17 Marriage Tips from an Experienced Marriage Counselor

marriage tipsHow can I make my marriage happier? Secretly afraid it is not going so well? If your marriage is in trouble or just not the way you wish it would be, then those questions are probably at the top of your mind.

Does your marriage feel like it is needs to be overhauled or greatly improved? If yes, it is time to take action. Fortunately, your marriage does not have to end even if things might look bad at the moment.

Following are some of my best suggestions for improving your marriage that are totally practical and actually do work.

I hope you will take these happy marriage tips seriously and begin to implement them as soon as possible. Just one of you in the marriage can really get the ball rolling in the right direction!

The truth is, relationships and marriages are quite delicate and you regularly need to nurture them and make efforts to keep them strong and healthy. While you won’t ever have a perfect marriage all the time these tips will help you each feel loved. Isn’t that what we all really want?

In this article, we will be covering tips that not only work, but help both you and your partner feel loved, closer and more connected to each other.

1. Set aside time to nurture your marriage and each other daily.

I have a large plant in my office that is a great illustration of this fact of life. When I walk in the room and see the leaves drooping, I suddenly realize I haven’t watered it lately or given it plant food for too long.

So often the couples I see are hard working very responsible sincere people. However, they are so caught up in being successful in their jobs and the life they become overwhelmed.

Those responsibilities are taking good care of their children, if they have children, all their possessions along with just daily grind things like cooking, cleaning, car care, maintenance, laundry, lawn care, schooling or other training, sports, and kid’s activities plus more. We haven’t even mentioned family and extended family gatherings, school activities, and so much more.

No wonder that as a couple, you are totally running on empty and neither of you are taking good care of yourselves or your marriage relationship. Many couples have stopped even being aware of what is happening with each other. Naturally, eventually that leads to serious marriage problems.

All the experienced and successful marriage experts that I know agree that setting up a special connecting time daily is really important. This keeps you as a couple much closer and able to understand each other. This helps to prevent the problem of drifting apart and not even being aware of what is going on in each other’s world or your spouse’s needs or concerns.

Some days with your jobs and many responsibilities, it is impossible to have extended conversations. However, if you aren’t already doing so, please take time out to make a short phone call or send a short text, just to let your partner know how much you care. If you are out of town for work or whatever, be sure to say good night and good morning to one another. If you are unable to do both, discipline yourself to do one or the other.

Happy couples find doing these things keeps your connection strong while taking care of your job responsibilities. Neglect will eventually greatly damage your marriage as your happy marriage needs nurturing always.

 

17 marriage tips from a counselor

2. One happy marriage tip is to have date nights weekly if possible!

This is important to keep the romance going between you and your partner. It is essential that you pay complete attention to your husband or wife during this time and don’t get distracted by work, phone or other responsibilities. If you have kids, then it’s important that you either hire a reliable babysitter or get a trusted family member to take care of them for a few hours.

Unfortunately, it will be impossible to relax and really enjoy your time together if either of you are anxious about the children being cared for while you are away. It usually works best to do a couple practice runs with very short times away at first if you are not used to trusting others. I have some couples who actually have the new caregiver come to their home to play with the children while you are present if you don’t already know them well.

If you want to make your marriage happier, and put romance back into your life is the following. Set aside these special times to have fun with absolutely no problem talk allowed! If you are unable to do weekly dates, at least every two weeks will make a difference.

It is vital that you put your phone on silent and only answer calls/texts that are absolutely critical. (Examples: Your house is on fire or your child was injured seriously.) All married need to spend time together.  Consider all aspects of your relationship and sex life. Conact me below for professional marriage advice that works.

3. Make date nights special, relaxing and fun for one another in Marriage.

When you make this time you spend with your husband or wife focused on each other, you can make it feel as though you two are dating all over again. This is a surefire way to ensure that the love between you two continues to grow and doesn’t just die through neglect.

Hopefully you’re not like many couples I see. When I ask about the last date they had, they have to look at each other for the answer as it has been such a long time ago!

I encourage couples to take turns planning these date times. That way you are each contributing to it and can add a lot of variety. When you set aside time to enjoy having fun together, you will make your marriage happier.

Sometimes you may choose to do something neither of you have every tried before. Other times you may want to surprise your spouse and keep it a secret. However, do make sure your sweetheart is aware of the dress code required. Hiking does not work well with heels and a skirt!

4. marriage tips informationMarriage Tips for both Parties: Have your own alone time, individual interests and friends too.

Another common problem that comes up after the newness of your marriage has worn off is beginning to miss your own individual friends and activities. Usually when a couple is first together, they focus more on one another and totally abandon a lot of their individual friends and their own hobbies or things they always enjoyed.

It actually enhances your marriage when you reconnect with your old friends and hobbies on a regular basis. When you come back together, you will be filled up by the fun and activities you’ve had and just enjoy being together even more.

This is assuming that neither spouse is trying to control the other one and resenting them having their own time for other activities. It actually enriches your times together to have some short times apart. This is assuming those activities are not things that are compromising to your marriage and are occasional and agreed on together.

If there are control issues going on where one spouse is acting like a parent to their spouse or one spouse is engaging activities that appear compromising to the marriage. Both of these behaviors are extremely damaging to your marriage and need attention promptly.

The couples I work with, especially the women, report back that after they reconnect with friends and hobbies, etc. they feel energized and in a better place to give love to one another. As an aside, most of the men I see seem to do a better job of keeping up with their interests and hobbies than their wives do.

With some exceptions, many women struggle with what I call Mom guilt that doesn’t free them up to take better care of themselves so they have even more to give to their husband and their children. It is actually false guilt and unrealistic guilt but it is real to the person experiencing it. Of course, it often leads to depression and anxiety because what they are trying to do is impossible for any human being. (I know and understand that problem by my own life experiences.)

By far the majority of women who I encourage to take some time to take care of their own needs will report that they feel selfish when they do that. My goal is to help them resign from being in charge of their whole world and realize they will have more to give if they have filled their own tank! I go more in depth on this subject in some other articles such as Is It Time to Recharge Your Battery with Self-Care and Self-Nurturing

What can I do if my spouse doesn’t view the marriage as you do?

Your spouse might either feel like getting a divorce is the best option or might not feel there is anything wrong with the relationship. It is very common that one of you has a different perspective than the other one does.

Remember if you are the one who believes your marriage needs improvement, begin alone to show them how things could be different and do your best to be more loving, understanding and encouraging. Be patient and don’t give up even if you feel that you are the only one making an effort.

5. Take a look at what the problems seem to be or what you believe they are.

Perhaps you and your spouse might have stopped communicating or you might feel that there is a lack of affection in the relationship.You could bring up these problems with your spouse and ask them how they feel about the marriage.

Perhaps you both have developed some bad habits, fallen into some negative ruts which have become destructive to your relationship.

 

6. Move forward when your spouse doesn’t view things as you do

What if your spouse either feels like there is nothing wrong with the relationship or might believe getting a divorce is the best option? By the way, one spouse thinking nothing is wrong is very common, partly because the marriage may be meeting their needs?

 However, if you believe something is wrong or isn’t working for you and you want to change your marriage to be more positive and better for you both, you can start the process of improving it alone.

It helps to remind yourself of all the good things and of why the marriage is worth saving. Hopefully you and your spouse can eventually agree that saving your marriage is a top priority and that you will do whatever it takes.

You can show your spouse how things could be different when you do your best to be more loving, understanding and encouraging. Be patient and don’t give up even if you feel that you are the only one making an effort.

7. One person changing their actions can make a very positive difference.

I’ve had the joy of watching this wonderful phenomenon happen over and over hundreds of times with the couples I serve.

My belief is that each relationship soon turns into a dance or a pattern. You both become pretty predictable. You each can predict with reasonable accuracy what your spouse will do or say next.

When you as the pro-active spouse determine you are going to improve and change your usual dance or pattern it nearly forces the other spouse to also change theirs because their usual response just wouldn’t fit or make sense anymore.

It actually can become somewhat humorous to observe. It reminds me of how in high school plays if a performer forgets his or her lines and says something different, suddenly the other performer is forced to make up something different because it wouldn’t make any sense to the audience if he or she said the usual line of the script in response.

8. Happy Married couples have learned the skill of listening beyond the words.

This means that you are really listening to the words being spoken, not trying to figure out what you will say next. More importantly it means you will be listening carefully for the feeling or emotion within the words.

Doing this well requires practice. You will start out by taking some guesses knowing neither of you has the power to either mind read or do fortune telling. These are common marriage downers that don’t work at all.

If your partner walks into the house more slowly than usual with no smile, assuming he or she normally has a smile when they walk in, you could probably make a pretty accurate guess that something is wrong or bothering him or her. Right?

You have at least two or three choices or more. You could go and give them a longer hug than usual and whisper (if there are kids around) looks like it’s not your best day?

9. Don’t Make Judgements in Marriage

Some people really mess this one up by making a judgment. When you are not certain what your spouse prefers, it may be more helpful to ask Is there anything I can do to help, or would you rather just relax right now?

It is very normal that you or your spouse could want to be left alone to work things out in their head or feelings. On the other hand, other times she or he really wants to talk about it at an appropriate time. Finding a balance between the two is a bit of a balancing act, but the intent is to show empathy and caring with no assumptions.

You each can learn to voice topics that are uncomfortable without resorting to arguing or raising your voice. In the event that you cannot seem to problem solve issues on your own, then you would benefit by seeing a marriage friendly counselor, coach or therapist with a good success record.

A professional is a great option for those who have a hard time communicating with their spouse or if communication cannot occur without hurtful arguments. This professional will act as an intermediary to ensure that both of you remain level headed and fair and will be able to help you identify the real issues in your relationship.

Many times the subject you as a couple argue about is not really the problem. I am convinced after over 25 years that it certainly appears couples may simply be trying to find out where they are on their spouses list of priorities.

10. Put your strong efforts in seeking to solve major problems.

At the same time remember that not all problems are solvable. Couples who report being happily married all still have things they wish were different but have learned to accept one another as unique and different. Part of that live and let live attitude that happy couples allow to be.

If there are major differences, you may need a professional to assist in bringing you to peace and acceptance of one another’s ways.

Consider establishing an electronic free time for your family and couple time! Connect with your partner on a deeper level. Consider your spouses feelings for a longterm relationship. Be sure to read the popular blogs here.

Many families in this high tech society are establishing boundaries purposely when there are electronic free times in their family life. The purpose is that they can enjoy real conversations and engage with each other. Sometimes playing games together or something else fun.

Realistically expect some moaning and groaning from some or all family members. However, many of the results coming in are very positive once everyone begrudgingly accepts that just the way it is. Later, some of the kids involved are able to see how that change helped bring their family members to know and understand one another better and strengthened their family relationship.

11. Set aside and establish an Adult Talk Time or Dad and Mom talk time daily.

When you have children this is marriage tip that I’ve observed making a huge difference for couples that have drifted apart due to all the busyness of their lives. You as a couple will choose a spot in your home depending on the age of your children, if you have them. Some younger families put on a video the kids like and just have their talk time in a special place where they can still see the children.

If the children are older, they are introduced to the concept of Mom and Dad needing to have a grown up or adult talk time or Mom and Dad talk time. If the kids are basically trustable to keep safe, it can be in nearby spot room with a door, or just an area far enough away that they cannot hear.

Some families actually make a funny sign designating the area and no interruptions unless there is lots of blood or the house is on fire. We added the lots of blood as one of the young creative kids interrupted to show his finger with a tiny bit of blood as the reason he could come over and interrupt.

Even if sometimes it is only five or ten minutes, it is a great start to you reconnecting with each other. If you are like many couples, the children keep trying to talk to you when you as a couple are attempting to talk with one another, so by setting up this new boundary, it sets the tone for your brief couple time.

Yes, you may be able to do this later when the children are in bed, but by that time often you are both too tired to get into much meaningful conversation by that time.

12. Be aware of the expectations you bring to your marriage.

We all bring them with us to the marriage without realizing it. Where do you get your ideas and expectations?  Usually your own growing up family, your favorite movies, romantic songs, stories, people you admired.

One of your expectations may be that the guy will always fix the car, be a careful financial planner, pay the bills, be a great organizer, take out the garbage or mow the lawn or will know how to fix anything that breaks. Later, you realize that just because your own Dad was Mr. Fixit it does not mean every guy is talented in those areas. Instead he probably has other skills and talents.

Naturally, some of you may have the expectation that the female will always know how to handle the finances like a CPA, be a great organizer or know how to whip up a full meal at a moment’s notice or will always handle all the laundry or errands, be a great decorator or whatever. It is the same issue here. Just because your Mom did all these things well and seemed to like them, does not mean your wife will just naturally do them too.

Are you trying to get your mate on a self-improvement program you chose?

On the light hearted side, I found it pretty amusing later in my own marriage when my husband began to say to friends, after many years of marriage: Ever since I gave up on my self-improvement program for Waverly, we get along just fine.

 Yes, I was a lot happier also when he gave that one up. However, humorously, I was not aware that he actually was aware of what he was doing but finally he apparently deliberately stopped it since it never worked anyway

 The example was that his Mom lived on the farm and was always cooking and I was not enthused about cooking with my jobs and responsibilities, though I always did it anyway. It didn’t help when he would make remarks about something not being quite right. However, later I learned that all his sisters would regularly make negative comments about their own cooking. Those comments would be: Well the cookies are not as good as sometimes. Why is our hindsight so clear anyway?

13. Find out What Will Make You and Your Spouse Happier in the Marriage

You and your spouse need to have a talk about what an ideal relationship would be like. This will help you determine what you and your spouse expect from the marriage.

Invest in getting closer to your spouse through developing a friendship, paying attention to them and their interests and through finding new things you can do together.

 

14. Improve or save your Marriage Bond

It’s important that you accept the fact that improving your marriage will take time. When your marriage is more satisfying again, it is important to keep up on the things that bring you closer to one another.

Plan on having regular connecting conversations with your spouse so you can keep improving your understanding of one another. This way you can deal with any issues you are encountering before they pile up and become harder to solve.

Look for things you can do on a daily or weekly basis to build a better marriage, even if they are small things.  It is amazing that usually it just takes some small changes to make a huge difference in your marriage.

Your marriage is worth saving and you can build a stronger and happier relationship.

15. Learn How to disagree without big arguments and how to peacefully agree to disagree

You each can learn to voice topics that are uncomfortable without resorting to arguing or raising your voice. In the event that you cannot seem to problem solve issues on your own, then you would benefit by seeing a marriage friendly counselor, coach or therapist with a good success record.

A professional is a great option for those who have a hard time communicating with their spouse or if communication cannot occur without hurtful arguments. This professional will act as an intermediary to ensure that both of you remain level headed and fair and will be able to help you identify the real issues in your relationship.

Many times the subject you as a couple argue about is not really the problem. I am convinced after over 25 years that it certainly appears couples may simply be trying to find out where they are on their spouses list of priorities.

16. Next put your strong efforts in seeking to solve major problems.

At the same time remember that not all problems are solvable. Couples who report being happily married all still have things they wish were different but have learned to accept one another as unique and different. Part of that live and let live attitude that happy couples allow to be.

If there are major differences, you may need a professional to assist in bringing you to peace and acceptance of one another’s ways. Remember you cancommit to changing things and being the best spouse you can be.

17. Lastly, what appear to be Marriage problems may be your individual problems.

Please accept the fact that many or perhaps, most marriage problems are often related to each of your own personal issues. Rarely are problems manifested in the marriage, just about your marriage. So while you are considering marriage help, please also open yourself to accept that your own attitudes and issues may be a part of your marriage problems.

As you open yourself to these ideas, it is important that you each take time to think about your own actions and behavior and see how they led to the breakdown in your relationship. Accept personal responsibility for your parts of the problems. The Blame Game causes further harm and never works anyway, so please restrain yourself from going there if you are really being honest about improving your marriage.

If there is one thing that is within your control, it is yourself. So, take time to think about how you can change and what you can do differently in order to make the marriage happier.

In closing, we have just looked at many tips to help you save your marriage and bring a closer connection with one another. Remember it does take effort, time and patience to improve your marriage, depending on how badly the relationship has been damaged. However, if you both persevere, I am certain your marriage will last a lifetime.

Remember that it is crucial to communicate with your spouse so you can both express your feelings and understand what the other expects from the marriage.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these happy marriage tips. I believe you will find this marriage advice helpful in really strengthening your marriage. These are my best tips of all time to keep your married life long and everlasting. Getting married is really a wonderful thing. Heep the spark alive as husband and wife.

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