When you first fall in love and get engaged, it’s easy to feel so excited about everything you have going on before getting married, that you forget to focus on what comes next once you’ve both said, “I do.” You know, the whole part where you start living your daily life as husband and wife in a real marriage.
The best marriage advice and tips on how to stay happily married are those that cover the raw truth about handling those issues that arise once the wedding and honeymoon have passed.
If you want your relationship to stay hot, passionate, healthy, and last a lifetime, you can absolutely make that happen, and just a little bit of planning and forward-thinking can take you and your marriage a long, long way.
Here are 10 of the best tips and pieces of marriage advice all engaged couples should memorize before the wedding so you can truly be happily married.
Here are 10 tips on how to stay happily married all couples should memorize before saying ‘I do:’
1. Expect the fire to cool
Your once-hot marriage will probably cool off over time. This is normal, and not really a problem in and of itself.
2. But be sure to fan the flames
Once your marriage cools off, there are things you can do to fan those embers and make your marriage hot again. Do them.
3. Make a point of remembering the early days
Think about what used to create passion in your relationship and do it again, whether you feel like it or not.
4. Make romantic gestures often
In order for passion to be sustained, and recreated when necessary, you need to make romantic and sexy gestures toward your spouse, even when you don’t feel doing so is “needed”.
5. Keep communication flowing
Your partner will be angry with you, resent you, complain to you, and even hate you at times, and the same holds true in reverse, but don’t let that get in the way of your connection.
Each of those “negative” feelings presents opportunities for you to listen to each other, reconfirm your love, and renew your commitment to make things work.
6. Don’t allow yourself to get defensive
Listening to your complaining, resentful, disappointed (at times) partner without getting defensive is the single most important thing you can do to create long-term passion in your marriage.
Your active listening will shift their feelings into softer, more vulnerable expressions and emotions, which will ultimately lead to a closer — and hotter — marriage.
7. Show your love daily
A passionate and sexy marriage is maintained through those things you do daily to uplift your partner’s spirits. Each of these everyday signs of your love matters far more than those you exchange during an annual vacation.
8. Make regularly scheduled dates a priority
Weekly dates with your partner are extremely important and will help strengthen the bond in your relationship.
9. Offer compliments often
Look for ways to compliment your partner, even if you sometimes have to really think about what to say.
Pain is more likely to get our attention, so men and women often hyper-focus on the negative aspects of relationships. But consciously and intentionally paying attention to the good things in your relationships, as well as to your partner’s loving actions — and being sure to let them know how grateful you are — can help turn this mentality around.
10. Keep taking risks
Be vulnerable both inside and outside of the bedroom. Try new things with your partner, even if you feel awkward about it.
Long-term passion is our reward for courage and bravery.
If you expect an alive and sexy marriage to come easily, you will be greatly disappointed.
Don’t deprive yourself of the possibility of having an amazingly passionate and romantic long-term relationship. Do the work and go out on a limb consistently to build the thriving marriage you want.
Following these tips will change your life and your intimate relationship, but some may be more easily said than done.
If you need help maintaining the fire and passion in your marriage, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
Todd Creager is a marriage and intimacy therapist, author, and speaker.
This article was originally published at Todd Creager’s Website. Reprinted with permission from the author.