Marriage Advice: 12 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me
When was the last time you read some really good marriage advice?
I’m talking about that feeling you get when you read something and it feels like it was written just for you. You find yourself nodding your head very aggressively. Almost shocked that these words are describing bits and pieces of your life pretty accurately.
Here is a better question.
When was the last time you read some really good marriage advice and then actually used that advice to make positive improvements to your relationship?
Advice and tips about relationships are never in short supply.
We have all read things or been told things and thought we should apply this to our marriage. But do we?
Do we take the advice and run with it? Or do we get super pumped about the idea and then forget about it two days later?
Listen up! Every single one of us is in a relationship that is far from perfect. That is just the way the cookie crumbles.
So, we can read every single piece of advice we can get our hands on. We can even take notes about the tips that speak to us. Take 26 screenshots of things we want to remember. Make a plan.
But we have to take it a step further. We have to take some action. Try something new. Try something that maybe doesn’t feel that natural.
Have the mindset that there is always room for improvement. This is going to give your marriage the very best chance possible!
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Here Are 12 Pieces of Marriage Advice I Wish Someone Had Told Me
Sometimes you are right. Sometimes you are wrong.
But you have to get over the right or wrong idea. Don’t become so obsessed with standing your ground that your marriage suffers.
If you are trying to win, nobody wins.
Compromise is always the better road to take. It is definitely not an easier road to take. But it is always a better choice and will lead to a better outcome.
2) Read a Book
Marriage is this massive thing we do. This choice we make is such a significant life event.
But you know what it does not come with? A dang manual.
I wish someone would have told me to start reading marriage books as soon as I got married. Actually, before I got married!
I never thought of it that way before. This is a sentence that almost always comes out of my mouth after reading a book.
Men and women are very different!
I turn to books for a little clarity when I am feeling confused and sort of lost on what to do to fix an issue in my relationship or just looking for a better way to do something.
3) Say What You Want/Need
Why is it so hard to say what we want or need? It seems like it should be so easy.
This is what I want. This is what I need. These five-word sentences can be very scary to actually say in real life.
Is dropping subtle hints your specialty? Are you better at talking around things than you are at talking about things?
Work to get comfortable with speaking your mind and speaking openly. This takes practice. The path to being good at this may be a little uncomfortable.
But it is more than worth it.
Always remember that you did not marry a mind reader. Assuming your partner knows what you need or should know what you want is a surefire way to cause some unnecessary problems in your marriage.
I am saying this from loads of personal experience!
4) Have Goals
Personal goals are great. But don’t leave your marriage out in the cold. Having marriage goals is a great way to help your relationship thrive.
Give your marriage some direction and some purpose. Setting goals is also a great way to bring you and your partner closer. Come together to work on something that is important to both of you.
Goals can remind you that you and your spouse are on a team. You both get to bring to the table what you want to work toward. What you want for your relationship.
These goals can be about anything. Communication. Date nights. Sex. Nothing is off-limits.
5) Be Determined
I think marriage takes a hefty load of determination.
Both people have to be determined to make it work. Determined to find their way through the rough patches.
We all get told marriage will be hard. But I am not sure how much we take this advice to heart.
OK, marriage is hard. Let’s move on so I can get back to being obsessed with my man. This was exactly what was going through my head when people would mention how hard marriage was.
We tend to think it may be hard for others but our relationship is different. Yes, it is very true that every relationship is different. But no marriage is immune to the trials and tribulations life is bound to throw your way.
When you think of a “D” word associated with marriage, think of determination!
6) Appreciate More
Appreciate the little things.
Make it a point to look for the good things. No matter how small.
We may not always be acknowledging the things we are grateful for. But we need to be.
Some days you may feel like a robot going through the motions of day-to-day life. Going through the motions with your partner.
Give appreciation and gratitude a seat at the table in your brain. I know this may feel like just one more thing to add to your already busy schedule. Another thing for you to remember to do throughout the day.
But this one small thing will have a very big impact on your marriage.
7) Be Kind
Manners are important. Isn’t that what we teach our kiddos?
I am always telling my daughter to practice kindness. Be polite. Manners please is something I have said a time or two or 102.
In a marriage, a lack of kindness can become normal. It can seem like no big deal.
I am not saying you have to plaster a smile on your face 24/7 and never release an emotion if it’s not positive.
But I think basic manners like please and thank you should be a part of your everyday.
Am I being kind? Ask yourself this question periodically throughout your day.
Ask yourself this question and then really give an honest answer.
Being really listened to is one of the best things in life.
Many times, we listen to our partners just long enough to come up with our rebuttal. I am 100% speaking from experience with this.
I sometimes am thinking about what I am going to say in return rather than really listening to what my husband is saying.
Man oh man, I am such a work in progress in the listening category. This is something I really struggle with.
If you are like me when it comes to listening, here is something I try.
I make myself repeat back what my husband says. This forces my brain to focus on what he is saying. And he actually likes when I (for lack of a better word) verify what he is saying.
This concept is not romantic. Not at all. But the lack of listening is a real issue in relationships. And it needs a real solution. Well, at least a semi-successful solution.
Being a perfect listener is not in the cards for me.
Don’t expect it to be easy. The highs and lows will always be there. Be realistic.
Real marriage is not like the movies. Real marriage is what happens when the movie ends.
There will be month-long arguments. Days that you will question why in the heck you married this person.
It can literally feel like this person was put on the earth to bring out every ounce of rage in your body. I felt like this last Thursday.
There will be times when your marriage is smooth sailing. Try to acknowledge these times and really appreciate and enjoy them.
10) Say Sorry
Sorry is one of those words that is almost impossible for some people to say.
I think we look at it as giving up power. But I think the opposite is true. Saying sorry is extremely powerful.
Sorry is a way to take responsibility for your actions. Your choices.
A sincere apology can and will do so much good for your relationship.
11) Work on Yourself
One of the best things you can do for your marriage is to be on your own personal journey of self-improvement.
We are still our own person apart from marriage. Don’t forget that.
Bring your very best self to your relationship. Your marriage will thank you!
Here are some small ways to become your best self.
12) Have Meetings
Marriage meetings do not sound glamorous. They may not be something that even sounds like it should be a part of a marriage.
But having weekly or monthly marriage meetings can have such a positive impact on your marriage. This gives a set day and time that you can bring up anything you want to talk about.
Meetings are a perfect way to make sure feelings or issues don’t get forgotten about.
My husband and I have been having marriage meetings for the past few months and it is one of the best things we have ever done for our relationship.
Marriage will bring out your best and your worst. It will bring out the beautiful parts of you and the ugly parts you are not too proud of.
Here is something I know to be true.
Your marriage is not going to be love songs and kissy-face emojis in every text forever.
It will evolve and grow in ways you may never have imagined.
It can also have setbacks and roadblocks that you never saw coming.
But there is always something you can do. Always something you both can do.
Don’t ever forget that. Through every stage of your marriage, never ever forget that.
Have any marriage advice that is too good not to share? Drop a comment!
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