. But how can couples stay happily married, especially in this day and age?
Whose advice should you seek if you want to have a successful marriage? Many young people seek relationship advice from couples who have recently married. Others seek the help of older couples in marriage for ten years or more. Others seek marriage advice from random strangers hoping to leap the benefits of diverse histories and backgrounds.
However, whose advice can be considered the most suited to realizing a happy marriage? Well, some people seem to have figured out the secrets to matrimonial life. Relationship advice, Their marriages are the beacons of hope in today’s tech-crippled world. These are marriages that seem to be thriving while everyone else opts out of this once noble social institution. This article is a compilation of 12 pieces of advice from happily married couples.
Don’t Get Pressured into Marriage
Societal pressure is the prime culprit for the majority of unsuccessful first-time marriages. Many couples are getting married because their parents, friends, colleagues, and siblings tell them it’s the right thing to do.
Young adults are often told that they have attained the right age for marriage. It is implied that marrying while young allows a couple to raise a family while they have the energy to do so. While this argument does hold water, there is certainly more to marriage than starting early.
It is not always best to give in and just marry because everyone is telling you to. What young couples should remember is that marriage is an institution meant for two people only. Relationship advice, No matter how caring and support your family, friends, siblings or colleagues might be, only you and your partner are actually in the marriage.
Don’t Marry for Image
The media-centric and attention-seeking attributes of today’s world have adversely affected the outlook of many young people. People are so conscious of the opinions of strangers on social media platforms that they no longer value their own opinions. Millennials and younger generations are so used to doing things the ‘accepted way’ that they are actually marrying the ‘right’ person.
The attributes of the spouse-to-be vary by gender. Guys want a wife who is classy, fashion-conscious and drop-dead gorgeous. Ladies, on the other hand, want a husband who is not only handsome but also loaded with a fat bank account.
Many young couples sustain this image during the courtship stage, only for it to fall apart when the demands of married life force the couple to confront the truth. The best relationship advice for guys is for them to let go of contrived personas and be themselves. This same piece of advice bears particular emphasis for the ladies. A happy marriage is not founded on fallacies, which is why couples need to be honest with themselves and with each other from the get-go.
Make Sure it’s not Puppy Love
What people don’t get is that a large proportion of what is considered love is actually not real. This is to say that love is essentially a psychological construct that is perpetuated by the body’s natural hormones.
This assertion might sound like the words of someone who doesn’t believe that love exists. Love does exist but it exists largely in the mind. It is an integral part of human existence because without it mankind would simply die out. Love allows two individuals to overlook shortcomings, oftentimes blatant, differences between them, come together and procreate to bring forth new life.
Love has awesome power to overcome all logical and sound thought. It is why when you are in love you possess this immense conviction that your love can overcome anything. This blind belief has led many into marriage while not really knowing who they are getting into. The best relationship advice for couples is that they take the time to let the initial infatuation fade out.
Deep Admiration is Vital
It takes more than just love for you to succeed in marriage because sometimes love is not enough. This outcome is primarily because human beings are largely subject to emotion. As such, other human emotions can overwhelm any existing feelings of love. A notable example is anger.
Instances in which anger can completely overwhelm love are quite common. These are the cases you hear on the news of supposedly loving husbands doing something horrible to their wives and children.
Sadly, most couples dismiss such events with the belief that it can’t happen to them. The reality is that there is no limit to human fallibility. This is why if you are going to marry or get married to someone, it is best to make sure that you have a genuine and deep admiration for them. This admiration is what will keep you from doing anything that you end up regretting later.
Expect to Thorns in Married Life
There are those things in a partner that you are unlikely to change no matter what you do. Most women hate it when their boyfriend has his buddies around for a game of football. Men, on the other hand, hate it when their girlfriends constantly nag them about their grooming. While the undesirable might seem tolerable in the courtship stage, marriage tends to make things unbearable. The best advice about relationships for couples is to embrace those thorny aspects of each other.
Talk Openly and Honestly
Anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows how hard it can be to talk openly all the time. This is especially so when addressing an issue that might be considered as a personal affront. For example, a lady will find it particularly difficult to confront their boyfriend on issues relating to his buddies.
Likewise, a guy will find it difficult to confront a girlfriend on her spending on shoes, clothing, hair or other items.
However, it is best to be honest even if it hurts your partner. Keeping mum only increases one’s resentment which makes it harder to open up later. The best advice on relationships you will ever have is to not be afraid to speak your mind to your partner. This way you get to know each other truly and thus avoid nasty surprises later.
Respect is a Must
Respect for each other is a must if you are to have any chance of surviving the turbulent waters of married life. Respect is not only limited to the time you are together. It also applies to the time you spend apart. You cannot, therefore, talk ill of your spouse to your friends, even if he or she is not there.
Furthermore, talking badly about your spouse is, in essence, talking badly about yourself because you are married to him or her. When you can respect your spouse the respect you have for yourself also significantly increases.
The outcome is that you become considerate of the needs of your spouse in all the decisions you make. Mutual respect, therefore, allows a couple to embrace the expectations they have towards each other. This ultimately lowers the frequency of conflict in a marriage.
Setting Realistic Time Frames for Goals
Another major source of conflict between couples has to do with the goals they hope to achieve. The problem is not that couples don’t have shared goals but that these goals are not achievable in the time allotted to them.
For example, it might not be possible to get a mortgage and buy a car within two years of marriage. The best relationship advice for busy couples in this regard is to seek outside input on setting realistic timeframes for the goals they hope to achieve.
An interesting quip about the institution of marriage states that men marry women expecting them to never change while women marry men expecting them to change; both end up getting disappointed because marriage causes women to change while leaving men somewhat unchanged.
Indeed, there is a lot of truth in this quip but at a less general level than depicted. Some changes in marriage are immediate while others take longer to manifest. For instance, lovey-dovey romance typically ends within the first year of marriage. You find
yourself preoccupied with other concerns that embody the marital life.
You end up spending less and less time together as work and other commitments eat up any available time. You both gain weight, you change your faith or even change your political affiliation. Embracing change is the only way you can grow in a marriage as a couple and also as individuals.
Arguments and Conflicts
Conflicts and arguments are a natural part of any relationship. They enable us to assert our place in the relationship advice and thus allow us to assign a meaning to it.
This outcome gives arguments and conflicts a very significant role in defining how a marriage develops. It is during an argument that other issues in the marriage emerge. You might be arguing about monthly bills when suddenly the argument shifts to not spending enough quality time together. You might be arguing about the groceries when suddenly the argument shifts to how you treat your in-laws.
Arguments and fights are an indispensable part of marriage. However, as a couple, you should not argue for the sake of winning. After all, a marriage is not built upon competition but collaboration.
Little Things Count
As you progressively settle into the rhythm of married life, it becomes increasingly harder to do the things that you loved doing as a couple. The biggest impediment is usually finding the time to go out on a weekly dinner date or for a movie or even a simple picnic. In a marriage, you have to plan everything out in advance because you can no longer do most things at whim. However, this does not mean you can’t do little things that adequately convey your love and admiration for your spouse. A man can surprise his wife with flowers or a box of chocolates once in a while. A woman can prepare her husband’s favorite meal or simply give him a loving hug as he leaves for work. Indeed, there are many such small things that a couple can do to reassure each other that they care.
Forgive and Completely Forget
Finally, the most important relationship advice is an ingredient to longevity of a marriage is the ability to forgive and forget. Being able to forgive completely is something that few people can do. It is even harder in a marriage where you have no choice but to face someone who has likely wronged you deeply. In a marriage, forgiveness has more to do with letting the other person show that they are truly sorry. You might not be able to let go of whatever anger you feel at that moment, just don’t stonewall yourself from your partner. Doing so only causes your spouse to feel unvalued and unloved. The right approach to handling wrongs done is by making them known and then letting the other person show remorse for the harm done.
Have a Happy Relationship
There is certainly no magic formula for a happy marriage. Success in married life is achievable only if you are willing and ready to embrace the fact that you need to be with your spouse. You begin this journey by identifying what you are bringing into the relationship. In this manner are you able to value how your spouse makes your relationship better? You must always remember that neither you nor your partner is perfect.