June 26, 2014

50+ Secrets of a Great Marriage

by

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Pinterest-Finished-Small

What makes a marriage great? We ALL have seen them. Those couples who just seem to be endlessly in love no matter how long they have been married. Don’t you just want to know what they are doing that is keeping that spark in their marriage? Really, what are their secrets!?!?

We asked our friends, neighbors, and YOU – our fabulous readers – what marriage tips you have to keep the romance alive and blooming! You are going to LOVE what we found out!

We also had one of our amazing designers, Kristin at CdotLove create gorgeous printables of some of the best quotes that you are going to want to print up and frame in your own house! She even did two sizes so you could use the smaller size to create gorgeous cards that you can attach to wedding or bridal shower gifts. So sweet!!

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

Married 1-5 Years

Revisit places you went while dating or where happy memories took place whenever possible or as a tradition. Visiting these places will bring back happy memories and make it feel as though time stands still! {Emily, married 1 year}

Going to bed upset is better then staying awake and saying things you may regret!  {Nicole, married 2 years}

When in a fight get naked. You can’t be mad at someone naked ;) {Marissa, married 3  years}

What is obvious to you is obvious to you. Don’t assume the other person understands something the way you understand something! Communicate! {Chandele, married 3 years}

Making a conscious effort to put your spouse first has been key. Also, give them your best self, not what’s left over of yourself after all your other priorities are taken care of. {Bailey, married 3 years}

Courtesy of Nichole Martin Photography

Courtesy of Nichole Martin Photography

We never go to bed without saying prayer together and saying I love you. No matter if we are upset or just beat tired. It brings us together at the end of the day. {Megann, married 3 years}

Honesty is key, there isn’t anything I won’t share with my husband, and there is no reason not to share everything with him. {Diana, married 4 years}

Just because you have the right to be angry doesn’t mean you should exercise that right. If you are angry, don’t be angry for very long… choose to forgive. Yes, things hurt- but it hurts worse if you let it fester. Every minute wasted being angry steals a minute of true bliss from your marriage. {Stephanie, married 5 years}

The best kept marital secret is to buy a king size bed! A decision you’ll never regret :) 5 years of the good stuff for me and the Mr! {Juniel, married 5 years}

Make your relationship with your spouse your top priority, everything else turns out ok if you do. {Elizabeth, married 5 years}

Courtesy of everyday-creative.com

Courtesy of everyday-creative.com

Always go to bed together and get up together. So much wisdom in this advice that was given to us. One way that has really improved our communication. {Lauralie, married 5 years}

Learn what’s worth fighting for. Ask yourself “is this going to matter 1,5,10 years down the road”. If not, consider letting it go. {Kalley, married 5 years}

 

Married 6-10 Years

I think it helps a lot to appreciate the uniqueness of the relationship. We don’t compare our interactions, priorities, or accomplishments to those around us; which makes it much easier to appreciate the amazing and unique qualities of each other. We find what works for us in terms of communication, teasing, affection, romance, finances, work, chores, lifestyle, etc., which may look completely different for someone else. As everyone says, focus on the positive. If a person wants to be disappointed, they will always find a reason, but they are usually overlooking the true beauty of their relationship. {Alyssa, married for 6 years}

Talk about everything! Always say good night and good morning {Lisa, married 6 years}

Learn to keep your mouth shut sometimes :P {Tiffany, married 6 years}

Showing support in everything each other does,even if it is not something you really agree with 100%, it still says a lot to show your support! You should be each other’s number one fans! Loving everything about that person, even if they have irritating things about them, showing your love means more than anything else in this world! {Meghan, married 6 years}

  Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Laugh

Have fun together. Dance parties in the kitchen, game night for two, laughing, joking, inside jokes, not taking yourself too seriously, dressing goofy for Halloween, being adventurous, roller skating, being creative together, LAUGHING. In our marriage that is one thing that has kept us falling more and more in love, and kept us afloat during the rough times – having fun together. By taking a deep breath and laughing about a situation instead of stressing about it, it makes life more enjoyable and makes even the tough stuff seem not so bad! {Jordan, 7 years}

 Always keep arguments and disagreements between you and your spouse. Venting to others just makes it worse and you will always forgive your spouse faster than your friends or family :) {Delina, married 7 years}

The only advice I got before I got married that I actually remember is “Never fight with your clothes on.” It’s seemed to work OK for us for the last 7 years. {Mica, 7 years}

Sometimes you have to be the bigger person and apologize first when arguments arise, even if you think you didn’t do anything wrong. Try to be the peacemaker!!!! It may be just the thing to bring some love back into the discussion, and allow you to both to calm down and discuss things reasonably and with understanding and compassion! {McKay, married 7 years}

Marriage is about compromise. Both partners HAVE to be willing to compromise. You can’t have everything your way all the time. {Julie, married 7 years}

A lot of people say “don’t go to bed angry”, but I say “sometimes the dishes gotta soak overnight!” Not saying that you shouldn’t communicate about the disagreements you have, but sometimes at night you’re tired and blow things out of proportion. Give it some rest and time (and often middle of the night making up), and life is blissful :) {Jennie, married 7 years}

  Julie-Marriage-Advice-Dishes_Logo

Be fiercely loyal. By that I mean don’t ever say anything negative about your spouse to anyone, you are always on the same team no matter the situation. If you have beef with your husband, talk to HIM about it, not your friends/family. {Camile, Married 8 years}

You chose your love, so love your choice! Everyday treat your relationship like you’re dating and that you’re trying to win the love of your life. Remember in love and marriage you need you give all of you, and they will do the same. Leave the past where it is. Brutal honesty always wins. {Johathan, married 8 years}

Being married is not about what you’re going to get out of it, it’s about what you can do to make your spouse feel loved.  {Enoch, married 8 years}

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-You-Do

Make date night and alone time a priority, especially after kids come along! It’s worth whatever sacrifice it takes.  When life gets crazy, it will keep you connected.  {Becca, married 8 years}

My advice is: Laugh, Everyday! {Justin, 8 years}

Mutual R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  In life people change…behaviors change… circumstances change….  It WILL happen.  However, the person you marry will always remain the same human being that you pledged your love to.  Mutual respect is a true basis of love and bears the most beautiful fruit in marriage!  Respect avoids unfair judgement. Respect says, “I love you because you are YOU and you are MINE. By respecting each other’s feelings/needs/wants/goals/etc., we can solve (or negotiate) any problem together. It is the catalyst by which we help each other succeed.  When you succeed, I succeed too!”  Respect does not work one way. Mutual respect is true love. {Kiirsten, 8.5 years}

Always stay on the same page and communicate about your common goals when it comes to money! Living debt free and loving it :) {Jessica, married 9 years}

Love is a choice, not a feeling. Choose to love even when you don’t feel like it. {Tasha, married 10 years}

Often my friends will say things like…I wish my husband would do that, or it bothers be that doesn’t do this…etc. my response to them is always, have you told him that? Men aren’t mind readers…nor are women. Sometimes it’s easier to just say what you think or expect instead of getting upset when something doesn’t happen the way you wanted. Communication is a life saver. But for sure let your hair down a little…have fun and don’t take everything so serious!!! {Ashley, 10 years}

Courtesy of Everyday Creative

Courtesy of Nicole Martin Photography

Take the word “divorce” out of your vocabulary. You got married for a reason. Remember that when things get hard, because every marriage takes work. But when you put work into it, marriage can be glorious. {Lyndsie, married 10 years}

Make time for each other. We have a standing date night every Friday night. No phones, no computers, no social media, nothing. Just each other. We love to get a babysitter and go out, but even if we are at home, we put the kids to bed and do something together at home. It gives us something to look forward to each week and without the distractions of work, computers, phones, etc, it really lets us focus on each other and reconnect. {Camille, 10 years}

Focus on the positive! Try to avoid negative thoughts about your spouse.  One thing that has helped us feel united, is to have goals and always work towards something.  There is nothing like feeling like we are productive together and seeing what we are capable of accomplishing together. {Denisse, married 10 years}

Courtesy of everyday-creative.com

Courtesy of everyday-creative.com

Date each other! We date weekly and I look forward to some one on one with my number 1! Don’t just go out….DATE! Ask, plan, remember the romance. {Brecca, married 10  years}

He/she can’t read your mind. If it’s bothering you, speak up. Otherwise it will never get resolved and that’s your fault. No one else’s. {Deborah, married 10 years}

Never threaten with divorce, don’t put it out there as an option, ever! not in anger or as a joke. Your commitment to your marriage is serious, so treat it seriously. {Lori, married 10 years}

Married 11-15 Years

 Say you’re sorry when you know you’re wrong even if it’s the hardest thing to do! The sooner the better! {Michelle, married 11 years}

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Sorry

I think I have a unique perspective on marriage and what works.  I am one of 12 kids and 7 of my siblings have been through a divorce.  I am also a wedding videographer so I get to see people when they are at the happiest point in their lives… to that point anyway.  My advice is:  1. Once you get married, your focus needs to be on your spouse and not on yourself (even if your spouse doesn’t seem to focus on you).  2. Be absolutely forthcoming about anything financial.  ALL financial decisions need to be shared and discussed.  Do not hide anything, and do not have separate bank accounts.  You are now a partnership – in more ways than one.  3.  Love each other!!  Surprise each other, make each other happy!!  4.  When it gets tough, and it will, DO NOT GIVE UP!!  Fight for your marriage, do whatever you can to repair and reinvigorate your marriage.  Trust me, divorce is hardly the best answer (I know, sometimes it is), but if it is salvageable, do whatever you can.  5.  Have kids!!  6.  Remember your wedding day and the vows and promises you made to each other and keep them.  7.  Pray together every night.  If you don’t believe in God, then tell each other the things you are thankful for, every night.  8.  Kiss and hug your spouse every day.  9.  Set goals, personal and family goals, and then reach those goals.  This will give you direction in life.  Create a plan for your marriage and family.  10.  BE like Tara and Jamie!! {Doug, 11 years}

 

Photo courtesy of everyday-creative.com

Photo courtesy of everyday-creative.com

1. Make sure the bed is made and the counters are cleaned off before he gets home and he will think you have been slaving away all day. 2. There will be days when you aren’t as in love with each other – that’s why you have to be best friends. True friends never give up on each other. They laugh and play together, but they also work to make things right and do their best to share the other’s load. Friendship humbles us and prods us to ask forgiveness when we’ve messed up. It is built on respect and esteem and will hold things steady until we are back in crazy love. It’s like Leslie Knope said in her wedding vows, “I love you and I like you.” {Bethany, 11 years}

Don’t sweat the small stuff, pick your battles wisely. {John, married 11 years}

Go to bed angry. Sleep deprivation will just make you more emotional. Talk again in the morning. {Dena, married 11 years}

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Little-Kiss

Don’t let too many people get in your head about what you marriage should be like. Every couple is different and what might work for somebody else might not work for you. Do what is the best for your relationship even if people don’t understand or believe in it. {Terryn, married 12 years}

Love is in the details!  Strive to love and bless each other’s life with service every day: give compliments, forgive, smile, hug, listen, and be there.  Be your spouse’s biggest fan.  (Especially in front of others.)  Keep courting after marriage.  Flirt & have fun!  Be the reason your spouse is smiling.  {Isabelle, married 13 years}

You’ve got to learn to laugh about the silly habits that bug you, otherwise you will go crazy! {Liz, married 13 years}

Serve one another.  I find our path gets rockiest when I start thinking about me and what I wish I had or what I think would be fair.  When I put all that aside and start to focus on what he is going through or the struggles he faces, I want to love him, help him and take care of him.  This drives him to serve me in the same way. It is all too easy to become casual in your days together and forget the way you felt when you were first falling in love.  Regular dates and lots of humor can help bring these feelings back.  I also suggest daily “I love you” texts/notes and dropping everything you are doing when he comes home from work or school to give him a kiss and hug.  Lastly, I feel like the death certificate to any marriage is separating finances. Don’t do it! {Mindy, 13 years}

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Communicate_Logo

Communicate, communicate, communicate. {Angel & Todd, married 14 years}

 Communicate. Be willing to put in the work when things get difficult or dull. Your marriage is only as successful as you make it, and it should be one of the most important things in the world to you. Definitely worth the effort, and sometimes it takes a lot of effort. {Jason, married 14 years}

Enjoy the little things. ♥I was married 1 week short of 14 years when my husband passed away. ♥ {Karina, married 14 years}

Courtesy of Everyday Creative

Courtesy of everyday-creative.com

Don’t be a dream killer. Let reality kill the dream if it’s meant to be killed. Let your spouse dream and reach their dreams and goals. Be supportive. Don’t make negative comments at what they aspire to do or become. Goes for both sides. {Venetia, married almost 15 years}

Don’t start any habits in your first year of marriage that you don’t want to do for the rest of your life. example….picking up his dirty socks (just this once) I think the first year is for settling into routines. {Amy, married 15 years}

My advice is to make your marriage your own!  Don’t look at other marriages and wish you had something else.  WORK to shape your marriage that is satisfying for both of you.  Have couple planning and interview time each week so you are on the same page. Discuss issues and concerns.  COMMUNICATE.   Pray together.  Express gratitude and give affection.  Be selfless.  Create a list of “What I can do for you’s” rather than “honey-do’s”. {Katie, 15 years}

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Work

Show your love! When you’ve been married a long time, sometimes you take for granted that your spouse knows you love them. Don’t be afraid to show it! {Pam, married 15 years}

Married 16-20 Years

One thing my mom always said growing up to us was “you have to work on your marriage every day.” Being married 16 years I get that now. Do we always do it? Nope. It’s so easy to just take that relationship for granted and focus on the kids, work and everything else life throws at you but it’s so important to invest a little each day. Take that time to be “all in” with full attention and focus on each other. Even if it’s just 5 minutes. {Megan, 16 years}

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

 Read the 5 Love Languages Book and act upon it. Also, DATE each other. Save up the money for a baby sitter if you have to. It’s worth it. Don’t argue in front of the kids and don’t go to bed angry. {Annette ,married 16 years}

Choose to love your spouse each and every day. And then show them that love. Don’t assume they know you love them. {Bill and Jenn, married 17 years}

Who cares if the other person squeezes from the middle of the tube, or leaves the cap off, or doesn’t change the TP, or leaves dirty clothes everywhere, or any of the nagging  little things that drive you nuts! Remember 3 things always: your love for that person, you annoy them too, you will miss all those annoying things when they are dead so appreciate the love you share and enjoy life. You will never know if it’s your last moment with them. {Holly, 17 years}

Make sure to take time for each other and have regular date nights!!! They don’t have to involve spending money. Get creative. {Penni, married 17 years}

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Little-Things

Realize your not perfect and neither is your spouse. Love and laugh together! {Rekha, married 17 years}

Take a trip every year with just the two of you. Even when your kids are small, you need to take the time to get away and reconnect as a couple. {Callie, married 18 years}

Always make your marriage a priority. One day your kids will be grown up, and what is left is you and your spouse. It is sad to see marriages end once the kids are gone, because they lost each other while raising their kids. {Shirley, married 18 years}

Communication is key! It doesn’t hurt to give 120% either! {June, married 19 years}

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

Mine is simple…learn to apologize (even if it’s not “quite” your fault). {Cyd, 20 years}

After being married for 20 years, I would say, focus on the positive! Life is hard and all have weaknesses to improve upon. Praise your spouse for all their great qualities to give them the confidence to work on those things that need improvement. {Nisha, 20 years}

Married 21-25 Years

Just enjoy being together and having fun, laughing at each other’s jokes and just keeping that friendship alive and well. It makes getting through the tough times easier! {Melissa, 24 years}

Always assume your partner is acting from their kindest, most considerate place. {Katarina, married over 25 years}

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Love

Find something to do together that you both can enjoy…a bike ride, cooking, reading, etc. This is a way to grow closer as a couple. Our first year of marriage I asked my hubby to make a Christmas Nativity set with me -the ceramic kind you clean, paint, glaze and fire. Not being a crafter he totally thought this was a very stupid idea but decided to go ahead with it and guess what?? He thoroughly loved it and ENJOYED himself!! It’s been a treasure we’ve displayed each year at Christmas. The book,

Read the 5 Love Languages Book The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman is an excellent read. Pray as a couple. {Toni, 25 years}

Courtesy of Nichole Martin Photography

Courtesy of Nicole Martin Photography

Married 26+ Years

 Be nice to each other! It’s shocking how many people forget that. {Dana, married 28 years}

Talk about everything–especially the little things! Learn to say “I’m sorry” and be sincere. Remember the reason you’re in it! Remember that you are on the same team–working toward the same end :) {Leslie, married 28 years}

After 30 years of marriage “perseverance” comes to mind.  Marriage is a huge learning curve and remember you are in it for life.  Love and be loved.  And, as everyone else has said…..communicate and have fun.  Never take your marriage for granted {Jodine, 30 years}

Enter marriage knowing divorce is not even an option. If you must have the last word, make it “sorry”. We were married 12-23, so on the 23rd of every month I make it a point of doing something extra and special for him. Yes we do special things for each other all the time, but this is different. Remember God is a welcome third member of all unions!! {Debbie, married 30+ years}

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

Courtesy of Misha Hettie Photography

 When you have kids always, always stick together when deciding the rules.. And always find time to get away even 1 or 2 days. :-) {Clara, married 33 years}

Don’t just “communicate,” really listen when the other person talks.  And always remember that your spouse cares about you, so if they hurt you-assume that it’s a misunderstanding.  Then you can listen to each other until you understand where they were coming from.  {Lynette, married 34 years}

Really pay attention and listen to your spouse. Then you’ll be able to understand when they are down, and step up to be there for them.  {Kenn, married 34 years}

It’s great to have a Date Night once a week where the two of you can be together and go out and do something fun!  {Jay & Linda, 39 years}

Courtesy of everyday-creative.com

Courtesy of everyday-creative.com

All I have to add that creating and planning adventures that we do together has been lots of fun. Traditions, setting goals, praying, scripture reading and church attendance bond us more each day. {Marilyn, 40 years}

Do things together all the time make your partner your best friend, never have a night out with the boys or girls unless they are your children, love your companion until the thought of losing them hurts enough to make you cry {Manuel, married 45 years}

Ignore the little things & remember that everything is little. And one day he will be perfect and so will you. {Ida, 60 years}

Courtesy of Nicole Martin Photography

Courtesy of Nicole Martin Photography

I hope you have found some great tips that you can use in your own marriage to make it better than ever! I KNOW you are going to want to add a few of these gorgeous quotes that Kristin at CdotLove created to brighten up your own home.

GET YOUR FREE PRINTABLES HERE SET 1

GET YOUR FREE PRINTABLES HERE SET 2

If you are ready to take your marriage to the next level, you should check out our Marriage Masters program which is an amazing way to strengthen your marriage!

Julie-Marriage-Advice-Printable-Dishes

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Recent Comments

13 Responses to “50+ Secrets of a Great Marriage ”

  1. Amanda says:

    Hello- I love the pic next to the dish soap and would love that printable. But I do not see where to print this particular print. Could you point me in the right direction please?

    • Julie Julie says:

      Sure Amanda, that one is my favorite too!! It makes me smile every time I look at it:) The larger version (8×10) like I have is in printable set 2. Look at the bottom of my post, just before my name and it has the links “get your free printables here set 2 “. There is a smaller version of it on set 1. Enjoy! Let me know if you have any other problems accessing it.

  2. WOW! This is so awesome. Thank you so much for compiling this. Isn’t it amazing how simple so many of these are?

    ” Be nice to each other! It’s shocking how many people forget that.” {Dana, married 28 years} Gotta tweet that!

  3. Tara Tara says:

    Oh GOSH! I seriously looooove this post & all of this advice! And yes, that dishes quote cracks me up! Love it! XOXO

  4. Lorraine says:

    I would like to print the article; so I can read t more easily. Do I really need to download something to do that?

    • Julie Julie says:

      Hi Lorraine, I think that all you may need to do is highlight it all with your mouse (cursor) and then copy and paste it onto a word document if you’d like to print it out. If someone knows an easier way, please comment:)

  5. Marcus says:

    This is a great list. I enjoyed reading them, and will be implementing some in our marriage.

  6. Becca Becca says:

    Loved reading through this- such great advice. (And my hubby was kinda excited that his advice made it onto a printable- lol) ;)

  7. Rosie says:

    Nearly 30 years ago, while we were alone and waiting for the car to pick us up to take us to the church, my wonderful Father told me that while it was nice that I had girlfriends, “every wee lassie should have her pals” that from that day onwards I should remember that my husband was my best friend. That if we both felt that way, and remembered, we’d always be happy, because “ye cannae be unhappy if you always have your best pal nearby” So I married my best pal and to this day he still is, and yes, we’ve been blessed with almost 30 years of laughter, love and countless hugs. We still hold hands, snuggle on the sofa to watch tv & when we’re out he’ll rest his hand on my lower back because he knows I love it & it makes me feel safe. All of the bad things that life throws at you through the years we’ve faced together. He is the centre of my world and bless him, I’ve always felt secure that I’m the centre of his. I love your website, thank you for always reminding all of us to remember that we’re married to our best pals. Sending hugs xx

    • Tara Tara says:

      Thank you so much for sharing all of that, Rosie! Your Father was a wise man!! Thank you for being such a wonderful reader! MWAH! XO, Tara


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