I just came across this excellent article, 36 Things I know After 36 Years of Marriage, from Winifred M. Reilly, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and author of the relationship advice blog Speaking of Marriage. I think it’s pretty excellent!
I’ll post a few highlights here for sure, but I encourage our customers to read the full story at the link posted above, whether you’re just planning on getting married in the coming year or more and coming to CubicZirconia.com for your engagement ring, or you’ve been married for as long or longer than we’ve been online (1999!). Either way, I guarantee you’ll learn (or be reminded of) a thing or three that will help make your relationship have more fun, appreciation, respect, and…sizzle.
- “What is marriage? Richer, poorer, good times and bad. Each year with its surprises and challenges, its hard fought lessons, its moments of sweetness.”
It’s important to remember the tough times can be weathered, and the sweet moments are never over if you’re with the love of your life. Fight through the one, together…and take time to enjoy the other, as if you don’t the moments that take your breath away are apt to become further and further apart.
- “Most marital problems are fixable. Really. Even the tough ones.”
Conversation solves more problems than just about anything!
- “Every one of us is, in our own way, difficult to live with. Beginning to work on even one of your own problem behaviors will make a big difference in the quality of your marriage. Added bonus: your spouse will greatly appreciate it!”
I’m a smoker. It’s a problem in my relationship, no doubt. It’s unhealthy, hurts my body, costs money better spent and invested elsewhere, and many people consider it a nasty habit. Plus, I’ve stopped counting the number of full-mouthed kisses I’ve lost out on from the woman of my dreams because of the smell and taste of tobacco smoke. *sigh* Is this the year I finally manage to kick the butt habit once and for all?
- “Marriage is a long negotiation about how two people are going to run things. Money. Intimacy. Parenting. Chores. You can battle, or you can collaborate. Collaboration is a lot more rewarding.”
Agree 100% with this marriage advice for couples. Collaboration starts with open conversation, and letting down your guard to be vulnerable as you talk to your significant other about the things that are important to you.
- “Complaints and criticisms aren't the same thing as requests for change.”
Like someone’s mother is probably saying right this second to a child she’s punishing on each of 6 of the 7 continents on God’s green Earth: ‘It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!” If how you verbalize requests for change in your spouse’s behavior sound like complaints…they probably are. If you worry that you’re being too critical of someone you love, you probably are.
- “It's easy to get into a rut when you're with the same person, year after year. Sex. Vacations. Dinner. How you spend Saturday night. Change things. Add some spice.”
Routine is the enemy of spontaneity, and spontaneity is the spice of life. Do you see what I just did there? I combined two different Chinese food fortune cookies, and made a true statement. You try it! Seriously, when was the last time you and your lover had Chinese food in bed? I rest my case.
- “One of you has to go first. Apologize first. Be vulnerable first. Yield first. Forgive first. Why not let that person be you?”
This is something I’ve been working hard on in my relationship for some time. With my lady, I’ve found that apologizing first after both of us were at fault makes her feel heard and understood even when I hear what she’s said but might not understand exactly what I did wrong. It doesn’t matter; you don’t always need to know exactly what went wrong, to know that you’d like things to be smoother because something you did or said caused problems.
Again, I’ve only shared 6 of her 36 tips and maxims here for marriage advice for young couples (and old), so I encourage you to read the full article at the Huffington Post here.
What would you add to her list?
Mr. Cubic Zirconia