My Favorite Advice for a Happy Marriage
I'm a newlywed, and definitely still learning how things work. But you'll notice, just before you get married, that you will receive more advice than you know what to do with. Some of it will be great! And some of it will make you wonder how on Earth the person giving the advice ever ended up married. I wanted to record some of my favorites before we forget what people told us.
As a newly married couple you'll need to sort through the clichés, over-generalizations, and people who sound like fortune cookies - to decide what works best for the two of you.
Sometimes, you will hear something brilliant, or just incredibly funny. You'll probably put it on your mental list to pass the advice on to all of your friends when they get engaged. Or you'll just laugh really hard and call your fiancé up immediately to tell him. Either way, these are the two types of advice that I just loved hearing.
1. "Never speak ill of your husband. But, if you absolutely must vent, vent to his mother and not to yours. His mother loves him unconditionally and will forgive him. Your mother might not."
Amen. Why don't people tell you this one more often?
2. As long as he's not breaking the dishes, let him wash them however he wants.
You and your husband will do things differently. As long as his method of doing something isn't hurting anyone, it's probably just fine. You need to let it go.
3. Marriage isn't 50/50. You both need to be giving a hundred percent if you want things to work.
4. "There are very few problems that can't be solved with a good roll in the sheets. Plus fighting leads to great make-up sex."
This wins the award for the funniest advice I received. It's more or less a direct quote that came from a saucy 90 year-old French woman at church. She then started explaining, with a huge grin on her face, about when she and her husband used to fight, mentioning that she quite enjoyed the aftermath.
5. Avoid using the words "always" or "never" during a disagreement.
"You never wash the dishes." "You always embarrass me in public." Saying this makes the other person feel like they're being attacked. They'll probably get defensive. Also, what your accusation is probably not true. Always and never are exaggerations.
6. Instead make the problem about you. Use "I" statements.
Don't accuse your partner of anything, just let them know how you feel. "When you (insert behavior that upset you here), I feel (emotion here). Could we try to (suggestion here)? "
It takes some practice. But it helps you attack the problem instead of the person. Plus, the "could we" at the end makes the solution a group effort. You both take accountability.
7. Always give your best to the people you know and meet and you'll receive the best from those people.
My sweet Aunt and Uncle wrote this in our guest book, and I love it. It's good advice for life in general, not just married couples.
Like all advice, you're free to take it or leave it. These were just the nuggets of wisdom that I liked the most. I'm curious, what was the best marital advice you received before getting married? What was the worst?