Having a strong, happy marriage doesn’t have to be hard, but it does require being intentional. Just like any long-lasting relationship, a good marriage takes commitment and sometimes sacrifice. These marriage tips will help you create or maintain a marriage that is easy, safe and long-lasting.
20 Marriage Tips that Will Change Your Relationship
1Don’t keep score
In relationships it is easy to keep a mental tally of what you’ve done versus what has been done for you. Keeping score like this ruins relationships. Remember that marriage is not about picking apart everything little action between the two of you. Every day and every season of life will bring a different balance of give and take.
2Understand things will never be 50/50
Speaking of balance, one of the best marriage tips we can all understand is that marriage will never be 50/50. Sometimes you will be the 80, sometimes you will be the 20. This is why you have a life partner. Be thankful when you have the opportunity to give more support and effort, and know that this balance will constantly change throughout the seasons of your life.
3Give space when needed
Everyone decompresses in different ways and has different needs. Get to know the signs that your partner needs space, and give it to them without feeling personally offended. Sometimes our husbands may come home from work stressed out and mentally exhausted. It’s easy to take that personally when we have been waiting all day to talk to them.
If you are especially sensitive, you can communicate to your partner to just let you know in a quick and easy way when they just don’t feel like talking, but that it has nothing to do with you. This way, you can give them some space without hurt feelings or wondering if they’re mad at you.
4Don’t forget that you’re a team
Any time we think of marriage tips, we probably think about “being a team”. It may sound cliche, but this person is literally your partner, or teammate, in life. You are on the same team, so you should be supporting, encouraging, uplifting, and helping each other.
5Find something you can do each day to make their day better
You don’t need to do something elaborate every day to make a huge difference in your partner’s life and in turn, your marriage. Make it a habit to think of one way you can make their day better every day. Maybe it’s making sure their favorite cup is clean before the time of day they always use it. Maybe it’s sending them a quick text with a nice, encouraging note. Or maybe it’s finding a way you can take some burden off of them on a day when they have a lot on their plate. Big or small, any effort to make your partner’s day a little better or easier goes a long way.
6Make time for dates
Making time for dates is a lot easier pre-kids, but it is even more important after we start having children. It may take more strategy and effort to make it happen, but it’s so important to remain intentional about dating each other to keep the spark alive.
7Learn your partner’s personality type
Taking the time to learn your partner’s personality type can really help you understand them and know how to relate to them more. Reading the book 5 Love Languages is a great place to start.
8Communicate about everything
Communicating with your spouse may seem like one of the most obvious marriage tips that you should not need to be reminded of, but it’s the things that seem obvious that we start to take for granted. Communicating doesn’t just mean sharing next week’s schedule or what happened during your day. Communicating with your partner means sharing if you’re struggling with something, asking for help when you need it, asking them how they really feel about things that are going on in your lives, and yes, making sure you know each other’s schedule.
9Pick your battles
Not that you want to be “battling” at all in your marriage, but one of the best marriage tips we could give is to choose what issues really warrant an argument, or even a discussion. If your partner is supportive, respectful, attentive and caring, is it worth killing him because he doesn’t always shut the kitchen cabinets? If it’s something that really drives you crazy, mention it to him and ask for a little more effort in that area. Just don’t let the little things consume you to the point where you’re bitter with your spouse about things that don’t matter in the big picture. Sometimes we can learn to not get so worked up about the little things and laugh at them instead.
Having a good line of communication in your marriage means being intentional about everything from letting them know where you’re going to sharing personal feelings.
10Never stop having new experiences together
We know that being intentional about dating and alone time is important for marriage, but it’s also important to make these times include new experiences. Finding new things to try and experience together creates bonding experiences, new memories, and keeps the spark alive in your relationship.
Plus, trying new things together gives you more opportunities to have a good laugh together! Take a cooking class, go to an escape room, learn to kayak or paddle board, or even practice yoga, which can improve your marriage and sex life.
11Check your expectations
Unrealistic expectations can kill relationships. In marriage it can be easy to find ourselves upset over expectations we have in our own minds that we never actually communicated to our partner. Even if it is something that seems obvious to you, that doesn’t mean it’s obvious to another person.
When you find yourself upset, stop and ask yourself if you have ever communicated your expectations about whatever the issue is. If you haven’t, it’s really not fair to be mad about it. Take it from the girl who spent years being irritated that her husband left his empty hangers in between his clothes in the closet, and he had absolutely no idea I even cared.
12Put down your phone
This one wouldn’t have been on a list of marriage tips many years ago, but now we could all use this reminder. Just like you would be intentional about giving your undivided attention to your children, don’t forget to make regular time for your spouse without digital distractions.
13Be the encourager
Being an encourager to your spouse sometimes means encouraging them in what they are doing, and other times it means supporting them and pushing them to do new things. Being an encourager sometimes means sacrificing for a time period while they pursue a new venture or passion. When you are a team, you want your teammate to be their best and you support them in bettering themselves.
14Always greet each other
This marriage tip comes into play more after you have kids, because that’s typically when you find yourself not even saying hello to your spouse when they walk in the door. During hectic evenings it’s easy to forget to stop and take a second to kiss, hug and greet your partner when they walk in the door. Being intentional about this simple thing can make great positive change in your marriage.
15Never stop cuddling
Physical touch is so important. Not only will cuddling keep you feeling more physically connected, but physical touch actually reduces stress. Less stress definitely means a happier marriage and life all around.
16Always be respectful
Respect is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, but especially marriage. Respect is also one of those things that is hard to build and easy to lose. Always be respectful of your spouse. Never criticize or correct them publicly in a way that makes them feel disrespected.
17Check in regularly
With seasons of life constantly changing, regular check-ins are key to a healthy marriage. You can even go as far as to schedule check-in meetings with your partner where you discuss everything from finances to feelings and schedules. Check in to make sure you’re both on the same page in all areas, or if some adjustments need to be made because something isn’t working for both of you. Some couples swear by regularly visiting a marriage counselor.
18Listen and take notes
Life gets hectic and sometimes we find that we are focused on other things when our spouse is talking to us. It’s important to be intentional about listening, really listening when our partner speaks. Also, take notes. Seriously, take notes. If they see something in the store that they love, or mention at home that they need something, pop a quick note into your phone. Don’t rely on yourself to remember everything they say in passing. When it comes time to shop for gifts you’ll thank yourself.
19Don’t be afraid, or too stubborn, to apologize
No one is perfect. Sometimes we will annoy each other, forget things, or unintentionally hurt each other. Just apologize. Don’t wait. Don’t be stubborn, just apologize. It goes a long way.
20Remember where you started
Look back at old memories often. Remember where you started and why you fell in love to begin with. Looking back at how far you’ve come can remind you how much you can really achieve together when you work as a team.
Marriage is worth the work. Even if your marriage is great right now, we could all benefit from saving these marriage tips and checking in every now and then to be sure we aren’t forgetting some things.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on Marriage Advice: Choose to Love Your Spouse Everyday.