When it comes to marriage, no one has it all figured out. There is no training course anywhere in the world, and everyone has to learn on the job. But people do love giving marriage advice to newlyweds and engaged couples. Most of that advice is cliched and ignores the realities of marriage. You could get it off a simple Google search. But it’s not enough, is it? If you’re looking for advice, you need someone who has years of experience and can talk to you about the real issues.
If you’re getting married soon, or have just gotten married, you’re probably wondering how to make your marriage perfect. We know you’re sick of relatives and friends giving you marriage advice. So, we went on Reddit and found realistic pearls of wisdom from people married for 10 years or more. From sleeping in separate bedrooms to effective communication, they have a lot to say.
1. Give your spouse ‘alone time’.
“Last Friday, my SO went out for a few drinks, and I woke up at 6 am to him drunkenly trying to figure out our shower (we don’t drive, he got home safely). I set him up in the tub, laughed, got him water and toast, and took silly photos. When I mentioned this to a coworker, he just kept telling me what a nice wife I was, but kind of surprised I wasn’t mad. My SO is my best friend, and he didn’t hurt anyone, why should I care how he spends his free time? I feel like too many people get wrapped up in tropes from TV about how they should react to situations, rather than looking at the person as their own individual.”
2. Communicate with each other. Or cuddle until you do.
“As someone who had massive communication issues, I suggest cuddles. Lots of cuddles. It’s hard to lash out at someone you’re cuddling from fear or anger or insecurity. It’s easier to close the emotional distance when you first close the physical distance. When your partner is telling you wordlessly how much they love you, by holding you close, it helps you to feel safe and loved and ready to open up. It helps you to remember that you are a team and that you love each other, and then you’re both ready to work together instead of against each other.
Angry? Cuddle first, then discuss. Scared of rejection? Cuddle. Sad? Cuddle. Happy? Cuddle!”
“Don’t test your relationship by seeing if they remember your birthday/anniversary. If you want presents and fun, then mention these things. If you want arguments and depression, then keep them a secret.”
3. Don’t compare your marriage to your friend’s relationship.
“Understand that you both will continue to grow and change as people. Be willing to accept that with yourself AND your partner. It’s okay that you are not the exact same person as when you got married.”
4. Don’t try to win when you fight with your spouse.
“When you fight, remember it’s not you vs your SO. It’s the two of you vs the problem.”
5. Sleep on it.
6. Don’t expect marriage to be a dream.
“If you go into marriage expecting it to be all sunshine, rainbows and glittery unicorn poop all the time, you’re in for a bad time. It will be good. It will be bad. There will be fun, and there will most definitely be things you go through that are shittier than you could ever imagine. It’s not how much fun you have together during the good times. It’s how you treat each other during the shitty times that really shows you whether or not this person is meant to be belly to belly with you for the rest of your damn lives.”
7. It’s okay to sleep separately.
“Just each have your own fucking blankets. It’s just such a simple solution to a nightly tug-of-war and your farts are mostly contained under your own blanket.”
“Hug and kiss every day and if one of you snores like a wookie, it is okay to have separate bedrooms.”
8. Stand up for your spouse.
“While you are married she is the number 1 member of your family. Your family will always take you back if you break up.”
“Laughter can save just about anything. There will always be a clogged drain, flat tyre, crying baby, or squeaky door. If you can laugh through it, you’ll be okay.”
10. Make time for each other, even if it’s in the shower.
“When you have kids, a shower is the only time you can have a conversation without them listening.”
“Get off your phone when you’re around each other. Those things are straight up poison to a healthy relationship.”
“14 years here, and we got married real young. Go for walks together! It gives you time together, just you two, doing something healthy with no distractions, so you can just talk. Made all the difference for me.”
11. Don’t let people drop by unannounced.
“Don’t allow people to stop by without talking to both of you first. Use a group thread for people you both interact with regularly, no surprises there.”
Remember, marriage is hard work. And when you feel like just giving up on it, come back here and go through what these highly-experienced folks have to say. You might find the solution to your problem right here.