I’m sure you’ve read a dozen or so blogs and articles from experts that express their best marriage advice and tips.
Well, after 18 years together (and not all of those years have been happy) and working with thousands of couples, we compiled our own tips that will give you your happily ever after. These 8 suggestions really seem to have made the biggest difference in our marriage as well as the couples we work with.
Go on date nights
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you should stop dating each other. Make time to have fun, make new memories and ask each other open-ended questions while spending uninterrupted time together. Don’t talk about your budget, schedule, the kids, or your work while on a date.
Communicate early and often
Constant communication keeps you on the same page and helps you stay emotionally connected. Talk at least 20 minutes a day about your schedules, your money, your sex life, your thoughts, desires, goals, and concerns. Remind yourself often, “My spouse is NOT a mind-reader… my spouse is NOT a mind-reader.”
Apologize when you mess up
We all are imperfect. We say and do stupid and mean things and hurt our spouse. Most marital hurts are unintentional, so this means you will have to own your mistakes and give a 4 Step Proper Apology. No more “I’m sorry’s”. The sooner you can take responsibility and own your mistakes, the better.
Assume the best
Positive people typically focus on the good in their spouse even in moments of frustration. Rather than pointing out everything your spouse is doing wrong, write down 5 things they do well every day. It will soften your heart and help you appreciate them, flaws and all.
Love is NOT a feeling, it’s a choice and when you vowed on your wedding day to love, honor and cherish one another, you promised to show up and choose love no matter what. You cannot base your marriage solely on what you feel. Being married is a commitment that should last a lifetime.
Find a win-win solution
I love things fair, so if Casey wins an argument, that means that I lost. No fair! And if I win, he loses. In marriage, you need to find solutions to arguments that you BOTH can agree to. It’s not my way, or his way, it’s OUR way. You and your spouse are on a team and it’s the same team.
I’m one of those people that truly believe kissing is more intimate than sex. There’s something sensual and romantic about a passionate kiss with your spouse. So anytime is a good time for a kiss. Whether it’s a peck on the cheek, a quick good-bye kiss or a make-out session before sex, enjoy your lips connecting!
Did you know that forgiveness has nothing to do with your spouse and has everything to do with you? Holding onto the pain your spouse caused you only makes you more resentful, bitter, angry, sad and resentful. Choose to see your spouse through the eyes of compassion and let go of the hurt! It’s freeing…I promise.
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Written by Meygan Caston
Meygan Caston is the co-founder of Marriage365 and lives in Orange County California with her husband Casey and their two children. She loves the beach, dance parties, writing, spa days, and helping couples connect in their marriage. Her life-long dream is to walk the Camino, have lunch with Brené Brown and get on The Price is Right