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25 tips to staying (happily) married for 25 years

03 Jul

I  know, I know, you ask: how can you stay happily married to the same person for 25 years? Well, one thing is certain: it takes hard work by both partners.  Here’s a tip list of things that have worked for us, but of course, I’m sure there are more. PLEASE post your tips too.

Happy Anniversary to my honey!

  1. Know that your partner is not responsible for your happiness; if you seek happiness from someone else, you will likely get disappointed as it’s too much to ask from anyone. Happiness comes from within;
  2. Learn what is your partner’s love language, since that is how s/he feels loved. It could be a good back scratch or cuddle that does the trick;
  3. Speak up as to what is your love language – what makes you feel loved. No one can read your mind, even your partner of many years;
  4. Look at the big picture to decide when something is worth arguing about. Compromise does not have to be giving in – just decide what’s important to you;
  5. Make time for each other daily, even when busy with work or raising kids. You could stay up a little later after the kids are in bed and catch up on TV shows or take an evening stroll;
  6. Support each other, even when it may be silly to you. It could be something important to him/her;
  7. Respect each other, even during an argument. Just like the popular toothpaste analogy, ugly words can’t be taken back;
  8. Go on date nights to a favorite restaurant or event. Try not to talk about the kids or work and instead, focus on each other;
  9. Talk to each other about money issues. This one can be tough, but it’s important because not talking about it could lead to resentment, distrust or even divorce;
  10. Trust each other completely as trust goes hand in hand with love. You can’t have a successful marriage without trust;
  11. Accept him/her just the way s/he is. Remember, you can’t change others, only yourself;
  12. Seek therapy if needed. No relationship is perfect and we bring into our marriage a history of our own;
  13. Always tell each other the good news and the bad news. Keeping bad news bottled up inside because you’re afraid of your partner’s reaction is unhealthy and it will all come out eventually;
  14. Know that life will be messy sometimes, like a family illness or a child’s problems. Staying together during a rough patch will strengthen your marriage;
  15. Talk, talk, talk! Did I mention, talk? Communication is so vital to staying happily married because, again, no one can read minds and everyone needs validation;
  16. Remember that it’s a two-way street and you both have to work at it. Don’t feel like it’s all up to you – you can’t change others, only yourself;
  17. Make time for your friends and your own hobbies, even when you’re a mom/dad. This gives you individuality and contributes to your wellbeing, since your partner can’t be all things to you;
  18. Decide early on what each other’s pet peeves are – it could be that the kitchen sink must be cleared of dishes every night or that dirty socks are not strewn everywhere;
  19. Go away just the two of you and leave daily stresses behind;
  20. Rediscover each other in the bedroom by exploring new toys or techniques. Yes – even after 25 years!
  21. Allow him/her to have nights out with his/her friends for the same reason it’s good for you. Also, this lets them see what their friends’ home lives are like and they realize the grass is not greener on the other side;
  22. Watch movies together, whether on DVD or theatre, since it sometimes opens up discussions on issues you wouldn’t normally talk about. Again, talk, talk ,talk!
  23. Remember that we are all human and make mistakes. We can learn from our mistakes and grow as a couple too;
  24. Love each other, even when the wrinkles start and the hair starts to go silver. Hopefully, we will all eventually grow old and accepting it gracefully, together, eases the transition into the next 25 years;
  25. Go for frequent talk-walks together. Use that time to listen or unload the day’s stresses (in a non-accusatory way). By the end of the walk, you’ll both feel much better with the natural high from the exercise and from releasing the stress.
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6 Comments

Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Aging, Family, kids, marriage, travel

 

Tags: , , ,

6 responses to “25 tips to staying (happily) married for 25 years

  1. Michelle

    July 4, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    Great suggestions, Maggie! Some that my sweetie and I have had to learn the hard way. But we’re still together and going on 15 years.

    I’ll add one thing to your list: Pray together!

    Happy anniversary, and congrats! Not many make it so long anymore.

     
  2. F. Willoughby

    August 4, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    That’s lovely. 25 years sounds like you must be an expert. Got 25 tips on how to build a healthy, happy relationship with your children as well?

     
    • Maggie Wunderlich

      August 5, 2011 at 8:35 AM

      Thanks Fred. I’ll be posting the 25 tips for healthy parent/child relationships soon. Children are a blessing and parenting is a learning process that never ends, right?

       

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