Planning a successful wedding is no mean feat. It is an adventure with plenty of laughter, tears, angst, and tough choices. Still, there are few things more precious than what follows the perfect eyeliner, speeches, and first dance.
Marriage is a sojourn of the most beautiful kind; shared by best friends that have promised their forever’s to one another.
Couples that have successfully and bravely faced this adventure shared their most valuable advice for a happy marriage
- Love each other even in the moments when you don’t like each other very much. Love covers a multitude of shortcomings and will get you through the tough times.
- Never keep secrets from one another. This causes rifts and erodes intimacy.
- Women need to be loved, men need to be respected. This is the winning formula.
- Always wear your wedding ring and keep a photograph of your spouse on your desk or in your workspace at all times. This reminds you (and everybody else) of your priorities and commitment.
- View arguments as opportunities to learn and grow, not to win.
- Often, a woman expresses herself purely for the purposes of venting. When her husband just listens, without offering solutions, she feels supported. On the other hand, men are natural problem-solvers; and when they offer solutions, they are usually trying to help to fix the situation, not criticising.
- Learn to listen and really try to hear what your spouse is saying; even when emotions are high and feelings are sensitive.
- Never threaten one another with divorce or use your words to hurt in the heat of the moment. If those are the only things you are going to say, rather choose to keep quiet.
- Speak positively about your spouse to others, protecting their reputation, and how others view him or her.
- Avoid getting into the habit of criticising one another.
- Make an effort to spend quality and quantity time together.
- Touch one another. When the opportunity arises to hold hands, cuddle, ruffle his hair or pat her on the bum, take it. This goes a long way in maintaining a strong bond and that all-important element of fun.
- Say, “I love you” as often as possible.
- Acknowledge your role in the marriage and take responsibility for it. Don’t shift the blame or point fingers. This does not contribute to the team or make your partner feel supported.
- Always answer the phone when your spouse is calling.
- Bath together. This creates an important time to connect every day in a space of relaxation.
- Say sorry, forgive, and move on. No matter how hard it is. There is no point to holding onto resentment.
- Maintain a healthy sex life and keep your lines of communication about what is happening in the bedroom open.
- Give your best to each other first; everyone else comes second.
- Learn from the examples of other couples, and be friends with people that have a happy, positive, mature approach to marriage.
- Always tell the truth.
- Tackle any problems in the marriage head-on and aggressively. Do not let them simmer and grow. Try whatever you need to, be innovative, do what you must.
- You will never change a person. You get the person you married. Don’t expect anyone different.
- Use positive words when praising your partner; such as, “I love that you tackle your work so tenaciously”, or, “You’re so patient with the children, thank you.”
- Be patient, speak kindly, show your love generously. Even if you feel that this is not being reciprocated as you’d like it to be, this will only ever help to build a stronger marriage.