15 Tips for a Successful Marriage
Make your partner a priority
Remember when you were first married, and you were each other's whole world? That feeling isn't sustainable forever, but don't let your partner slip to the bottom of your priority list after kids, job, friends and hobbies. Remind your spouse -- often -- that he or she is important to you.
Keep up your appearance
Think back to when you and your spouse first met: would you have shown up for a date in a stained tee and stretched out sweatpants? The marriage license doesn't mean you can let yourself go. Show your spouse the kind of respect you'd show a coworker by looking your best, even if you're just lounging around the house.
Remember to say thank you
When you've been married awhile, it's easy to take for granted the nice things your spouse does: a cup of coffee made just the way you like it; a gentle neck rub when you've had a stressful day. Remember to thank each other for the little things; it will help you both feel more appreciated.
Keep the romance alive
Work, kids and other responsibilities can make you feel tired, and less inclined toward romance and sexual connection. But passion can be the glue that holds a marriage together during difficult times, so don't let it slip away. Make time for romantic dates and sexual play. It's important.
Give each other some space
This may sound counterintuitive when we're talking about bringing couples closer together, but it's important to remember that you are both unique individuals with different thoughts, feelings and interests. Cultivating and appreciating your individuality will make you more interesting to each other, and to yourselves.
Make time for fun
All work and no play make Jack and Jill dull marriage partners. Make time for play time -- with the family and just the two of you -- and you'll get a lot more enjoyment out of life and your marriage.
Love the one you’re with
Aside from being a great Stephen Stills song from the 70's, this is good advice. You fell in love with the personality and qualities your partner had when you met, and it's unfair to expect your spouse to change now that you're married.
Ask for what you want
Some people believe that long-term partners should be able to read each other's minds, but that's unrealistic. If you have a specific request -- a hug, a listening ear, or a particular brand of cologne for your birthday -- ask for what you want. Don't make your partner guess.
Live your own life
With all the demands that other people and responsibilities make on your time, it's easy to put your own needs on the back burner. Make an effort to cultivate personal interests and hobbies outside your marriage. You'll both feel happier, more vibrant, and more engaged in life.
Make time for free time
We all know the effects of overscheduling: a higher level of stress. And stress leads to short tempers, frustration, fatigue and eventual burnout. Put aside time when you can both relax, whether you're enjoying an activity like walking, reading or biking, or simply watching a beautiful sunset. The important thing is to relax, and to do it together.