Best Marriage Advice for a Rock Solid Relationship- Expert Roundup

Best Marriage Advice by Experts for a Rock Solid Relationship

Every marriage has a share of highs and lows. While there is no trouble getting through the blissful moments, overcoming marital problems is rather challenging. For a successful marriage, what’s important is to understand how to navigate through those problems and learning to resolve them. Letting your marital issues fester can wreak havoc on your relationship.

All couples go through tough phases, entailing intricate and tedious problems. No matter how long you have been married, getting through them doesn’t get any easier. But some tips from the experts can surely help you deal with the issues better, without having any damaging effects on your marriage.

We offer you the best marriage advice by the best relationship experts to help you have a happy and fulfilling married life-
1. Save your breath for the time when you are in a cool headspace

New Project (28)Joan Levy , Lcsw

Stop trying to communicate when you are angry.  Whatever you are trying to say will not be heard as you would like it to be. Process your own anger first:

  • Check for projections from other situations with other people from your past;
  • Could you be adding meaning to what your partner said or didn’t say, did or didn’t do that might be causing you to be more upset than the situation warrants?
  • Ask yourself if you have an unmet need that is contributing to your upset? How can you present that need without making your partner wrong?
  • Remember that this is a person whom you love and who loves you. You are not each other’s enemy.

2. Know how to listen and be fully present for your partner
New Project (1) (11)Melissa Lee-Tammeus , Ph.D.,LMHc

In working with couples in my practice, one of the biggest sources of underlying pain comes from not feeling heard or understood. Often this is because we know how to talk, but not listen. Be fully present for your partner. Put down the phone, put away the tasks, and look at your partner and simply listen. If you were asked to repeat what your partner said, could you? If you could not, listening skills may need to be tightened up!

3. Disconnection is inevitable, and so is reconnection
New Project (2) (12)Candice Creasman Mowrey , Ph.D., LPC-S

Disconnection is a natural part of relationships, even the ones that last! We tend to expect our love relationships to maintain the same level of closeness all the time, and when we feel ourselves or our partners drifting, it can feel like the end is near. Don’t panic! Remind yourself it is normal and then work on reconnecting.

4. Don’t play it safe all the time
New Project (3) (9)Mirel Goldstein, MS, MA, LPC

I would recommend that couples share something vulnerable with each other each day because couples who stop being vulnerable and “play it safe” can find themselves feeling more and more distant from each other as time goes on and daily responsibilities compete with relationship needs.

Do not play it safe all the time

5. Put in the work to enjoy a rewarding marriage
New Project (4) (9)Lynn R. Zakeri, Lcsw

Marriage is work. No relationship can survive without both parties putting in the work. Work in a happy, healthy marriage does not feel like work in the essence of a chore or a to-do type of thing. But taking time to listen, to schedule quality time, to prioritize each other, and to share feelings are all work that pays off.  Trust each other, with your vulnerabilities, and respect each other with authenticity (not passive-aggression).  That kind of work will offer you a lifetime of rewards.  

6. Open up more to your partner and build a strong relationship
New Project (5) (7)Brenda Whiteman, B.A., R.S.W

The more you say, the more you talk, the more you express your feelings, the more you tell your partner how you feel and what you’re thinking, the more you open up with your true self – the more likely it is that you will build a solid foundation for your relationship now and for the future.  Hiding thoughts and feelings is a sure-fire way to unravel the foundation of your intimacy.

7. Have empathy for each other’s feelings and resolve issues together
New Project (6) (6)Mary Kay Cocharo, LMFT

My best advice to any married couple is to take the time to learn how to effectively communicate. Most of the couples who end up in Marriage Therapy are in desperate need of this! Effective communication is a process where each person feels heard and understood. It involves having empathy for the other’s feelings and coming to solutions together.  I believe that a lot of pain in marriage comes about when couples attempt to solve problems without any tools. For example, some couples avoid disagreements in order to “keep the peace”. Things don’t get resolved this way and resentment grows. Or, some couples argue and fight, pushing the issue deeper and rupturing their essential connection. Good communication is a skill worth learning and will allow you to move through difficult topics while deepening your love.

8. Make an effort to know what makes your partner cringe
New Project (7) (4)Suzy Daren MA LMFT

Be curious about your partner’s differences and endeavor to understand both what hurts them and what makes them happy.  As your knowledge of the other increases with time, be thoughtful – show real empathy when they’re triggered and forever encourage what makes them shine.

9. Be the friend to your partner who turns on their mind, and not just the body
New Project (8) (5)Myla Erwin, MA

To new lovers hoping that whatever “quirks” they may see in their mates can be changed, I assure them that those things will only intensify over time, so to be sure that they not only love the individual but that they genuinely like the person. Passion will wax and wane. During the waning seasons, you will be glad to have a friend who can turn on your mind in the same fashion they once ignited your body. The other thing is that marriage takes constant work, just as breathing does. The trick is to work so diligently at it that you become unaware of all the muscles you are using. However, let one become distressed and you will surely notice. The key is to keep breathing.

10. Be sincere in your intent and words; demonstrate more affection
New Project (9) (5)Dr.Claire Vines, Psy.D

Always mean what you say and say what you mean; kindly. Always maintain eye-to-eye contact. Read the soul. In your discussions avoid using the words, “Always and Never.” Unless, it is, Never stop kissing, Always be kind. Touch skin to skin, hold hands. Consider not only what you say to your partner, but how the information is delivered; kindly. Always greet the other with a touch of a kiss, when coming home. It doesn’t matter who reaches out first.Remember that the male and female are species and the genetic roles are different. Respect and value them. You are equal, however, you are different. Walk the journey together, not fused, yet, side by side.

Nurture the other, one extra step. If you know their soul has been troubled in the past, help them honor their past. Listen with love. You have earned what you have learned. You have earned choice.  You have learned insight, compassion, empathy, and safety. Apply. Bring them into the marriage with your love. Discuss the future yet live the present.

Be sincere in your intent and words demonstrate more affection

11. Share your softer emotions with your partner for a lasting closeness
New Project (10) (5)Dr. Trey Cole, Psy.D.

People tend to fear uncertainty and unfamiliarity. When we debate, intellectualize, or share harsh emotions with our partners, that tends to drum up fears in him/her about uncertainty in the relationship. Instead, examining what our “softer” emotions are, such as how our partner’s behavior activates those fears of uncertainty, and learning how to share those can be disarming and increase closeness.

12.  Marriage needs regular maintenance, don’t be  lax about it
New Project (11) (7)Dr. Mic Hunter, LMFT, Psy.D.

People who do regular maintenance on their cars find that their cars run better and last longer. People who do regular maintenance on their homes find they continue to enjoy living there. Couples who treat their relationships with at least as much care as they do their material objects are happier than those couples who don’t.

13. Make your relationship your highest priority
New Project (12) (4)Bob Taibbi, LCSW

Keep your relationship on the front burner. It’s all too easy for kids, jobs, everyday life to run our lives and often it is the couple relationship that takes the backseat. Build into this time, time for both intimate and problem-solving conversations so stay connected and don’t sweep problems under the rug.

14. Build prowess in both verbal and non-verbal communication
New Project (13) (8)Jaclyn Hunt, MA, ACAS, BCCS

The number one piece of advice a therapist or any professional would give to a married couple is communicate with each other!  I always laugh at this advice because it’s one thing to tell people to communicate and another thing to show them what this means.  Communication involves both verbal and non-verbal expressions. When you communicate with your partner make sure you are looking at them, make sure you are experiencing internally what they are conveying to you externally and then ask to follow up questions and show them outwardly your understanding or confusion until both of you are on the same page and satisfied. Communication is reciprocal both verbally and through intricate non-verbal indicators.  That is the best brief advice I could ever offer a couple.

15. Take care of your marriage health and protect it from ‘predators’
New Project (14) (7)DOUGLAS WEISS PH.D

Keep your marriage structures healthy. Share your feelings daily. Praise each other at least twice a day. Spiritually connect every day. Keep sex consistent and both of you initiate regularly. Make time to have a date at least a couple times a month. Treat each other like lovers instead of spouses. Respect each other as people and friends. Protect your marriage from predators like these: being too busy, other outside relationships and entertainment.

16. Avert rash decisions by accepting your own feelings
New Project (15) (4)Russell S Strelnick, LCSW

Moving from ‘don’t just sit there do something’, to ‘don’t just do something sit there’ is the best skill to develop within myself to sustain a viable intimate relationship.

Learning to accept and tolerate my own feelings and thoughts so that I reduce my fearful, reactive and urgent need to ‘do something about it’ allows the time needed for me to return to the clarity of thought and emotional balance in order to exit the mess instead of making it worse.

17. Be on the same team and happiness will follow
New Project (16) (4)Dr. Joanna Oestmann, LMHC, LPC, LPCS

Be friends first and remember you are on the same team! With the Super Bowl coming up it is a great time to think about what makes a winning, successful team rise above the best of the best? First, identifying what you are fighting for together! Next, teamwork, understanding, listening, playing together and following each other’s lead. What is your team’s name? Pick a team name for your household (The Smith’s Team) and use it reminding each other and all in the family that you are on the same team working together. Determine what you are fighting FOR as opposed to fighting against each other and happiness will follow.

18. Own up to your mistakes
New Project (17) (5)Gerald Schoenewolf , Ph.D.

Take responsibility for your own contribution to the problems in your marriage.  It’s easy to point the finger to your partner, but very difficult to point the finger at yourself.  Once you can do this you can resolve issues rather than having a right-wrong argument.

19. Ask more questions, assumptions are bad for a relationship’s  health
New Project (18) (3)Ayo Akanbi  , M.Div., MFT, OACCPP

My one advice is simple: Talk, talk and talk again. I encourage my clients to process what whatever the situation is and find time to talk about it. Talking is key. It is also important that they listen to each other and ask questions. Neither should assume to know.

Ask more questions

20. Be open to conflicts, ruptures and the repair that follows

New Project (19) (5)Andrew Rose ,LPC, MA

People need to feel secure in their relationship to get the value of coupling. Security is built through rupture and repair.  Don’t shy from conflict. Make room for fear, grief, and anger, and reconnect and reassure each other after an emotional or logistical rupture.

21. Need a great spouse? Become one to your partner first
New Project (17) (6)Clifton Brantley, M.A., LMFTA

Focus on BECOMING a great spouse instead of HAVING a great spouse. A successful marriage is about self-mastery. You becoming better (better at loving, forgiving, patience, communication) will make your marriage better. Make your marriage the priority means to make your spouse your priority.

22. Don’t let busyness hijack your relationship, stay engaged with each other
New Project (15) (5)Eddie Capparucci , MA, LPC

My advice to married couples is to stay actively engaged with each other. Too many couples allow the busyness of life, children, work and other distractions to create distance between themselves. If you’re not taking time each day to nurture each other, you increase the likelihood of growing apart. The demographic with the highest rate of divorce today are couples who have been married for 25 years. Don’t become part of those statistics.

23. Take time to process the situation before responding
New Project (14) (8)Raffi Bilek  ,LCSWC

Make sure you understand what your spouse is telling you before offering a response or explanation. Make sure your spouse feels you understand him/her as well.  Until everyone feels they are on the same page with whatever the problem is, you cannot even begin to solve the problem.

24. Respect each other and don’t get stuck in the rut of marital complacency
New Project (13) (9)Eva L. Shaw,Ph.D.

When I am counseling a couple I stress the importance of respect in a marriage.  It is so easy to become complacent when you live with someone 24/7.  It is easy to see the negatives and forget the positives.  Sometimes expectations aren’t met, the fairytale marriage dream may not be fulfilled, and people often turn against each other rather than working together.  I teach that when ‘courting’ it is important to build a best friend relationship and to always treat your spouse like you do your best friend because that is who they are.  

You chose that person to do life’s journey with and it may not be the fairytale you envisioned.  Sometimes bad things happen in families – illness, financial problems, death, a rebellion of children, – and when tough times come remember that your best friend is coming home to you, every day, and they deserve to be respected by you.  Let the tough times draw you closer together rather than pull you apart. Look for and remember the awesomeness you saw in your partner when you were planning a life together.  Remember the reasons you are together and overlook the character flaws.  We all have them.  Love each other unconditionally and grow through the problems.  Respect each other always and in all things find a way.

25. Work at creating a positive change in your marriage
New Project (12) (5)LISA FOGEL, MA, LCSW-R

In marriage, we tend to repeat patterns from childhood. Your spouse does the same.  If you can change the patterns of how you respond to your spouse, systems theory has shown there will also be a change in how your spouse responds to you.  You are often reacting to your spouse and if you can do the work to change this, you can create a positive change not only in yourself but also in your marriage.

Work at creating a positive change in your marriage

26. Make your point firmly, but gently
New Project (11) (8)Amy Sherman, MA , LMHC

Always remember that your partner is not your enemy and that the words you use in anger will remain long after the fight is over. So make your point firmly, but gently.  The respect you show your partner, especially in anger, will build a strong foundation for many years to come.

27. Refrain from treating your partner with contempt; silent treatment is a big no
New Project (10) (6)ESTHER LERMAN, MFT

Know that it’s ok to fight sometimes, the issue is how you fight and how long does it take to recover?  Can you resolve or forgive or let go in a fairly short amount of time?  When you fight or just interact with each other are you defensive and/or critical?  Or do you use “the silent treatment”?  What’s especially important to watch out for is contempt.  This attitude is often the destroyer of a relationship. None of us can be totally loving all the time, but these particular ways of relating are truly harmful to your marriage.

28. Be authentic in your communication
New Project (9) (6)KERRI-ANNE BROWN, LMHC, CAP, ICADC

The best advice I can give to a married couple is not to underestimate the power of communication. Spoken and unspoken communication is so impactful that couples often aren’t aware of how significant a role their communication style plays in their relationship. Communicate often and with authenticity. Don’t assume your partner knows or understand how you feel. Even in relationships where you have been together for a long time, your partner will never be able to read your mind and the reality is, you don’t want them to either.

29.  Ditch those rose-colored glasses! Learn to see your partner’s perspective
New Project (8) (6)KERI ILISA SENDER-RECEIVER, LMSW, LSW

Get into your partner’s world as much as you can. We all live in our own bubble of reality that’s based on our past experiences and we wear rose-colored glasses that alter our perspectives. Instead of trying to get your partner to see and understand you and your perspective, do your best to see and understand theirs.

Inside of that generosity, you will be able to truly love and appreciate them. If you can mix this with an unconditional acceptance of what you find when you get inside of their world, you will have mastered the partnership.

30. Cut your partner some slack
New Project (7) (6)Courtney Ellis ,LMHC

Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Take them at their word and trust that they, too, are trying. What they say and feel is valid, just as much as what you say and feel is valid. Have faith in them, believe them at their word, and assume the best in them.

31. Learn to oscillate between elation and disappointment
New Project (6) (7)SARA NUAHN, MSW, LICSW

Expect to be unhappy.  I know what you’re thinking, who says that!?  Not helpful advice for a married couple.  Or positive in any way.  But hear me out.  We get into relationships and marriage, thinking, expecting rather that it is going to make us happy and secure.  And in reality, that is not the case.  If you go into marriage, expecting it, the person or the environment to make you happy, then you better start planning to be irritated and resentful, unhappy, a lot of the time.

Expect to have times that are amazing, and times that are frustrating and aggravating.  Expect to not feel validated, or seen, heard, and noticed at times, and also expect that you will be placed on such a high pedestal your heart may not be able to handle it.  Expect that you will be in love just like the day you met, and also expect that you will have times you dislike each other a whole lot.  Expect that you will laugh and cry, and have the most amazing moments and joys, and also expect you will be sad and angry and scared.  

Expect that you are you, and they are them and that you connected, and married because this was your friend, your person, and the one that you felt you could conquer the world with.  Expect you will be unhappy, and that you are the only one to make yourself truly happy! It’s an inside-out process, all of the time.  It is your responsibility to ask for what you need, contribute your part to be able to feel all those expectations, positive and negative, and at the end of the day, still expect that person to kiss you goodnight.

32. Cultivate a habit to overlook the flaws and warts
New Project (5) (8)Dr. Tari Mack ,Psy. D

I would advise a married couple to look for the good in each other. There will always be things about your partner that annoy you or disappointment you. What you focus on will shape your marriage. Focus on the positive qualities of your partner. This will increase happiness in your marriage.

33. Intersperse the seriousness of marriage business with fun and playfulness
New Project (4) (10)RONALD B. COHEN, MD

Marriage is a journey, a constantly evolving relationship that requires listening, learning, adapting, and allowing influence. Marriage is work, but if it is not also fun and playfully, it is probably not worth the effort. The best marriage is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be relished and embraced.

Intersperse the seriousness of marriage business with fun and playfulness

34. Invest in your marriage – Date nights, praises and finances
New Project (3) (10)SANDRA WILLIAMS, LPC, NCC

Invest In Your Marriage Regularly: Come together and identify types of investments (i.e. date night, budget, appreciation) that matter to your marriage. Separately, list things that are important to each of you. Next, talk through the investments you both believe are important for your marriage. Commit to doing what it takes to having marital wealth.

35. Negotiate what’s acceptable and what’s not
New Project (2) (13)SHAVANA FINEBERG, PH.D.

Take a course together on Non-Violent Communication (Rosenberg) and use it. Try hard to also see all issues from your partner’s perspective. Eliminate “right” and “wrong” – negotiate what can work for each of you. If you react strongly, your past may be being triggered; be willing to examine that possibility with an experienced counselor.

Talk directly about the sexuality you share: appreciations and requests. Guard a date time in your calendars reserved for fun for just the two of you, minimum every two weeks.

36. Identify what ticks you off and equip yourself to disarm your triggers
New Project (23) (1)JAIME SAIBIL, M.A

Psychotherapist

The best advice I would give to a married couple would be to know yourself.  What that means is to not only become significantly acquainted with your own triggers, blind spots, and hot buttons but also obtain the tools necessary to manage them so that they don’t get in your way.  We all have ‘hot buttons’ or triggers that were developed early on in our lives.  

No one goes unscathed here.  If you’re not aware of them, they will get hit on by your partner without even knowing it’s happened, which often times can lead to conflict and disconnection. If, however, you are aware of them and have learned to disarm them when triggered, you can prevent fifty-percent if not more of the conflicts you experience with your partner and spend more time focusing on attention, affection, appreciation, and connection.

37. Be nice, don’t bite each other’s heads off
New Project (1) (12)Courtney Geter, LMFT, CST

Although it seems simple, my best advice to married couples is simply, “be nice to each other.” More times than not, couples who end up on my couch are nicer to me than they are the person they’re going home with. Yes, after months or years of discord in the relationship, you might not like your spouse anymore. That “chip on the shoulder” could lead you to be passive aggressive whether it’s stopping for dinner on the way home and not bringing your spouse anything or leaving dirty dishes in the sink when you know that really annoys them.

At times, you don’t have to like your spouse but being nice to them will make working through conflict much easier and more pleasant for all involved. It also begins to show more respect toward them which is also very important in building and maintaining a marriage. This also improves conflict resolution by removing passive-aggressive behaviors. When I meet a couple who are clearly not “playing nice” with each other, one of my first tasks for them to is “to be nice over the next week” and I ask them to choose one thing they could do differently to achieve this goal.

38. Make commitment. For a long, really long haul
New Project (29)Lynda Cameron Price , Ed.S, LPC, AADC

The best marriage advice that I would give any married couple is to understand what true commitment means. So very often we have difficulties committing to anything for a long period of time. We change our minds just like we change our clothes. True commitment in marriage is loyalty even when no one is looking and choosing to love and stay the course regardless of how you feel at that moment.

39. Mirror your partner’s communication style to facilitate better understanding
New Project (18) (4)GIOVANNI MACCARRONE, B.A

The number one marriage tip to have a passionate marriage is to communicate to them using THEIR communication style.  Do they take in information & communicate using their visual cues (seeing is believing), their audio (whisper in their ears), kinesthetic (touch them when talking to them) or other?  Once you learn their style, you can communicate perfectly to them and they will actually understand you!

40. Accept that your spouse is not your clone
New Project (24) (1)Laurie Heller, LPC

Curiosity! The “honeymoon phase” always ends. We start noticing things about our spouse that BOTHER us. We think, or worse say, “You need to change!” INSTEAD, understand your beloved is DIFFERENT than you! Become compassionately curious about what makes them tick. This will nurture.

41. Keep secrets from your spouse and you are on the road to doom  
New Project (25) (1)Dr. LaWanda N. Evans , LPC

My advice would be, to communicate about everything, don’t keep secrets, because secrets destroy marriages, never assume that your spouse automatically knows or understands what your needs are, how you’re feeling, or what you’re thinking, and never take each other for granted. These factors are very important to the success and longevity of your marriage.

Keep secrets from your spouse and you are on the road to doom

42. Make expressing love to each other as a non-negotiable component of your marriage
New Project (6) (8)KATIE LEMIEUX, LMFT

Make your relationship a priority!   Schedule a repeating time for your relationship every week, build on the quality of your friendship, invest in learning about relationships.  Apply what you have learned.  Most of us were never taught how to have a successful relationship.  It is important to learn how to communicate especially during conflict.  Remember the little things matter.  Take time to dream, express gratitude and love to each other.  Keep the spontaneity alive and be gentle with one another you both are doing the best you can.  

43. Honour and support each other’s dreams
New Project (1) (13)Barbara Winter PH.D., PA

There are so many things to consider as it all depends on where the couple is in their development.

I would say that since today we are so focused on ‘happiness’, which is all about how we make meaning of our lives, that together they look at individual and/or shared dreams.”Purpose”, another buzz word of the decade, is about fulfillment, of not just each of us but of the couple-ship. what do you want to create? what do you want to experience? Individual or Shared dreams-Anything goes: the important piece is to hear, honor and support them.

another major one is . . . to maintain connection we need to turns towards (aka-lean in) and listen, honor, acknowledge, validate, challenge, spar, touch . . . with our partner. we need to be heard; we cannot be dismissed. this is particularly important today since we have, in some ways, less opportunity for real connection.

44. Introspect on how well you are faring at meeting your spouse’s expectations
New Project (12) (6)Sarah Ramsay, LMFT

The advice I would give is: If something isn’t going well in the relationship, don’t blame and point the finger at your partner. As difficult as it is, to make a relationship work you must point the finger at yourself. Ask yourself today, what am I doing to meet my partner’s needs? Focus on what you can do, not on what your partner is or isn’t doing.

45. Get to the basics – tap into your partner’s primal needs
New Project (4) (11)Deidre A. Prewitt, MSMFC, LPC

My best marriage advice for any couple is to truly seek to understand the messages your spouse is sending to you. The best marriages are made of two people who know one another’s experiences and basic emotional needs; using that knowledge to understand the true messages behind their words. Many couples struggle because they assume their own perception is the only way to see their relationship. This is the cause of most conflict as both partners fight assumptions to be truly heard by one another.

Learning, respecting, and loving one another’s unique view of the world and the marriage allows each partner to understand the messages behind the anger and hurt their partner displays in the darkest moments. They can see through the anger to get to the heart of the issues and use the conflict to build a better relationship.

46. Don’t box your partner – be mindful of how your partner really is
New Project (32)Amira Posner , BSW, MSW, RSWw

The best advice I could give a married couple is to get present with yourself and your relationship.  Really present, like get to know him/her all over again.

Often times we run on autopilot in how we relate to ourselves, our experience and our interpersonal relationships. We tend to react from a certain position or a fixed way of seeing things. We tend to put out partners in a box and this can instigate a breakdown in communication.

When we take the time to slow down and cultivate mindful awareness, we can choose to respond in a different way. We create the space to see and experience things differently.

47. All’s fair in love and war – that’s B.S
New Project (7) (7)Liz Verna ,ATR, LCAT

Fight fair with your partner. Don’t take cheap shots, name call or otherwise forget that you are invested in the long-distance run. Keeping boundaries in place for tough moments are subconscious reminders that you will still wake up in the morning to face another day together.

48. Let go of what’s beyond your area of control
New Project (11) (9)SAMANTHA BURNS, M.A., LMHC

Consciously choose to let go of what you can’t change about someone, and focus on what you love about him or her. A brain scan study of couples that are still passionately in love after twenty-one years on average of marriage showed these partners have the special ability to overlook the things that get under their skin, and hyper-focus on what they adore about their partner. The best way to do this is through the daily practice of gratitude, appreciating one thoughtful thing they did that day.

49. (In hindsight) Deafness, blindness, and Dementia are good for a happy marriage
New Project (3) (11)DAVID O. SAENZ, PH.D., EDM, LLC

Statements from couples married 60+ years. How do we make it work so well after decades together:

  •  One of us always has to be willing to love the other person just a little bit more
  • Never allow or make your spouse feel alone
  • You must be willing to be a little bit deaf…a little bit blind…and have a little dementia
  • Marriage is relatively easy, it’s when one (or both) person goes stupid that it gets hard
  • You can either be right all the time or you can be happy (i.e.be married), but you can’t be both

50. Drop that defense! Own your part in conflicts
New Project (10) (7)Nancy Ryan, LMFT

Nancy Ryan

Remember to continue to be curious about your partner.  Seek to understand their perspective before you get defensive.  Own your part in misunderstandings, work hard to communicate your thoughts and feelings, dreams and interests, and find ways to connect in little ways daily. Remember you are love partners, not enemies.  Be a safe place emotionally and look for the good in each other.

51. Love thrives only when you nourish and nurture the relationship, consistently
New Project (8) (7)Lola Sholagbade , M.A, R.P, C.C.C.

You can’t just do nothing and expect love to thrive. Much as you would keep the flames burning by adding logs to it in a fireplace, so it is within a marital relationship, you need to keep adding logs to the fire through relationship building activities, communication and meeting each other’s needs – whatever those may be.

 Love thrives only when you nourish and nurture the relationship

52. Date your spouse like you are not married to them
New Project (9) (7)DR. MARNI FEUERMAN, LCSW, LMFT

The best advice I would give is to continue to treat each other the way you did when you were dating. By that I mean, act very happy when you first see or talk to each other, and be kind. Some of these things can fall by the wayside when you have been with someone for a while. Sometimes the way spouses treat each other would not have gotten a second date, let alone to the altar! Think about how you may be taking each other for granted or if you have been remiss in treating your spouse well in other ways.

53.  Wear your individuality badge – your partner is NOT responsible for your entire wellbeing
New Project (26) (2)LEVANA SLABODNICK, LISW-S

My advice to couples is to know where you end and your partner begins. Yes, it is important to have a close connection, communicate and find time to have bonding experiences, but your individuality is just as important. If you are dependent on your partner for entertainment, comfort, support, etc. it can create pressure and disappointment when they don’t meet all of your needs. It’s best to have friends, family, and other interests outside of your marriage so that your partner is not responsible for your entire well being.

54. Leverage each other’s strength and weakness to create a beautiful synergy
New Project (27) (1)DR. KONSTANTIN LUKIN, PH.D.

Having a fulfilling relationship is like being good tango partners. It’s not necessarily who is the strongest dancer, but it is about how two partners use each other’s strengths and weaknesses for the fluidity and the beauty of the dance.

55. Be your partner’s best friend
New Project (29) (1)LAURA GALINIS, LPC

If you had to give an advice to a married couple, what would that be?”

Invest in a strong friendship with your partner. While sex and physical intimacy are important in a marriage, marital satisfaction increases if both partners feel there is a strong friendship holding the marital foundation. So make the same (if not more!) effort with your partner as you do with your friends.

56. Build a marital friendship for enhanced emotional and physical intimacy
New Project (14) (9)STACI SCHNELL, M.S., C.S., LMFT

Be Friends!  Friendship is one of the characteristics of a happy and lasting marriage. Building and nurturing the marital friendship can strengthen a marriage because friendship in marriage is known to build emotional and physical intimacy. Friendship helps married couples to feel safe enough to be more open with one another without worrying about being judged or feeling insecure. Couples that are friends look forward to spending time together, and genuinely like one another. Their activities and interests actually become enhanced because they have their favorite person to share their life experiences with.  Having your spouse as your best friend can be one of the great benefits of marriage.

57. Be the person you want to be with
New Project (5) (9)Dr. Jo Ann Atkins , DMin, CPC

All of us have an idea of the person we would love to be with.  We started as early as elementary school, having a “crush” on the teacher, or another student.  We observed our parents in the relationship with each other and other relatives.  We sensed what we were attracted to, blonde, tall, great smile, romantic, etc. We felt when we had “chemistry” with certain others. But what about that other list?  The deeper elements that make a relationship work.  

So…I ask, can you be the person you want to be with?  Can you be understanding? Can you listen without judging? Can you keep secrets? Can you be considerate and thoughtful? Can you love like the first time? Can you be patient, gentle, and kind? Can you be trusted, loyal, and supportive?  Can you be forgiving, faithful (to God also), and wise? Can you be funny, sexy and excited? We often require more than we consciously give.

“Being the person, you want to be with” suddenly became much more than I imagined as I contemplated this dream.  It caused me to take unending glances into the mirror of my selfishness. I became more mindful of myself, after all I’m the only person I can change.  Mindfulness in marriage does not imply becoming numb or detached from emotions.  

58. Keep learning how to be a best friend to your partner
New Project (2) (14)CARALEE FREDERIC, LCSW, CGT, SRT

There are a few things that rise to the top: “At one point, you married one another because you couldn’t imagine living life without this person in it. Nurture the habit of looking for the positives in one another every day. Say it. Write it down. Show them how lucky/blessed you are to have them in your life.

It really is true that good marriages are built on the foundation of a good friendship – and now there are scads of research to prove it. Learn how to be a really good friend. Keep learning how to be a best friend to your partner. We all change over time, and there are some parts that stay the same. Pay attention to both.

Finally, all the skills in the world won’t do you any good unless you’ve decided to accept the influence of your partner – to let them affect how you think, feel, and act – and you include their well being and happiness in the actions you take and the decisions you make.

Keep learning how to be a best friend to your partner

59. Protect your Relationship – turn the auto-pilot mode off
New Project (13) (10)Sharon Pope ,Life Coach and Author

The relationship that exists between you and your spouse exists nowhere else on this planet. It is yours and yours alone. When you share details of your relationship with family, friends, or coworkers, you’re inviting other people into space where they don’t belong and that dishonors the relationship.I can’t think of a single living thing on this planet that thrives with no attention or nurturing, and the same holds true in our marriages. We cannot put it on auto-pilot, pouring our love, energy, and attention into kids, work, or everything else that needs attention and expect that the relationship will magically grow and thrive on its own.

60. Weather the storms of life together with patience
New Project (34)RENNET WONG-GATES, MSW, RSW, RP

When adults make a decision to partner with each other they relate through their formed identities.

Beneath the surfaces are each person’s unmet needs and unresolved issues along with their imagination for possibilities. To weather life together we also need patience, self-examination, forgiveness, and the courage of vulnerability to stay emotionally and physically connected.

61. Extend the olive branch
New Project (1) (14)MOSHE RATSON, MBA, MS MFT, LMFT

No relationship is free of misunderstanding arguments, disappointments and frustration. When you keep score or wait for an apology, the relationship goes south. Be proactive, break the negative cycle, and repair what went wrong. Then extend the olive branch, make peace and move beyond the past toward a brighter future.

62. Get a life! (Read – a constructive hobby)
New Project (44)Stephanie Robson MSW,RSW

We often feel that relationships require us to give a lot of time and energy, which is true. Marriage requires consistent effort and attention if it is to be successful. When building a relationship and then possibly a family, couples can become so immersed in this process, they lose themselves. While it is essential to be aligned with your partner, it is also important to have your own interests and develop as an individual as well.

Participating in an activity that does not include your partner, I.e. learning a musical instrument, joining a book club, taking a photography class, whatever it may be, gives you an opportunity to develop you. This can be a great way to recharge and feel a renewed sense of energy as well as a sense of accomplishment that will compliment a healthy relationship.

63. Schedule a relationship check in to discuss and overcome fears and doubts
New Project (2) (15)Dr. Jerren Weekes-Kanu ,Ph.D, MA

I would advise married couples to spend time routinely discussing relevant fears, doubts, or insecurities that they experience related to their relationship. Unresolved fears and doubts can have an erosive effect on marriage.  For example, one partner fearing that he/she is no longer desired by their spouse is enough to shift their behavior and the relationship dynamics in ways that decrease marital satisfaction (e.g., increased hostility, pulling away during intimacy, withdrawing, or creating physical and/or emotional distance in other ways). Don’t let unspoken fears sabotage your marriage; regularly discuss them in a warm, open-minded, and validating conversational environment.

64. Plan and create a meaningful life together
New Project (3) (13)Caroline Steelberg, Psy.D., LLC

Give thought to your marriage. Determine what you and your spouse need and want from marriage, now and in the future. Schedule a regular time to share, listen and discuss how to make it happen. Create a meaningful life together!  

65. Ask yourself if you got your partner’s back
New Project (5) (10)Lindsay Goodlin , Lcsw

The best piece of advice that I recommend for couples is to always play on the same team. Playing on the same team means always having each other’s backs, working towards the same goals, and sometimes it means carrying your team member when they need support. We all know there is no “I” in a team, and marriage is no exception.

66. How you communicate is just as important as what you communicate – cultivate the art
New Project (6) (9)ANGELA FICKEN, LICSW

Find a way to communicate effectively. By that I mean, how will the two of you express emotions like hurt, anger, frustration, appreciation,and love in a way that both of you can feel heard and understood? Effective communication is an art form and each couple can be different in how they navigate it. Learning effective communication can take a lot of time, practice, and patience- and it can be done! Good communication is a major ingredient to happy healthy relationships.

67. Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated
New Project (7) (8)EVA SADOWSKI RPC, MFA

Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated. If you want respect – give respect; if you want love – give love; if you want to be trusted – trust them; if you want kindness – be kind. Be the kind of a person you want your partner to be.

Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated

68. Harness your inner strength to respond in a better fashion with your spouse
New Project (8) (8)Dr. Lyz DeBoer Kreider, Ph.D.

Reassess wherein your power lies.  You do not have the power or the magic, it might take to change your spouse.  Use your power to change the way you respond to your spouse.  Too often partners react in a manner that creates distance – both physical and emotional.  Pause, breathe, and reflect on the goal of connection.  Choose a response that aligns with your goal.

69.  Get real (Chuck those romantic comedies ideas about a relationship)
New Project (9) (8)KIMBERLY VANBUREN, MA, LMFT, LPC-S

Many individuals begin relationships with unrealistic expectations about what a relationship looks like. It is often fueled by romantic comedies and what the individual perceives as “romantic” or “loving” or “happy”. Chances are if you are convinced that the latest movie starring (insert your favorite Actor here) is the way a relationship is supposed to look and your life does not resemble the movie, you are likely to be disappointed.  Often when we are in the dating phases of the relationship, we overlook aspects of the individual that we do not like. We do this because we believe that once we are in a committed relationship, we can change or modify the things that we do not like. The truth is, committed relationships will highlight all aspects of your partner. The ones you like and especially the ones that you do not like. The things you do not like will not disappear once a commitment is made.

My advice is simple. Be clear and be honest about what you want in a relationship and be and be accepting about what you have in a relationship, at this time. Not what you think it could turn into or what would happen if this or that would change. If you are counting on something to change in your partner in order for you to be happy in the relationship, you are setting yourself up for failure. Accept who you partner is and understand that they are more than likely not going to have a significant change in their characteristics. If you can be happy with who that person is right now, then you are more likely to be content with your relationship.

70. Boost your partner’s morale – be more appreciative and less critical of them
New Project (10) (8)SAMARA SEROTKIN, PSY.D

Express appreciation to each other. Even if you have to dig to find something you appreciate about them, seek it and speak it. Marriage is hard work, and we all could use a boost now and then – especially from the person we see the most. Be aware of your thoughts. Most of us spend a lot of time thinking about things – especially our partners. If you find yourself complaining to yourself about them, pause and find a way to constructively address the issue with them. Don’t let it fester and become toxic.

71. Focus on feelings instead of absolutes for a more productive conversation
New Project (11) (10)Maureen Gaffney , Lcsw

“I never lie, but he does, so how can I ever trust him again?” Very few things in life are always or never and yet these are words we go to easily during an argument. When you find yourself using these words, pause for a moment and think about a time you may have lied. Perhaps a little white lie when you were running late. If you focus on how the behavior makes you feel instead of how often it happens, it opens you both up to talk instead of feeling judged or ashamed.

72. Acceptance is the path to marriage salvation
New Project (12) (7)Dr. Kim Dawson, Psy.D.

  • Accept nobody has a monopoly on the truth, not even you!
  • Accept conflict is a natural part of a relationship and a source of life lessons.
  • Accept your partner has a valid perspective. Ask about it! Learn from it!
  • Find a dream you share and build it into reality.

73. Create a life where you live free of the fear of being “found out”
New Project (13) (11)GREG GRIFFIN, MA, BCPC

Make decisions as if your spouse were with you, even when s/he is not. Live so that if your spouse surprised you by showing up wherever you were (on a business trip, out with friends, or even when you’re alone), you would be excited to welcome him or her. It’s a great feeling to live free of the fear of being “found out”.

74. Spend quality time with your partner
New Project (14) (10)Mendim Zhuta, LMFT

If I could give a Married couple only one recommendation it would be to make sure they maintain their “Quality Time” balance of a minimum 2 hours a week. To be clear by “Quality time” I mean a date night/day. Furthermore, never go more than one month without replenishing this balance.

75. Nurture your relationship through small connections
New Project (15) (6)LISA CHAPIN, MA, LPC

My advice would be to make your relationship a priority and ensure you are nurturing it through small but significant emotional and physical connections every day. Developing daily ritual encounters – a mental check in with your partner (text, email, or phone call) or a meaningful kiss, caress or hug can go a long way.

7.3k Reads

Shares
7.3k
Reads
172.31.72.124