The Number One Marriage Advice

When are there problems in a marriage? The answer is when both parties are in defence mode and no longer try to understand the other party during a conflict.

Standing up for ourselves is a real killer in a relationship.

It’s human nature to always want to be right. It’s human nature to want to defend ourselves against accusations or criticisms. It’s human nature to not take feedback positively. But we can rise above human nature by being mindful in our relationships.

Many relationships fail because one or both parties fail to try to understand what their partner is saying or how they’re feeling.

We are quick to disregard our partner’s request just because we don’t see the same issue with equal importance as our partner. And this immediately makes our partner feel small and unimportant to us. If it happens often, they will feel more distant from us, paving the way to a broken marriage.

So the number one tip for a happy marriage is: 

No matter how much you disagree, try to understand from your partner’s point of view.

And before I go, here’s Marriage advice from 1500 people. It’s a great sum-up. Have a read.

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Understand His Needs

It’s not unusual that in some relationships, the woman feels that her marriage is going fine while her husband feels otherwise. How could two people in the same relationship have different feelings about how well their relationship is doing? That’s because men and women have different love language and different needs. And more often than not, those differences go un-examined and ignored, leaving people who started off loving each other becoming a couple who resent each other or are annoyed by each other.

Today I’m going to address the needs of he-who-is-the-husband.

Space

Not all husbands need a lot of space. But it’s worth taking a look at this concept of “space” in a relationship. Some husbands want their wives to be right beside them all the time, involved in everything together. Others need some time to themselves to recharge, work on things or simply be themselves with their friends without having a partner by their side.

The first thing we women need to understand is that when the men want space, it is by no means a signal that they have run out of love for us, or that they are sick of us or that they can’t stand us. Different people enjoy being different versions of themselves. Some men might love being a husband and dad who sticks to their family, goes everywhere together and does everything together (like my late beloved father and my husband) while some men simply miss their time to chill and be “a guy” with their friends like they used to before we women came into their lives. It’s not that they don’t want us in that part of their lives, maybe they just treasure the way things are with their  buddies and do not want to mess it up by always bring their wife along. Some men like to be in their own thoughts, without having constant company. They might like to go fishing or hiking alone to recharge themselves.

Understand the level of space your husband needs, respect it and gift him that much needed space. It won’t make him drift further away, instead he will feel understood and it might give him a much needed recharge.

Sex

Do you ever wonder why there are more female sex workers that cater to male customers than there are male sex workers who cater to female customers? That’s because men are more into sex. Something in their biological genetic make-up programs them to needwant and enjoy sex MORE THAN the average female does.

Understand this, most men can’t live without sex but most women can.

Why does such an imbalance exist?! I have no idea. But since there is an imbalance, we might as well take note.

So now that we know what they need, it is up to us women to find that perfect balance with our partner of how much sex is perfect for one’s relationship. Too little sex will make the husband suffer, too much sex will make the wife suffer. So as a couple,

  • talk to each other openly about the expectations of sex
  • hug and kiss more to feel connected and close, this will naturally lead to more sexual attraction and therefore nurturing a healthier relationship
  • spend more time alone together, without the kids, housework or your phone

Trust

Something that every man wants in a relationship that he is serious about is trust from his woman.

Trust is one of the most valuable gift you can give to a person. Naturally, anyone would want to be trusted by the most important person in their life. So not only trust him, but show him that you trust him. And he will be a very happy man in a relationship.

3 Key Habits That Saved Our Relationship

A few months ago, my husband and I had a heart to heart talk. Well, actually it was a heart to heart text messaging. It was past midnight and I was in the bedroom trying to fall sleep (I’ve always had trouble falling asleep) while he was on the living room sofa being depressed about the state of our relationship, on top of everything else from work that was bothering him. So we began a string of text messages exposing our raw emotions and what we had hoped could be different. It might seem silly that we texted instead of talked, but sometimes we express ourselves better when we write. We don’t cut the other person’s sentence half way and we think before we click send, something most of us can’t do so well verbally.

Problems that surfaced, but not new nonetheless, were the lack of quality time we had as a couple, the lack of intimacy, we both agreed we felt like we were roommates helping each other raise a bunch of kids that matter to us both and that there was nothing more between us, we love each other but we didn’t feel we had the chance to give and receive that love. That text conversation made me nervous for the stability of our family.

Fast forward to today, we are much happier and satisfied with the dynamics of our relationship. But how was that possible? How did we go from what seemed like a failed marriage to one that will last instead of heading straight down to divorce?

Looking back, as a couple, we developed 3 key habits that most likely saved our relationship. We seek clarity, we communicate and we raise energy when we need to.

  1. Clarity 

    We asked ourselves these questions from time to time over the past few months and made sure we were working for the same thing and heading to a mutually desirable destination:- What is it that we wanted as a couple?
    – What is missing?
    – What kind of change do we want to see in our relationship 6 months from now?

    Seeking clarity is about knowing what the current problem is, as well as knowing where we want to go from here.

  2. Communication 

    If my husband had not expressed his depressive mood about the state of our relationship, and waited for his ticking-unhappiness time-bomb to explode, where do you think we will be right now?

    Communication is so so important but most of us think we already know how to do it and that can potentially lead to complacency.

    So how do we communicate effectively? In our relationship, we try very hard to follow these 3 golden rules of communication though it doesn’t mean we could do it 100% of the time, but at least we try to.

    Listen and try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Why is he telling me this? What importance does it have to him? How would I feel If I were in his shoes?

    – State without accusing. Oftentimes when couples fight, it almost always sounds like one person is blaming the other. Instead, we try to state the problem without hinting that the other party is at fault. That way, we can help each other solve the problem instead of argue over whose fault it was or wasn’t, which naturally won’t lead to any solution.

    – Always allow the door of communication to be open. Be approachable and be willing to listen when your partner wants to talk about something. Brushing it off till the next day is a habit that might destroy what’s most precious to you: your marriage.

  3. Raise Energy

    How do you have a relationship without energy? Do you remember how hyped you were to go on your first date? Or how energetic you felt just thinking of meeting him or her for dinner after work years ago?

    In a marriage, especially those with kids, energy could be hard to maintain. That’s where most couples lose in the battle to keep the relationship going.

    3 ways to raise energy:

    change frame of mind. Have a way to prompt yourself to change your mood before you walk through the door when you come back from work. Or do a 5-minute meditation when you switch from responsibilities to a relaxing evening with your spouse. Sometimes we have to consciously make ourselves ready and available to interact with our spouse.

    improve overall health. When we’re healthy, our energy lasts longer throughout the day. Keep fit by having a regular exercise routine. Stay healthy by eating a good balance of protein, fruits and vegetables.

    remember what’s important. Sometimes when we remember what’s precious to us, we have the motivation and the energy to carry things out. Just don’t forget to remember 🙂

And…. as simple as that, we’re back on track. We’re loving as ever and we do our best to carve out time from our daily responsibilities and kids for one another.

Will you try these 3 habits in your relationship even though there’s no problem right now? I’m positive that it will take your marriage to a whole new level. Who wouldn’t want to be even happier? 😉