8 Absolutely Awesome Tips For a Better Marriage
Top Marriage Tips
These tips for a better marriage are my favorite.
Ok, I have a confession to make. I say that about a lot of tips and ideas.
Truth be told, I have never really met a “tip” I didn’t like (even if only a tiny bit).
Long ago, I made the decision that I would view advice I read or ideas someone told me as opportunities to learn.
Instead of writing something off before I gave it a real chance, I would try being open.
What’s the harm in giving something a shot?
I love to say…
Take what serves you and leave the rest.
There is no one size fits all. There is no “right” way. You pick and choose what speaks to you.
Also, when it comes to these ideas, I don’t just talk the talk. I walk the walk. Literally.
Consistently making my marriage a priority is how I roll. Well, at least it is how my husband and I try to roll.
Do we always succeed? Excuse me while I go laugh. Trust me when I say that nobody has a marriage that is always firing on all cylinders.
To be completely honest, this past year my marriage has hit some rocky waters.
We moved for the second time in less than two years and we had another kid.
Super fun and not stressful at all. (sarcastic vibes are shooting out of my eyes)
So these tips come from someone who is dedicated (or maybe obsessed) with building a really good marriage. And also from someone who just made my way through the thick of it.
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Here Are 8 Awesome Tips For a Better Marriage
1) Focus on Yourself
Yep, the first tip on this list is all about you.
Here is a little story.
A little over two years ago, we lived within walking distance of our local library. It was amazing. I was there with my daughter all the time.
I actually met my best friend at a mommy and me class.
Anyway, fast forward to March 2020 and we move to Wisconsin. Then 18 months after that we move to another part of Wisconsin. (work promotions are a blessing… and they can also suck)
Was this rough? Understatement of the year. But that’s not the point of this.
Somewhere with all the moving and virtual school for my daughter and having to use my GPS to get everywhere in a new area… I forgot about reading. And really the library altogether.
I just started going back to the library a couple of months ago and my mental health has improved so much. It’s crazy.
I don’t know if that makes sense. It sounds silly to say the library changed and improved my life. But it did.
That was a mini love letter to the library but there is a point.
Take care of yourself. Do things that you love. Work on yourself. (read books… here are some I love)
Make the choice to do things for yourself.
You can not show up for your marriage if you do not show up for yourself first!
2) Add More Joy
Make it a priority to have fun together. (here are some tips to have more fun with your spouse)
Laugh together. Be silly together.
Humor is a perfect joy booster.
My husband and I love to watch comedy shows. Jokes lighten the mood.
Often we get stuck in this cycle of checking in with each other on the not-so-fun stuff.
Bills. Appointments. Grocery pick up.
Things that might not be sparking too much joy.
Where can we find little pockets of time to create really positive interactions?
Here is something silly my husband and I do. We try to think of fun words for every day of the week.
Mysterious Monday. Forgetful Friday. You get the point.
This is something so very small but the payoff is really powerful.
And my 8 year old has picked up on it. She loves doing it with us every morning. (we just have to keep it G-rated with her… my husband has quite the potty mouth.. ok it’s actually me)
Can you imagine how many situations would have played out differently if someone had hit the pause button?
I am sure you have heard that saying about never going to bed angry. Well, this might be an unpopular opinion but I do not agree with that at all.
We often leave no time for ourselves or our partners to process things.
Space and time can work wonders for perspective.
Don’t be afraid to sit with something for a little bit.
Heck, if you are really wrestling with an issue, grab some paper and write it out.
You can’t take things back once they are said out loud.
Taking a step back can be incredibly difficult. But very worth it.
And here is one huge part of this. Your phones are not invited on these dates.
I mean, they can hang out in your pocket or purse but there is no need for them to be out in your hand.
Dating is important. Prioritizing alone time together is important.
And I know that this is hard. When I talked about moving earlier, I neglected to mention that we moved away from all of our family.
That is not me trying ot have a pity party. Been there. Done that.
But if you are not like the people you see going on weekly date nights due to sitter issues, I am with you.
Does that mean we forget about dating? No way.
We do, however, have to get a little creative.
The real deal with dating comes down to connection.
Watching TV together is fine. And that is what happens in my house many nights.
But there also needs to be time spent doing something other than watching TV. These at-home date night ideas are my favorite.
If you do get a sitter (I actually have one next Thursday!), give one of these fun date night ideas a try.
5) Marriage Meetings
Meetings about your marriage. I mean, is this romance too much for you?
Seriously though, while not the most romantic concept, these meetings are game-changers.
These meetings are also the perfect time to work on listening. Repeating back what we think our spouse is saying.
BTW… this is another one of those times that phones definitely need to be put away.
Oh dang, I forgot to mention one more thing. At one of these marriage meetings, bust out this book and take the love languages quiz. (you can also choose to read the book together which I highly recommend)
6) Look For The Good
There are highs and lows in every marriage. (and in life, of course)
But you know what there is also an abundance of?
The middle. Ordinary days. A bulk of your marriage will be made up of ordinary days.
And if we are not careful, the days will flow together and all we will have noticed are the not-so-great things. The small annoyances that will inevitably happen.
Try to find something you appreciate about your spouse daily.
Work on injecting gratitude into your marriage (and your entire life).
Seemingly small habits changes (like keeping an eye out for the good stuff) in marriage often have much more power than we give them credit for.
7) Realistic Expectations
Unrealistic expectations have gotten the best of me a time or two (or 167).. but who’s counting? I am not saying I’m an expert on the topic of unrealistic expectations… but let’s just say it is something I consistently work on.
Our partners are not responsible for every bit of our happiness.
They will not do things the way we want them to. They will not react or respond the “right” way.
I have a hunch about what can contribute to these expectations.
People and their personal lives are so accessible these days. Right?!
Do you ever just take a step back and think about that. We see so much of people’s lives. SO MUCH!
Probably too much at times.
Here’s the thing. We are seeing what people want us to see.
For me, comparison and expectations go hand in hand. They egg each other on.
What comes next? Disappointment.
I can remember many times in the past saying things like… “I thought you were going to…” or “I figured you would..”
Expectations can be tricky and there is no secret sauce to fix them once and for all. But there is something pretty powerful that can help.
Talking. (this is where marriage meetings can play a pivotal role)
8) Don’t Be Afraid To…
And this does not have to be jumping right into therapy. This could be grabbing some books on relationships and reading them together.
Doing a little research and discovering some podcasts.
Or… this could be looking into therapy. (whether personal or couples)
We all have to do maintenance on our marriages. And at different times, the level of maintenance may look different.
One thing is for sure. Putting things off is not the answer.
These tips aren’t magic.
You cant sprinkle or stir a little of these things into your relationship, go to bed, and wake up in marital bliss.
The reality is that we can read every book out there or every piece of advice we can get our hands (or eyes) on.
Nothing will change if we don’t take some action. It is crucial to make some intentional choices.
And with most things, that first metaphorical step is the toughest.
After that, it’s a piece of cake.
Ok, not cake. But if we are judging from a scale of ‘insert food you think is disgusting’ to cake. We are definitely closer to the cake side!
Which one of these tips for a better marriage will you try?
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