The Quintessential Marriage Tips Relationship Experts Swear By
It's no secret that everyone who gets married starts out wanting it to be a happy, successful and long-lasting marriage. But what does it actually take to achieve such a feat? Well, if you want tried-and-true marriage tips, it's best to go to the pros.
We've joined forces with two marriage experts—a marriage counselor and a divorce lawyer—to spill all the tea on what it takes to make your union happy, successful and healthy (before the big D word ever becomes an option).
The fact of the matter is, if you want a successful marriage, it's going to take some work. But the right tools—in this case, some expert-backed marriage tips—can make all the difference.
Meet The Experts
- Lea Trageser, a licensed marriage and family therapist, specializes in all things relationships. She recently won the Best Therapist of The Hudson Valley 2023 and was voted #1 couples therapist in the Chronogrammies 2023 awards.
- Sandra Radna is a divorce lawyer who specializes in highly-contested divorces and family law at her practice. She is the author of divorce court guide, You're Getting Divorced… Now What?.
In this article:
- 1. Share and listen
- 2. Ask questions more than making statements
- 3. Schedule quality time
- 4. Create predictable ways to connect
- 5. Try to see things through your spouse's POV
- 6. Tune into each other's love languages
- 7. Learn healthy conflict resolution
- 8. Use I-Statements
- 9. Move through life as a team
- 10. Lead with curiosity and compassion
- 11. Maintain your individuality
- 12. Don't forget to date each other
1. Share and listen
This might sound simple, but it's one of the healthy marriage tips that often gets overlooked and forgotten about. According to Randa, she often sees that couples who don't share their feelings and listen to one another's concerns and perspectives often end up on a path to divorce. By taking time to share yourself and allow your spouse the space to share their own perspective, you'll end up with a happier, healthier marriage.
2. Ask questions more than making statements
"Ask questions more than you make statements," recommends Trageser, explaining, "Statements often mean making assumptions, which can cause increased conflict and decreased understanding."
If you want to grow and thrive in your relationship, this is one of the expert marriage tips to which you should definitely pay mind.
3. Schedule quality time
After years of being with someone, you may hear some married folks say that it's hard to keep the romance alive. But it's not impossible—it just takes quality time and dedication. More often than not, divorce lawyers like Radna see couples fail because they don't put in that effort. She highly recommends prioritizing this by planning regular outings, surprising each other and finding ways to rekindle the spark regularly.
4. Create predictable ways to connect
Another one of Trageser's top tips for a healthy marriage is to take time for each other with predictable, daily methods of connection.
"By knowing when and how you and your partner will connect, no matter what your days look like, you create a secure attachment," she shares. "This can include a cup of tea after putting the kids to bed, a walk after dinner or an uninterrupted coffee chat in the morning."
"Whatever it is, make sure you have a present and predictable time just for the two of you," she encourages.
5. Try to see things through your spouse's POV
If you're having a hard time connecting, Radna suggests trying to step into your spouse's POV. By keeping this in mind throughout your daily lives together, you can build true connection and intimacy as they'll feel seen and understood.
6. Tune into each other's love languages
Oftentimes, according to Trageser, couples have different love languages—and this is totally okay! It is important to bring awareness to your differences while learning to tune in to the way you receive love and give love. As Trageser suggests, "Acknowledge when your partner is offering love, even if it isn't in your favorite way to receive love—while also tuning the way you give love to meet your partner's preferred method."
"It is a give-and-take dance," she says.
7. Learn healthy conflict resolution
"Disagreements are inevitable, but how you handle them matters," Radna explains. "Learn healthy conflict resolution strategies, and avoid blame or hurtful tactics. Focus on finding solutions that work for both of you."
8. Use I-Statements
This one can be a bit cliche, but it really is so impactful and stands out as one of the best healthy marriage tips to always have in your back pocket. An "I-statement" is choosing to say "I felt ___," instead of "You made me feel ___." It's a matter of switching out the "you" for the "I."
"When couples use 'you-statements,' they are often full of criticism, which brings about defensiveness," Trageser explains. "Instead, by using I-statements, couples create a roadmap for their partner to help them. And accessing emotions often softens the interaction."
9. Move through life as a team
Marriage is all about partnership, connection, vulnerability and teamwork. Radna suggests that, in order to have the healthiest and most successful marriage possible, you should try to move through life as a team. Embrace change as a team, adapt together and support one another through the ups and downs.
10. Lead with curiosity and compassion
Sometimes, all a successful marriage takes is a little curiosity and compassion for your partner. "When we take a curious and compassionate mindset, it often offsets defensiveness and increases understanding," Trageser says.
11. Maintain your individuality
Yes, it's great to be married and in a long-lasting partnership. But if you want to ensure that it's long-lasting, you need to maintain who you are, what you like and what makes you, you.
"While marriage is about partnership, it's also important to maintain your individuality," says Radna. "Pursue your interests, hobbies and personal growth. A strong marriage supports each partner's growth and happiness."
12. Don't forget to date each other
No matter how long you have been in a relationship, don't lose touch with dating each other, Trageser says. "Complacency and familiarity can be comfortable, but can also be a silent killer of a romantic relationship. By continuously dating one another and finding new activities or restaurants to try, you demonstrate effort and care. When you are struggling, go back to the basics."