In twenty-six years of being happily married, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a relationship last – or at least what has helped my relationship last – no doubt every marriage is just a little bit different.
Here are the ten things that come to the top of my mind today about what makes a happy marriage.
Have fun together and create great memories – loads of them. Create new ones every week and every year and stack them up as high as you can, so you can look back at your time together and smile.
Don’t Expect Or Assume
Don’t have expectations of how your marriage will work out happily ever after or how your guy will behave once he’s a husband. Don’t assume anything at all. Ask for what you want. Work on making things how you want them to be. Don’t let yourselves drift apart through lack of action.
Work On Joint Projects
Working on a project together can keep things sweet. You are in this together and you’ll feel a great sense of joint triumph when you succeed. Just don’t blame each other if things go wrong (as our house improvement projects always seem to do)!
Beware Of Being Too Kid-Centric
When/if kids come along, don’t make them the center of your world. They will be away living their own lives before you know it. And they appreciate having parents who are still together, loving each other more than you think. It sets a good example for their future relationships too. You are doing them a favor by putting them second!
Don’t Let Yourself Go
Keep looking good for each other. I would still pick my husband out across a crowded room. Don’t fret about getting older. You will get gray hairs and wrinkles. You will probably put on a few pounds. But you can still make the most of what you have. Don’t put more effort into looking good when you go out with girlfriends than you do into looking good for him. Spend money on good underwear. Marriage is not an excuse for graying knickers where the elastic has gone and sagging bras.
No one is perfect. Not you, not him. Nagging will not make him perfect. It just makes you a nagging wife. You can’t change anyone else, but he might change (a bit) to make you happy, if you ask nicely with a kiss.
Don’t forget to talk to each other. Speak up about anything that bothers you as well as about things that make you happy, and about things that you appreciate about him. Never shut him out. Don’t be afraid to fight, but fight fair and without insults – keep it about issues that need to be resolved – and current issues at that, not past hurts.
Be kind, thoughtful and caring so that home feels like a haven to come back to and not another place where he feels he has to be careful not to set off an explosion. Talk more kindly to him than you do to strangers. Be appreciative of him and his good qualities. Home is not a place to be less considerate but more.
Vive La Difference
It gets boring if you are too alike, attraction fades and you become no more than companions. Keep up your interests and be happy if he has his that you don’t share. Enjoy that he is a man and does manly things, even though you think they are daft. And if he thinks the girly things you like to do are daft too, so much the better.
Sex – have lots of it and never give up. No matter how old you get, you are never too old. Say yes much more than you ever say no. If fact if you need to say “No” don’t make it “No” but “Later” and say when! And variety is essential if things are going to stay exciting with the same person for years so if things get dull, it’s time to spice things up. Buy a book if you run out of ideas!
Note from Ana: Just noticed I wrote a similar post to this in May 2013 (How To Be Happy Ever After) but my top ten marriage tips a year ago were completely different with a few notable exceptions. I’ll leave you to guess (or check up) which things are always on my list 😉
Over to you: What are the things that make your marriage strong? Or what do you hope if you get married in the future? Please share in the comments below