When people marry, numerous friends and family offer their suggestions of what they should do as a couple. Often, we listen; although, we may not hear what the suggestions are. Before we know it, we are in trouble with something we have done or may have not done, said or not said.
Couples must understand challenges invariably creep into almost all marriages, but the best thing is knowing how to avoid those challenges.
Here are 51 tips to help you:
Go on weekly dates. No negotiation on this one, even if you just walk around the block together. You can trade babysitting, do something free, or even have a date in your room or after kids are in bed.
Serve your spouse every day. Service is a key to becoming selfless.
Compliment your spouse often, and it doesn't always have to be the big things.
Be united in front of your children, even if you don't agree with what your spouse is saying at the time. You can always talk about the situation in another room and then modify what the child was told, but be united.
Never speak badly about your spouse to others, especially to your friends or family. Loose lips flapping will cause even greater harm than good.
Let them know they are loved. This may mean you say "I love you" aloud every single day-at least a couple of times but more often would be best.
Keep your spouse as your best friend. Your spouse was your best friend in the beginning. He or she should stay that way.
Ask yourselves when you are fighting about something: "In the eternal perspective of things does this really matter?" Most of the time it doesn't! LET IT GO!
Always look for the positive, not the negative, things about your spouse.
Be sure you give each other the benefit of the doubt.
Maintain a positive attitude. Being negative begets negativity.
Forgive quickly, forgive often, and really forget. Conjuring up the past may be injurious to your relationship.
Learn each other's love language. This might take some homework. But strive for straight A's.
Always treat each other with respect and kindness. Love and respect are not automatic; they are earned.
Do not flirt with others. Ever!
Treat your spouse as the number one person in your life because he or she is-or should be.
Never say words that you can't take back.
Always communicate openly and honestly. Being honest about life can only enhance it. Never hide secrets.
If you're too angry to talk, don't say anything until you both had time to cool off and when you can think more clearly.
Be willing to compromise after you have both talked through an issue.
Express your love and appreciation to your spouse each and every day even for the small things in life!
Never take each other for granted.
Work together in the yard or in the house. Sharing tasks will enhance your relationship.
Write a handwritten note every day. Bag the text and email.
Send a quote each day. How fun would this be? It means you would have to do some homework.
Write a thank you note periodically for something he or she has done.
Learn to smile often. No one likes a frowny face.
Show appreciation by word and deed. The old adage of "show not tell" is still alive and well.
Give kisses and hugs before they go to work and after they come home, then sneak in a few along the way too.
Remember everyone has a busy life and plan accordingly, always knowing that family is most important.
Pay attention to the small details. Noticing a new hair cut or a new table cloth will net you serious points.
Listen. Listen. Listen. Enough said.
Talk things out. Don't let anger or selfishness get in the way.
Learn to be selfless. Selfishness does not fit anyone well.
Remember that there is no his and hers money. Once you are together, you are together-body, soul, and money.
Be best friends first, and everything else will come along.
Be tolerant of weaknesses. We all have weaknesses and are trying to overcome them.
Be empathetic. In essence, cut them some slack periodically and then seek to become more empathetic.
Take daily walks or exercise together.
Look for the good in your spouse. Although this may be difficult periodically, you'll be happy that you did.
Remember when you were dating; try to incorporate those flirty actions into your marriage.
Create sweetness in your life. Sweetness stays sweet as you continue to add sweetness. Adding rancor and hate will make the relationship bitter.
Help with the dishes. (Husbands, this is a must.)
Think before you speak. Sometimes things are said without thinking and can never be retrieved.
Hold hands often. While hand holding is discreet in many ways, it also creates a bond and connectedness.
Read to each other. We know how much we enjoyed being read to as youngsters. Why not as adults?
Do things together as much as you can. No brainer here.
Be the type of person your spouse can honestly brag about.
Be accountable for your own actions. Blaming others for your problems will always lead to challenges.
Do things that create trust, and then maintain that trust with consistency.
While more than these 51 tips exist, if you adhere to just these, you will definitely avoid some serious issues during your marriage. (Hint: Read them often.)
Darrel Hammon likes being outdoors, growing things and seeing things the way they could be. You can read more of his musings at darrelhammon.blogspot.com. He and his wife worked as welfare volunteers in the Caribbean.