Those who are married or are considering marriage are likely able to recall the words of wisdom shared by those who have shared marital bliss for many years. Some advice may not even come from married friends and family. It may come from the least likely places (unmarried friends, divorced relatives, etc.). The suggestions may be cheesy or overused; they may seem like no-brainer kinds of advice. You may not believe that those recommendations could make or break your relationship, but paying attention to the details now can be beneficial in the long run.
But taking these silly recommendations into consideration might save your marriage from unintended and unwanted problems.
1. Don’t always say what’s on your mind; somethings are better left unsaid
It is very easy to say things in anger. Often times if we are saying things in anger, we do not think about what kind of impact our words might have on the person to whom they are being said. While it seems odd to say that speaking your mind might be harmful or hurtful, it is very much the truth. Your spouse should be the one person you are free to say anything to, but along with that comes the understanding that what is said cannot be taken back. It is okay to say what is on your mind, but be mindful of the impact that can have on your partner. Some things really are better left unsaid.
2. Leave the toilet seat down!
The age old saying – one that many of us have learned beginning in adolescence. While leaving the toilet seat down is something silly and easy to overlook despite its relative annoyance, it speaks to a much larger issue. The simple bathroom habit can speak volumes. It can either say, “I remember what you asked me to do and I respect that”, or it can say simply “I forgot”. However, something as simple as leaving the toilet seat up can give one spouse the impression that the other shows no respect or does not care about the other person’s desires and wishes. And easy way to avoid misunderstanding or misinterpretation is simple –pay attention to your surroundings and leave the toilet seat down!
3. Show up naked and with food
While these two items do not seemingly go together (or perhaps you already have this one figured out!), many men will testify otherwise. It can seem silly or even uncomfortable to serve your spouse a meal without any clothes on! But in the grand scheme of things, consider how this simple act might communicate value and importance to your spouse. The message that will likely be received is one that says how much you care and how much you love to have fun in the midst of intimacy. And who doesn’t want to see their spouse naked, regardless of the reason?
4. Blame is like saying, “It’s your side of the boat that’s sinking, not mine.”
Playing the blame game is one of the most detrimental elements of fighting. Fair fighting rules suggest that each individual take responsibility for their own personal actions. When you begin to blame one another for certain elements of the conflict, the instinct to take responsibility disappears. It truly becomes a game of telling one another who is damaging the relationship more. In reality, both of you share equal guilt in tearing down one another. Rather than blaming your partner and risking harm in your relationship, take responsibility for your actions and the result of those actions. Taking responsibility will go along way toward healing and ending the conflict… Even if you still do not agree.
5. Find ways to say “I love you” that do not involve sex
Lastly, while physical intimacy and sex are important to any marriage, it is just as important to find ways of telling one another ‘I love you’ without involving sex. Emotional intimacy and connection on a deeper level can help to improve not only your communication skills and ability to understand one another, but it might even improve your sex life as well! The couple who is willing to show one another love outside of sex tends to be happier overall.