8 Tips For a Happy Marriage

Please read this post because I deleted the entire thing and had to start from scratch!!  I was totally demoralized but determined that this post should be written so I dusted myself off and did it all over again.

Mj and I have been together for five years and we have never had an argument.  I can hardly even believe that myself.  We don't always agree but we come from a similar enough starting point that it just works.  We push and pull each other with just the right amount of force so that it never results in a verbal altercation.  Our biggest issue is that he's on the messy side and I'm a neat freak who sometimes nags.  If that's our biggest problem I figure we are doing something right.  We are far from perfect but these are some things that have been working for us.  There really is no magic secret to a happy marriage.  Everybody is different and carries their own personality, baggage and expectations into a relationship making each one unique.  What works for one couple may not work for another.  There is no one size fits all solution but we can still learn a lot from one another.

Pic from Christmas Day last year // No white Christmas around these parts

First of all, it really helps if you are compatible.  This is not really a tip.  I'm just stating the obvious.  They say opposites attract but if you don't agree on anything in life it will be really hard to make a relationship work.  Perhaps not impossible just a lot harder.  And not that you want to be with a carbon copy of yourself but it helps if you share similar values, morals and beliefs.  It will be that much easier to relate to each other, get along and deal with life.

1.  Never forget why you fell in love with each other in the first place. We get annoyed at each other.  Sometimes our partners drive us nuts.  It's going to happen.  But anything that bothers me about Mj is insignificant compared to the many things about him that I love. If there are more things about your partner that you don't love then things that you do love that's a problem.

2.  Respect each other. You don't always have to like your partner but I think it's really important to respect them as a person.  Respect breeds trust, kindness and empathy for one another.  It sets the tone for how you relate to each other which sets the foundation for how you handle problems and disagreements.   

3.  Communication.  Tell him what's wrong.  Men are not mind readers and we can't expect them to be.  If I'm visibly disgruntled and Mj asks me what's wrong if I don't tell him that's it.  He will not ask again and my pouting goes ignored.  This is actually a good thing because it makes me realize how much time I'm wasting stewing alone in my anger.  Lack of communication is so often the root of arguments.  Typical scenario.  She's mad but won't say why.  He get's annoyed because she's stomping around yet won't say what the problem is.  Now they are both annoyed.  Any little thing can set either one of them off and the next thing you know there is a fight.  It's best to avoid that whole charade altogether.  If I'm just in a mood and there is no reason for me to be grumpy I apologize in advance and tell him it's not him it's me.  I just need to be a brat right now and he lets me be.  And if it is him that's bothering me even though it's hard I need tell him.  Being upset about it but keeping it to yourself accomplishes nothing.  The longer you wait the more the situation festers and then it's even worse down the road. 

4.  Think of yourselves as a team.  Don't keep score and don't play the blame game.  Just because he screws up it certainly doesn't give you a pass to do something wrong out of spite.  Our mama's taught us this one.  Two wrongs don't make a right.   It's also very destructive to keep score and then throw the mistake back in each others faces later.  It only builds resentment over time and creates a you vs him type of dynamic which is terrible for a relationship.  Nobody is perfect.  People make mistakes.   We need to learn to forgive each other and move on.   Together.

5.  Pick your battles because you will never win them all nor should you because a relationship is about compromise.  You will never get him to understand or agree to your point of view on everything and vice versa.  Push for what's important and pull back on the rest.  Ideally, he will do the same thing for you and you can meet each other half way on most things.

6.  Be willing to admit when you are wrong.  Nobody likes a know it all who always has to be right and have the last word.  All it does is build resentment over time.   

7.  Never stop dating.  It's good for you to see each other in something other then hang around the house comfy cotton casuals.  Have fun together!!  Going out and doing fun things together reminds you of when you first started dating which makes you feel all lovey dovey inside which can do wonders for helping to keep the romance alive.  

8.  Give each other space.  Mj and I lived in a 400 square foot studio condo for about 6 months and it was really hard.  We were basically living on top of each other and that makes anything that annoys you about your partner multiply by 10 because it's in your face all the time.  At first I missed being able to see him all the time when we moved into our house but having two living spaces not to mention two sinks has been wonderful.  Sometimes you just need moments to yourself to just BE.  Take moments away from each other.  Do things apart.  Have experiences apart from each other so that you can come together and share what you've been up to.  Miss each other a bit even if it's just for a few hours.  It makes you even that much more appreciative of your time together. 

I am no expert.  Half of the advice I give are things that I'm still working on myself.  This is my 2nd marriage.  I have screwed up in the past and don't know everything but I have learned a lot from my mistakes.  There are many times where I don't feel worthy of this wonderful sexy man that I have managed to snag.  But lucky for me I love him, he loves me and we are both willing to put in the effort it takes to make our relationship work.  It's a work in progress but that's okay as long as we're both committed to working on it.

Linking up with Emily from Newlywed Moments.

Bloglovin' // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Ongoing Giveaways! Click Links to Enter
Personalized Cell Phone Case 
$60 Target Gift Card


Nylse said...

#1 is important; #3 becomes easier to ignore the longer you are married and then you have to remind yourself that you are wasting time; which brings me to an addendum to #3 how you say what you say is very important; and just deal with what's in front of you - don't try to figure out what I did not say.
#8 - vital; everyone needs space and you don't realize how much until you dont have it.
#9 - children will test numbers 1-8.
I'm not unhappily married, just pointing out and agreeing with some things I've picked up along the way.
Good post.

Sarah said...

Wonderful post, Cece. I would also add to make your husband and marriage a priority. Over work, over activities, even over other family members, etc.
Just had our 26th. Very happily married. Still :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for guest posting for me, CeCe! It's a great post and such sound advice :)


Faith said...

This is so good! I completely agree with everything you said. Some days is easier but I'll never stop fighting for us. Remembering why we fell in love is so important.

And I can't believe y'all have never had an argument! That's amazing. Sean and I have our share of disagreements, haha. But we know when to give it up and walk away and come back when we are less heated.

Anyway, awesome post!

Pegster said...

This is such a great post. you've brought up some really good points. I love that you guys have never had an argument. My hubby and I have had our share of argument but ultimately none of them were ever deal breakers. We may disagree on some things but we always agree on things that matter.

Picking your battles is my motto, you won't win them all so don't even try. Sorry the post was completely deleted the first time, it was definitely worth writing it again.

I enjoyed reading it for sure.

Whitney Cypert said...

LOVED this post!! Maybe my favorite one yet! I agree with everything you said and you said it so well. Number 8 is my favorite. I used to have a hard time giving Garrett and even myself space, I thought I wanted/needed to be with him every second all the time. It feels good to have your own space, give them theirs, and miss each other a little bit. Now that we live in a smaller apartment it feels so nice to have some space! You are lucky to have MJ and he is lucky to have you!

Mrs JK said...

Glad you re wrote this post after losing it. These are all very important points that every couple should remember and work on.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

I loved reading this...being compatible is such an important foundation!!

The Sweetest Thing said...

Thanks for this! I actually really enjoyed reading more about you, but also being reminded of those things.

M. at Making Sense of Cents said...

Great post! Very cute :)

smk053078 said...

One of the most genuine posts on marriage I have read!! And you guys are super heroes by not fighting/arguing!! I agree that marriage is a team effort and communication is key...and you are sooooo right, you can NEVER stop dating one another...gotta keep it spicy! ;)

The Happy Homeowner said...

Such a great post. I'm so happy that you've found happiness together. But I'm sad to read this because nearly everything you wrote describes my ex and I to a T--we never argued until the blowout that broke us up; we respect each other; we're truly compatible, etc. I have so much hope that our love and happiness gets a second chance, but he needs to realize this :(

Janna Renee said...

I think these are GREAT tips. We follow all of these, and I always try to share them with newlyweds.