We’ve made a list of the best marriage advice tips that can help change your marriage and teach you how the experts get couples on back track
It can be difficult finding the will to compromise in a troubled relationship, but being told to compromise is one of the best pieces of marriage advice you can receive. Start with the small things in daily life, such as where to go out to dinner or what to watch on movie night. Showing a willingness to concede on small things will open the door for your partner to do the same. This guide will cover seven ways you can improve your marriage and facilitate healthy conversation between you and your partner. Sometimes, all it takes for the other person to change is the realization that you are trying to make things work. Take some time to consider the areas in your marriage where you believe there is room for compromise as well as those in which you will stand firm. In the case that you are nearing separation and want to save your marriage then you may want to seek out professional marriage counseling.
1) Build a Support Network
Although your first instinct may be to hide your problems from friends and family, finding one or two people you can confide in is essential to working things out. Try to approach other married couples who can provide you with a balanced perspective without any agenda. In many cases, couples make the mistake of independently seeking advice from people who sabotage their relationship, whether intentionally or unintentionally. An impartial observer can provide valuable insight into your relationship that can help you see things in a new light. Communication is one of the most important aspects of conflict resolution in a marriage, so it is important to have someone who knows both parties well to act as a referee when problems arise. One of the first and most important things marriage counselors work on is improving communication.
2) Make the First Move
Many people make the mistake of waiting for the other person to change before they are willing to address their own behavior. Even if you think your partner is the one in the wrong, take the first step, and change your own behavior. Acting on relationship advice has to start somewhere, and all the marriage advice tips in the world will be useless unless you put the ideas into practice. If asked, most people would report that their marriage itself is more important than the individual problems and disagreements that arise. In spite of this, most couples still get stuck because each person is waiting for the other to make the first move and swallow their pride. In marriage, as with any relationship, you are often faced with the choice of being right and being happy. Saving a marriage often comes down to a willingness to sacrifice your pride.
3) Abandon Unsuccessful Strategies
Maybe you don’t understand why your significant other gets so upset when you tell them to calm down, or maybe you think yelling is justified in a particular situation. Some relationship strategies are simply ineffective regardless of how logical or justified they are. If a tactic isn’t working for you or is causing more relationship obstacles, abandon it. There is no point in persisting in a behavior that has never garnered positive results. Chances are that same behavior will continue to be counterproductive in the future. One of the most important marriage advice tips is to consider how your last argument went and try to dissect your reasoning behind each thing you said and did. That way, you will have a clear idea of what your relationship strategies are and which ones you’d be better off without. Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of things over time.
4) Spend Time Together
While many couples take time off during a rough spot, chances are that your problems won’t disappear with a break. With modern work schedules, it can be hard to find the time to spend with your spouse, and especially hard to find the motivation when the time you do spend together is negative. While some mental and emotional space is needed in any healthy relationship, completely severing connections for any length of time guarantees that you won’t be working on your problems. Marriage advice can only tell you how to work on your relationship, but you both have to put the time in to make it work for you. Find an activity that you both enjoy and can engage in on neutral ground. Make sure that your time together is as free of stress as possible and avoid only spending time together in a group. Sometimes a marriage retreat or vacation is the best solution, as you are provided with a controlled environment in which to strengthen your relationship.
5) Learn to Accept Imperfections
When problems arise, your first instinct can be to point out those problems. While it is important to let your partner know when they’re doing something to jeopardize your relationship, resist the urge to focus on the small things. Extend the same understanding to yourself, and don’t get hung up on your mistakes. No one is perfect all the time, and dwelling on small failures and negativity will only make things worse. Giving the freedom to be imperfect can only empower you and your spouse to work on the important matters in your relationship. The less time you spend worrying about the details, the more time you can spend working on the things that matter. Focusing on the positive progress you are both making helps to keep the spotlight on the good aspects of your marriage while improving the bad.
6) Find a Marriage Counselor or Therapist
One of the best ways to get valuable marriage advice, even when you’ve tried to follow the above tips, is to seek the help of a professional counselor. Marriage counselors are specifically trained in the psychology of marriage and can help you discover if there is a way to work through the problems that are affecting your marriage. Even in the event of a divorce, marriage counseling can offer valuable advice to make the process go smoothly. Often, marriage problems arise when one or both parties do not feel listened to or understood. A marriage counselor not only dispenses invaluable marriage advice but also can act as an impartial third party to make sure that both sides can ask the critical questions about your relationship that have been on your minds. If you are experiencing marital problems, you and your partner likely bring your own biases and perspectives into arguments without realizing it. A counselor can help to sort out those biases and make you aware of them, facilitating healthier conversations.
7) Marriage Advice Is Not One Size Fits All
Every individual is different, so every couple is naturally different as well. The dynamics that make up your relationship are unique to you, so don’t feel like you failed if a certain piece of advice that worked for one couple fails to work for you. Keep trying new strategies and remember that saving your marriage is a process, not an achievement. As long as both parties are willing to work on their issues and find a resolution that works long term, there is hope. Many people will try to tell you what to do, but only you and your spouse know what is best for your relationship. Seek advice from others, but always weigh that advice against personal experience and remember that it is open to interpretation. Don’t be afraid to tweak great advice to make it work even better for your marriage and your personality.
Learn more on how to avoid divorce in our Marriage Counseling Guide.