5 Marriage Tips

We have been married for 5 years now. Over the years, we have been given various marriage/relationship tips. Some of the advice has been extremely helpful and others not so much. With that in-mind, here are some tips that I’d give to married couples:

1) Sometimes, it’s okay to go to bed angry. As newlyweds we were told to never go to bed angry, ever. This resulted in me trying to talk things out while hubby just needed some time and space to regroup. There were some evenings where we stayed up way too late trying to resolve conflict that couldn’t be resolved in one evening. Going to bed angry does not mean that your marriage is doomed. The important thing is to seek to resolve conflict and don’t let things fester. Pulling an all nighter isn’t always the best way to resolve conflict. Sometimes issues are best resolved after a full night of sleep.

2) Use “I” statements. This one I cannot stress enough! When arguing, replacing “you” with “I” will help tremendously. An example of this is, “you don’t give me enough compliments.” Taking away the “you” and replacing it with “I” could look like: “I feel hurt when I make the effort to dress up and I don’t hear a compliment.” You causes the other person to feel under attack. Using I instead really helps the person to see your heart and as a result, they are more likely to want to listen and respond positively. Believe me, get rid of “you” and use “I” and see the results!

3) Don’t lose sight of your own shortcomings. It can be easy in a relationship to start focusing on the other person’s faults. If your mind keeps replaying a “record of wrongs” it may be helpful to sit down and try the following exercise. On half of a piece of paper write out all of the positive things about your spouse. On the other half of the paper write a list of your own shortcomings. This exercise can help a person out of a mental rut of fault finding. While your spouse may have negative traits, they also have positive ones. And we each need to remember that while they may have shortcomings, we do as well.

4) There is one saying from the Love & Respect conference that can radically transform your relationship for the better. Dr. Emerson repeats through out the conference, “not wrong – just different.” I wish that I grasped this sooner in our marriage. It is not wrong for our spouse to be different from us. Yet, our default is to want them to operate just like us. When our spouse puzzles us or frustrates us, repeating: “not wrong – just different” can go a long way!

5) This last one I’m not so great at but I believe in the rewards from doing so. Get in the habit of hugging or kissing your spouse every time you come home from work. This can set the tone for the rest of the evening. Instead of being rushed, spend a couple of seconds showing that you are happy to be together again.

If you have marriage advice that someone gave you or you’ve learned along the way, I’d love for you to leave a comment below.  Marriage is a journey, we never “arrive” so to speak. Learning new ways to improve our relationship is something each of us can do until death do us part.

18 thoughts on “5 Marriage Tips”

  1. Love these 5 tips! I usually give 3 pieces of advice to newlyweds. 1) The same as your number 1! I always need space to seethe a little bit and get my feelings sorted out before resolving an issue.
    2) Be on the same team/support each other in public. When we first got married we use to “fight” (disagree about some stupid thing) in front of our friends and it was terrible! It made everyone feel uncomfortable and it made our relationship look weak. Since realizing this we always support each other and lift each other up in front of others and it helps us to do so when it’s just the two of us too!
    3) Keep the mystery alive. I think it’s ok (and it’s definitely helped our marriage) to keep SOME secrets from your spouse. I don’t tell my husband everything I do and I don’t like it when he’s involved in every thing in my life*. It’s nice and romantic to have some mystery involved in the relationship; such as, NOT doing everything with the bathroom door open. Ha!

    *obviously this excludes the important things. I tell my husband about things that worry me, big purchases I’ve made, etc. etc.

    1. Thanks for your tips Meg! and its even more special when you are commenting while on vacation in California! We have a trip planned to California for this summer.

  2. Thanks for the tips. I’m getting married soon. . It’s nice to hear some realistic advice from someone I trust. Thanks for your insight.

    1. awesome. So you must have been to the Love & Respect conference too (or read the book?). We watched the dvd in a small group and it was really good. “Not wrong – just different” was my favourite nugget of truth, by far.

  3. I agree with your 5. I’ve read most of the love & respect and have thought of doing at church for Sunday school. Do you recommend the video series for couples or just women?

    1. We did the Love & Respect DVD study as a small group with couples. Since the dvd speaks to both males and females it was nice to discuss the material with male/female perspectives within the group. I recommend the dvd small group curriculum!

      1. Thank you Rachel! I’ve almost finished the book, but feel the need to discuss with other married people:)

  4. Thomas and I have done quite a bit of pre-marriage counseling recently and we always make sure to cover all of the points you mentioned. An additional tip, is that we suggest that the wife thinks of two or three men that she can trust her husband to go to for good Godly advise. (and him for her obviously.) Some times you need an outside perspective on a situation and you want your spouse to go to someone that you trust and respect. And, the is always the couple who prays together, stays together!

  5. One thing that has worked for us is using a rating system on issues that we are disagreeing about. At times we’ve disagreed about a topic and found ourselves arguing just for the sake of winning the argument or arguing on an issue that in the end wasn’t really that important for one or both of us. So now if there is something we disagree on that for me is only like a 2 or a 3 and for him it’s more important like a 6 or 7 it puts it into perspective and we can find a resolution a lot easier. It is easier to “Relinquish” your need to get your way when you realize how little you really care about the issue and how much they do.

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