I’m getting married and as I prepare for my summer wedding, I decided to ask for advice from my family and friends about what marriage is and isn’t. When I searched “Beyoncé’s Internet” there is so much advice it’s hard to tell which is beneficial and which is just a load of crap. I know that every marriage is different and not all advice will be applicable. Ideally, marriage is meant to be permanent and I want to have the tools to help keep us afloat when things get rough.
I asked four questions to different generations of couples. What is the best advice given to you about marriage? What have you learned about marriage after being married? In your marriage, what have you learned to do for dealing with disagreements? Like Michelle Obama, did you ever have a period of time where you couldn’t stand your partner? I absorbed each answer. All of them were quite helpful to me and I hope the same for you after reading them.
What is the best advice given to you about marriage?
One responder stated he wasn’t given any good advice on marriage, he kind of found his way through it. Others stated the redundant statement happy spouse, happy house. One response I cherished was there are no gender roles in a true household, and trust your partner.
Seven key pieces of advice stuck out to me that I truly believe will be beneficial for any marriage. The first three love yourself before you can love another, let your partner influence you, and give affection.
“Love yourself before you can love another” this may sound basic but I firmly believe that we are in charge of our own happiness. I want to be independent and rely on the fact I can depend on my partner not just during my lows but also in my highs. If I love myself unconditionally, I know that I can be loved in the same manner.
“Let your partner influence you”, the first time hearing it, it sounds controlling like I’m being groomed to be in someone’s life. What I realize now, it’s allowing your partner to push you to do better because they believe in you. It’s realizing that your partner may know more about a topic and letting them guide you through that experience.
“Give affection”, small touches throughout the day, a nice slap on the ass as you walk past them, and a deep kiss for them to remember you when you leave. When it comes to pleasing your partner, kissing is one of the most important acts of contact that lets your partner know you care (Maya, 2021). There are so many types of kisses but there are five that will create that intimate spark. Every day there are different ups and downs but that physical and emotional connection with your partner should be one consistent thing.
- Love yourself before you can love another
- Let your partner influence you
- Give affection (physical and emotional)
- Learn your partner
- It’s you and your partner against the world
- Be Friends First
- Communicate as much as possible about the silly and hard parts of life
What have you learned about marriage after being married?
I’m excited to learn what being married will teach me. My partner and I have talked about our future and what it may hold. I know we have to learn from our experiences, and our experiences will be different but help from our friends and family will be a good start. I am confident that with these five tips, my partner and I can have a long-lasting marriage. We know that a relationship is work and believe me, we have put in plenty of work.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that a relationship isn’t love 24/7, we get surprised by the dark and sad times, and it takes time to get back to us. Especially when a disagreement comes out of nowhere. “Learn to facilitate the type of marriage you want”, instead of relying on what others say marriage is supposed to be. If you want a marriage that is a genuine partnership where everything is shared, make sure you do your part to see that vision through.
1. Marriage can be easy with the right person
2. Do not take disagreements to heart
3. Marriage is like a second job, it requires work but if you love what you do it won’t feel like it
4. Marriage isn’t all roses, it’s dark, it’s sad, it’s love and it’s light
5. Create the marriage you want
In your marriage, what have you learned to do for dealing with disagreements?
Disagreement can be tough for a relationship. Early on in the relationship, it is tested through the arguing phase. Now if you have made it through that phase, minor disagreements will be no problem. However, if you made it all the way to marriage without hitting that point of arguing every day, it can be quite difficult to manage. Learning to talk through each disagreement and how to understand your partner’s language is key. It’s okay to be angered or bothered by the way someone handled a situation because you would’ve handled it differently.
Understand things from their perspective, not just if you were in their shoes. If you genuinely don’t understand why they acted the way they did just ask, most of the time the way they thought about the situation logically flows together. “Break down the disagreement” sometimes we have to talk about what started the argument and why we each feel so strongly about our sides. Put your pride and ego aside, once you realize that it’s Us against the problem, not Us against each other it makes it easier to understand your partner’s intentions. Accept that your partner never intends to hurt your feelings but sometimes what we need is the ugly truth in order to fix the problem.
1. Pray for each other and with each other
2. Don’t put a band-aid on it.
3. Find a way to compromise
4 . Break down disagreements
5. Pick your battles
6. Maintain compassion and empathy
7. Don’t be passive, state what is on your mind
Like Michelle Obama, did you ever have a period of time where you couldn’t stand your partner?
This question has given me a mixture of responses. Michelle spoke out about how the first 10 years of her marriage she couldn’t stand her husband (Revolt,2022). After they had their daughters, their lives became about them and the thought of him living his own lives separate from the kids made her upset. She was consumed with the kids and quite possibly would have felt that his finding time to go golfing when there are things to do around the house is selfish. Kids are demanding with their crying, temper tantrums, needs, and wants, and although you love them more than anything it’s hard. Although not everyone agreed with our forever First Lady they all had similar advice.
When you choose to love someone you choose to love every part of them. Even the part that might get on your nerves from time to time. Even after having children choose your partner, meaning set time aside for just the two of you. Yes, both of you are handling the responsibilities of the children and household will make things a lot easier but it’s not all that needs to be done.
While scrolling through social media I saw a man post the 2’s rule. It states every two weeks go out for the evening, every two months go out for the weekend and every two years go away for a week. Following this rule will help bring you and your partner closer especially when your life is consumed with the kids.
Sometimes your marriage will be tested and there will be a moment when one person will have to step up. It’s okay if you are not always able to give 100%, in a true relationship your partner should cover where you lack (NPR,2022). It is important to also praise your partner, and let them know that they are doing a good job even when they feel like they have done nothing right. Being an adult let alone a parent isn’t easy, so state affirmations, I promise it will make their day.
- Love will find a way/ Love is a choice
- Tell the person you appreciate and are proud of them
- Prioritize the marriage/ do things for the team
- Be there through the good and bad
- Marriage comes in all forms and the work is not always 100/100.
One constant message learned from all the answers received is Communication is the key! That message, to me, was intertwined in every response! Lack of communication will make the relationship harder and being dishonest will only put a stain on the relationship. Once the communication paths are established and agreed upon, the relationship will survive. It’s important in times of hardship to remember that there are only two people in your marriage. Yes, from time to time, you will want to talk to a family member or a friend but in the end, it’s the feelings, ideas, and opinions of the two of you that matter.