4 Tips For a Successful Marriage and Lifelong Marital Bliss
Sept. 23, 2020
In This Article Take time to become the best you Look at the good sides Discover Your Love Language Nurture the Intimacy
Have you been diligently combing the Internet for marriage advice, only to find platitudes like “Learn how to compromise” and “Enjoy one another’s company.”
If you find yourself wanting to shout “I’m trying!” I don’t blame you.
Or how about this one: “Set aside thirty minutes per day to talk about your relationship .”
If you’ve tried that, you already know there’s no better way to make him want to go running for the hills. When what you’re really wanting is for him to want to talk to you, right?
I know that much “expert” advice is easier said than done.
I know because I even paid for such successful marriage tips and advice, only to have the couples counselor advise me to “Quit being so controlling.”
Duh. But how?
That was a big question I never could seem to find the answer to.
Once marital counseling put the nail in the coffin of my marriage, I was desperate and stubborn enough to finally uncover the answer to lasting peace and playfulness in my healthy marriage .
So if you are looking for happy and successful marriage tips that you can start practicing today, you’re in the right place!
Whether you’re newlywed or already hitting some snags (or both), here are successful marriage tips that actually work.
Read on these 4 successful marriage tips below that you can apply to improve intimacy in marriage.
1. Take time to become the best you
Having worked with thousands of women as a relationship coach and provided successful marriage tips and advice, I hear the same story again and again.
First comes love then comes marriage, then comes getting so caught up with the busy-ness of life happening that you forget who you are and lose sight of the person who attracted your man in the first place.
Good for you for doing your homework so you don’t have to fall into that all-too-common trap.
The indispensable first step to intimacy probably isn’t what you think. It’s not making your husband’s favorite lasagna or giving him a foot massage every night, finding the right wrinkle cream, or losing your baby weight.
It’s going rollerblading with your BFFs or taking the Zumba class that makes you smile like an idiot while tripping over your own feet–whatever helps you feel like you’re not an afterthought on your list of priorities.
That’s right, the first thing on our checklist is to practice three self-care activities per day.
Be the best version of you
Exercise, take a nap, get your nails done, or join an online marriage support group–whatever helps you feel like a million bucks. That self-love makes you a more patient and accepting person. Suddenly your husband’s chewing or compulsive channel surfing becomes much less irritating. Maybe even kinda cute.
Treating yourself with such self-esteem teaches him to treat you. Becoming pleasing as a result of your self-care makes him want to please you even more.
But if you’re already overwhelmed, the last thing you want to do is add one more thing to your list, much less three.
How can you make the space to put your self-care first?
It may mean you need help. A common pitfall for brides is thinking you’re supposed to be Superwoman.
You are an independent, capable woman. No one is questioning that you could work all day then make dinner, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, help the kids with their homework, and get them to bed.
If a healthy marriage is what you want, how does it serve you to try to do it all?
For me, trying to be Super Wife only made me exhausted, depleted, overwhelmed, and resentful. Then all that mess came out sideways, aimed at the one person I wanted a connection with more than anyone.
I ended up in a very lonely place.
Turns out unhappy people don’t have happy marriages.
I learnt one of the successful marriage tips is that honoring my need for self-care–as well as my own limitations–increased my magnetism. Instead of wanting more quality time with the TV, my husband wanted to be by my side.
Speaking of becoming irresistible, here’s a little experiment for you, which will become a lot easier now that you’re putting yourself first:
Go on a smile campaign.
Flash those pearly whites when he walks in the door. Even if he’s had an exhausting day, somehow he won’t be able to keep his hands off you.
2. Look at the good sides
Do you know who once said,
“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”
That guy must have been pretty smart.
He knew that a man is a person, not a project. That he probably won’t check every box on your list–and that’s okay.
Actually, it can be a good thing. Aren’t your man’s flaws part of why you fell for him in the first place? When you were dating, maybe you adored his quirky wardrobe choices and wouldn’t have had it any other way.
As the awful adage puts it, however, “familiarity breeds contempt.”
The same shortcomings and even attributes that were cute in the honeymoon phase can become glaring defects. His charm starts to look more like a flirtation with the waitress. Him being the strong, silent type starts to feel more like you’re talking to yourself.
But does familiarity have to breed contempt?
Not if you focus on his strengths. And this is one of the most important tips for a successful marriage.
Say he forgets to pick up the zucchini even though there were only three items on your grocery list. Grr, it sure is tempting to ask what the bleep he was thinking.
But what if, instead of focusing on the one thing wrong, you chose to focus on something he got right? He did go out of his way to find organic mushrooms and he surprised you with your favorite chocolate that he somehow knew you wanted even though it wasn’t even on your list.
Come to think of it, the mushrooms will do nicely for your stir-fry instead, and you’ll enjoy it even more with a side of intimacy since you chose to skip the criticism.
You always have a choice: intimacy or control. It’s the choice you make in these little moments that add up to cumulative connection or eventual breakdown.
It can be hard to relinquish control of the little things though. Will he really change the AC filter on time? Hmm, maybe you should remind him. Doesn’t he know that those boxes need to be broken down for the recycling bin? Maybe you should point out the error of his ways.
Isn’t that what a good wife does– be helpful to her man?
Actually, did you know that “helpful” in wife language translates to “controlling” in husband language?
So I kept trying to “help” my husband as his mom would have. I gave helpful reminders to pay the bills on time and tips on how to peel an onion the best way.
I couldn’t figure out why our intimacy was suffering, including in the bedroom. Apparently, that wasn’t the right decision!
3. Discover Your Love Language
If criticism is on the tip of your tongue, what if you not only bit your tongue but expressed gratitude instead?
What would happen if you said something like, “Thank you for the chocolate! That makes me feel loved. You are so thoughtful.”
“And the organic mushrooms! It’s so sweet that you go out of your way to please me.”
Well, Anna didn’t like that idea so much, and she was vocal about why: “What, am I supposed to kiss his butt for things he’s supposed to do anyway?” Such objections are natural, especially when she was doing so much herself, and no one was thanking her!
She was afraid he’d get the idea that those tasks were optional and quit doing them.
If you’re having such fears, imagine when, on the contrary, he starts doing even more to please you. And expresses his appreciation for you like never before. That’s what I see again and again when women, including Anna, decide to conduct the next experiment with the most powerful skill of all:
Express at least three gratitudes a day to your man.
You can create more opportunities for gratitude by practicing the art of receiving graciously. This one is pretty simple: Start saying “yes.” (And “thank you,” of course.)
Not “No, that’s okay–you don’t have to” if he offers to get you a glass of wine, but “Thank you, that sounds wonderful.”
That experiment might not be too much of a stretch with a glass of wine, but what if he’s been wanting to drive you cross country and it seems more hassle than it’s worth?
Or he wants to buy you both a jacuzzi, but you’d rather spend the money on the long list of things you actually need?
Again, you always have a choice: intimacy or control. Is the money you’d save really worth the intimacy it will cost when he doesn’t get to be your hero and do something to delight you?
The alternative is to reject his gift, and soon the gifts dry up.
4. Nurture the Intimacy
As you look for ways to recreate or prolong your courtship, I know what you’re probably thinking…
Date night !
Actually, instituting a date night is offender #1 on my list of successful marriage tips that will destroy your marriage.
Here’s one of the keys to a successful marriage.
Why not nix the compulsory date night in favor of treating any old outing like a date? Put on some lipstick to go on a grocery run with him. Maybe stop along the way for coffee.
If you’re anything like I was, I used to try to make that happen by saying something like, “Do you want a coffee” or “Why don’t we stop at the coffee shop?”
The words “you” and “we” are red flags that I was way over on his side of the street, a symptom of my inappropriate control.
These days, I express my desires in a way that inspires: “I would love a latte.”
Here’s the catch: When I can say that with no expectations that my husband will do it, he somehow goes on high alert to make it happen.
It can be a lot easier to know what you don’t want than what you do want. When Candy went on a complaining diet, she was appalled to find that she was silent because so much of what would normally have come out of her mouth was complaining.
When you find a complaint rearing its unattractive head, what’s the desire hidden beneath your complaint?
Maybe “I’m freezing” translates to “I’d love a jacket.”
Or “Do we have to get pizza again ?” to “I’d love Mexican!”
Desire is the north star of your relationship, the vital information your man needs so he knows how to please you.
In the video below, Esther Perel discusses intentional and willful spontaneity in the relationship. She argues that marriage is an institution and the crisis of desire is the crisis of imagination. Learn the relationship between love and desire below:
As you experiment with expressing your desires in a way that inspires, be prepared to be surprised at his eagerness to please you.
He can’t help it when his hero gene gets reignited.
Now that you’re equipped with the successful marriage tips, which experiment will you try first?
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