Before I share my advice on a happy marriage, know this: our marriage is not perfect. Paul annoys the shit out of me and vice versa. We fight. We have days where it’s hard. We have days where the knife emoji is real life. But for the most part, we’ve built a partnership that we’re extremely proud of. Even through working together (which was VERY difficult at first), spending most of our time together, raising a daughter, etc., we choose to show up for our marriage every day. It’s something we pride ourselves on and work at constantly.
With that, I thought it’d be helpful to share the do’s and don’ts that Paul and I abide by…or at least try our best to. I also asked the girls in the private FB group for their opinions on the subject so it was a group effort!
+ Communicate! This is huge for us. No one can read each other’s minds and a lack of communication can lead to resentment, confusion, being pissed, etc. Even if something is difficult to say, we talk about it. It might mean coming back to a conversation the next day when we’re less heated but we always re-assess the situation.
+ Trust each other. Trust is another pillar in our relationship. We know that the other person can be trusted and would never do anything to jeopardize that.
+ Learn each other’s love languages.
+ Apologize if you’re in the wrong.
+ Have fun! Honestly, I think a lot of marriages end because people stop having fun. I shared some of our favorite date ideas that keep things light.
+ Compromise. Probably one of the hardest things for me TBH and it was definitely a struggle when we first moved in together. Relationships are all about give and take. Even if it means letting him watch football when you want to watch the Kardashians or choose what’s for dinner once in a while. #UGH.
+ Keep it spicy! Here’s how.
+ Show gratitude. Among the mundane daily tasks, it’s easy to only focus on the things you do for your household or family. But what you’re probably forgetting is all the things guys do that are often missed (keeping track of finances, planning trips, garbage, breaking down boxes, etc. in Paul’s case). A random ‘thank you’ for something small goes a long way.
+ Remember that you chose each other. Rewatch your wedding video if you need.
+ Get drunk together!
+ Have ‘free’ money each month if you share bank accounts. This is an agreed-upon amount of money that you both can spend with no questions asked. So if you want to buy your 100th bag or he wants to bet on some basketball game, it’s all good. Add this to your monthly budget and it’ll resolve LOTS of money fights, trust me.
+ Have each other’s back. Always.
+ Ask them what they want if you’re grabbing food on the way home. LOL.
+ Say ‘divorce’ unless you mean it.
+ Make the other person jealous on purpose. It never works the way you want it to and it goes against the trust pillar.
+ Sweat the small stuff. Believe me, I’m guilty of FREAKING OUT when Paul doesn’t push in his f*cking chair or makes a mess and leaves it. There are times when I can’t help but be a complete bitch BUT at the end of the day, does the small stuff really matter? Probably not if they’re a good partner, dad, whatever.
+ Hold on to resentment. See the ‘communicate’ DO above.
+ Make the other person feel unloved or unworthy.
+ Go through each other’s phones.
+ Talk poorly about their family or friends unless it’s warranted.
+ Fight dirty. This one is hard in the heat of the moment but similar to the ‘divorce’ word, keep things respectful even when you’re mad.
+ Keep score, especially on household shit. This becomes even more important once you’re parents, IMO.
+ Be afraid to talk to a professional if you’re in need of help. There’s nothing wrong with therapy and I know people who swear by it!
+ Take each other or the days spent together for granted. Paul and I try to say ‘I love you’ before bed, when we get off the phone, or when one us leaves the house for that exact reason.
+ Put each other down in front of others (unless it’s in a joking, loving way obviously).
+ Spend all your time together on devices.
+ Remember to make yourself happy, too. I forget the exact quote but Paul and I both prioritize keep ourselves happy so that we can show up as our best selves for our marriage and family.
+ Eat her leftovers. LOL.
Anything else to add?