Most people assume that to have a happy, healthy, and successful marriage, you just need luck on your side. If you’re lucky enough to be with your soulmate, then expect the marriage to be perfect and smooth sailing. This is what fiction has led us to believe— it’s all about finding the person who’ll complete you.
However, reality doesn’t work this way, as couples need to give tremendous effort to make the marriage work. We’re not saying that marriage will always end up in misery. However, we should keep in mind that marriage is filled with ups and downs. Change is inevitable, and some couples may find themselves in a rut at some point in the relationship. If couples don’t work together through the challenges, no matter how happy the start of the marriage is, they may still end up on an unhappy path.
This is why knowing and remembering the tips of a happy and successful marriage is a must. The more you’re aware of strengthening the bond between you and your spouse, the stronger the relationship will be in the long run. Below are some marriage tips that you and your partner should consider.
1Be on the same page.
For those who are still single, in a relationship, or engaged, you definitely have to take note of this tip. Before getting into a lifetime commitment with someone, be on the same page regarding values, financial goals, parenting, relationships with in-laws, and other important aspects of the marriage. It may be difficult to talk about these things, but having this discussion can save you from major conflicts in the future.
If you’re already married to your partner, it’s never too late to have this kind of discussion with your partner. Set a time and have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner about the mentioned topics.
2Set and maintain boundaries.
One of the biggest mistakes married couples make is involving their children in every leisure activity. Every time they’re going out or having a vacation, the kids have to be there. We get that you and your partner want to have quality time with your children, but you may not get that “couple time” if you’re busy trying to accommodate your kids’ needs.
Your intimacy with your spouse is as important as your connection with your children. This is why it’s important to create boundaries for your children. If you both want to have a romantic three-day staycation in that five-star hotel without your kids, then go for it. Hire a babysitter. Ask your in-laws to take care of the children. Wanting a special, intimate time with your partner doesn’t make you a bad parent.
3Communicate more effectively.
If you’ve been checking articles about successful marriage tips, then you’re probably tired of hearing this one. However, there’s no doubt that communication is the key to a happy and healthy marriage. No matter how compatible and “perfect” you are with your partner, if you both can’t talk and listen properly to each other, then there’s a big chance that the relationship will have an unhappy end.
This is why if you want the marriage to work, you need to make sure that you’re communicating properly. Never assume that your partner knows what you’re thinking or feeling. Your spouse is not a mind-reader. Tell them what’s going on. Miscommunication between couples often leads to resentment, which damages the connection in the long run.
4Become an active listener.
Aside from properly communicating your thoughts and feelings, you also need to be a good and active listener to your partner. If your spouse is venting out their frustrations or thoughts about their work, family, or other responsibilities, they don’t necessarily do it so they can get advice. Most of the time, your partner simply releases their thoughts because they want to be heard and validated. They simply want someone who’ll understand what they’re going through.
With that being said, when your spouse is telling something, focus on what they’re actually saying. Put aside the distracting thoughts and stop focusing on coming up with the response to what they’re saying. Try checking their body language, too, as it’ll also help you figure out what your partner is feeling at that moment— emphasis on the word “help” as body language doesn’t solely explain what your partner is feeling. If you’re unsure about their current mood, it’s better to ask them about it.
Aside from distracting thoughts, put away physical distractions, too. Turn off the TV. Pause the video game if possible. Show that you care by giving full attention to your spouse. You may not have the solution to their dilemma, but your partner will surely appreciate you taking the time to listen to them.
5Treat each other with respect.
This successful marriage tip is a no-brainer, but most people often forget this one. Showing respect is a key ingredient in a happy and healthy relationship. You can express it by valuing their feelings and needs, respecting their boundaries, supporting their interests, compromising on certain situations, celebrating their achievements, and talking to them in a kind and respectful manner.
As a life-long partner, you should be building your partner’s confidence and not tearing it apart by harsh criticisms and unnecessary put-downs. This doesn’t mean you can’t give negative feedback; it’s important, to be honest with your partner, but you don’t have to be an as*hole when commenting on their work, style, hobbies, etc.
6Accept your partner’s weaknesses and focus on their strengths.
If you want to have a fulfilling and successful marriage, you need to reframe your mindset and remember that your partner is not perfect. Just like you, they have strengths and weaknesses, too. Both of you must set realistic expectations for one another.
Once you’ve accepted each other’s weaknesses, you should then focus on each other’s strengths and try to utilize those strengths in your daily routine. For instance, if they have a pretty good memory but aren’t good with cooking or doing laundry, you can assign them admin tasks, such as paying bills, grocery shopping, and the like. You can then focus on the other chores right up on your alley.
7Learn to forgive each other.
It’s vital to remember that your partner, no matter how amazing they are, may have minor screw-ups every now and then. They may forget an important date in the relationship or leave the toilet seat open. When they’ve made a minor mistake, it’s best to communicate your feelings, then forgive them for what they’ve done. Allow your partner some space to make a few mistakes here and there, as they’re simply a human being. They’re not perfect, and so are you.
Now, keep in mind that this tip only works for minor mistakes. If your partner is abusing you physically or emotionally, it’s okay to not forgive them and leave them. Don’t subject yourself to cruelty just so you can keep up that “successful marriage” image to your friends and family.
8Don’t rely on your spouse to “complete” you.
Your spouse is there to complement your life, not “complete” it. If you think that your partner is someone that’ll “fulfill” your life, then you might become over-dependent on them, which is unhealthy for you and your life partner. Remember that your wife or husband doesn’t have to be your best friend, therapist, financial advisor, gym buddy, etc. Learn to cultivate relationships outside the marriage and stop waiting for your partner to fill in the void.
9Find a common interest and enjoy doing that with your partner.
If you want your marriage to thrive, try finding a hobby or interest that you and your partner would like. Whether it’s watching true crime videos, pottery, or roller skating, as long as you’re both into it, take time to cultivate it with your spouse. This provides an opportunity to have fun with your partner and helps you learn more about them.
10Spend time with each other.
This tip is also a no-brainer, but couples seem to forget to do this. No matter how busy both of you are, you need to spend time with each other. Having a “couple time” will strengthen the connection and intimacy with your partner.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to go out and spend a lot just to have that bonding time. A simple movie marathon with your spouse, while the kids are in your in-laws, can do wonders in the marriage.
11Celebrate each other’s big and small wins.
When good things happen to your spouse, whether big or small, make sure to take the time to congratulate them on the good news and have a simple celebration. You can have a nice dinner at your go-to restaurant or celebrate it at home. Whatever form of celebration you both prefer, show each other that you’re proud of each other’s achievement. Ignoring the good news or not even sharing an ounce of care about what they’ve just said would not only hurt your spouse’s feelings but may also lead to their resentment towards you.
12Manage conflict in a healthy manner.
One of the biggest misconceptions about couples in happy and healthy marriages is that they don’t argue or have conflicts. Some people believe that couples who thrive in their marriages agree on everything.
Here’s the thing, most married couples who don’t argue bottle up their true thoughts and feelings. Since they don’t want to trigger a romantic conflict, they’ll just say yes to their partner. This may lead to resentment and passive-aggressiveness.
Building a future with your spouse isn’t easy. You’ll have to make major decisions together, and disagreements may ensue while making those decisions. That’s normal. That’s okay. You’re unique individuals with different upbringings and opinions. What’s not normal is bringing each other down, insulting the other person for having different opinions, or simply agreeing on the decision of an important matter even if you’re not happy with it.
It’s okay to have conflicts here and there; what matters most is how you handle it. Make sure to still be respectful and kind to your partner when explaining your side.
In relation to the previous successful marriage tip, never resort to stonewalling when arguing with your partner. If you’ve just heard about this term, stonewalling, also known as the silent treatment, is when a person shuts down during an argument. An example is when a person stops responding to their partner during an in-person conflict or blocking their partner on social media in the middle of a virtual argument.
Some people think that shutting down the conversation for an hour can calm the person, but it can exacerbate the conflict. The other person may end up thinking that their spouse doesn’t care about their feelings because instead of trying to make things work, they just give them the silent treatment.
If you’re in a heated argument and feel overwhelmed by it, we highly suggest explaining what you feel to your partner and asking for a break. A simple “I’m sorry, but I feel overwhelmed right now. Can we talk about this after an hour? I swear I’ll just need some time to think things through.” can suffice.
14Work on your self-discovery.
Spending time with yourself is as important as spending time with your partner to have a successful marriage. Take some time to work on your self-discovery. Join a club, start a new hobby with your friends, read a new book that wasn’t recommended by your spouse, or watch a movie that you’ve always wanted to check out but your partner doesn’t like.
Your partner doesn’t always have to be around when you’re trying out new things; you’re not a bad spouse for wanting some “me-time.” Not only you’ll get to spice up your “boring” daily routine, but you’ll also get to learn more about yourself too.
15Don’t be defensive when your partner shares negative feedback.
Whenever you get constructive feedback from your partner, the best way to handle it is by assessing your actions, then responding kindly based on your assessment. Don’t get defensive as soon as they give out negative feedback.
Your partner usually gives out their feedback for your own good. If you start shutting them down or guilt-tripping them for being honest, they may stop sharing their thoughts and feelings with you due to your rebuttal, which can ruin your connection with them.
16Assume that your partner’s actions have good intentions.
One of the mindsets that could help you have a happy and successful marriage is thinking that your spouse has good intentions for everything they do for you. If you’re going through something and they did something that you thought was annoying, don’t think that they’re intentionally pissing you off. They may think that what they’ve done is the best thing they could do at that moment.
Your partner is not perfect. If what they’re doing isn’t helping your situation, just respectfully tell them to stop doing it and that you appreciate the effort.
17Talk openly about the finances.
Did you know that the most common source of argument between couples is money? If you and your partner have different values towards money and spending habits, you may find yourself arguing with your partner about expenses.
This is why it’s essential to openly discuss money matters before and during the marriage. Make sure to set up a system or budget for the expenses. When you plan to have an expensive purchase, it’s also better to discuss it with your partner first.
Remember that your spouse isn’t just a roommate but a life partner— someone you’re building a future with. Making secret purchases and doing private loans can ruin your partner’s trust in you once they’ve found out.
18Appreciate the little things.
Most married folks get so occupied with their responsibilities, they end up taking their partners for granted. Those simple yet romantic gestures that their spouses do, such as making coffee for them or bringing them their favorite ice cream after work, are now considered part of the mundane, married life.
This often leads to resentment from the other party, as they feel like their partner no longer appreciates the sweet gestures. And as time goes on, the other party may end up stopping these romantic gestures and may even stop being romantic at all since they don’t feel appreciated. Conflicts may ensue, which can then lead to a breakup.
Now, you can avoid going through something like this, and that is by appreciating the simple gestures that your partner does in the relationship. A simple “Thank you, I love it when you do this…” can do wonders for your spouse. They’re trying their best to make you happy, so try to express your gratitude for their efforts too.
If you’re on the other end of the situation and feel like your partner is taking you for granted, try discussing this issue with them. Maybe they just forgot about the gesture or that they’re having a stressful time at work. Let them explain their side.
19Don’t argue in public.
Here’s a successful marriage tip that people usually don’t follow but can bring wonders to the relationship. Don’t argue in public.
If you need to explain something to your partner, give a secret verbal or non-verbal code that means “I’m not comfortable about something, let’s talk in private.” Fighting in front of your friends and family can be embarrassing, bringing more feelings of anger and resentment in each other. Not only that but your friends and family may start meddling and give out unsolicited advice about the issue, which possibly can make things worse.
20Be honest with each other.
This tip is non-negotiable as it’s considered the most significant ingredient in having a healthy and successful marriage. Always be honest with your partner. Even if you have pure intentions, lying or hiding information from your partner will always bring more harm than good in the marriage. Honesty is a foundation of trust in a relationship, and once your life partner finds out about your lies, they may never ever trust you again.
21Keep reigniting your attraction to each other.
Attraction is another important aspect for a successful marriage. However, when you’ve been married for a long time, the physical and sexual attraction to your partner may wane a bit. Fortunately, there are ways to reignite that sensual passion that you have with your partner.
One of the things you can try is “attraction thoughts” practice, wherein you would think of one characteristic that makes your partner incredibly attractive. Is it the way they would focus on something they’re fixing? Their smile? Their amazing cooking skills? Focus on those attractive traits, and you’ll soon find yourself attracted to your spouse again.
22Explore and improve your intimacy with your partner.
If you want to have a fulfilling and successful marriage, always make time to strengthen the sensual bond that you have with your spouse. Keep having those romantic dates at your favorite restaurants. Hold hands while you’re both getting some groceries. Ask someone to babysit your kids for the weekend and have passionate hotel sex with your partner. Try something kinky or fulfill each other’s sexual fantasies. Intimacy is a significant aspect of marriage— never ever neglect it.
As cliche as it may sound, healthy and successful marriage requires work. You and your partner will inevitably grow and evolve, and along with these changes, you may need to take further steps in strengthening the connection. But as long as you’re both trying to solidify the bond, the love will always remain. For more articles about love, sex, and relationships, click here for our featured relationship guides.