Ahead of approaching nuptials or even if you are married already. It's natural to wonder about our collective wisdom on marriage and how to find advice that escapes the usual traps of cliche, triviality and overgeneralisation. Something smarter than, “Never go to bed angry.” Something that doesn’t read like the latest diet fad. So here's a useful collection of marriage tips from sex researchers to grandmothers:
Couples who regularly give each other affective affirmation - meaning compliments, help and support, encouragement and subtle nonsexual rewards, such as hand holding are generally more content. Men crave affective affirmation more than women, because women typically get it from people other than their husbands.
Forget about the dirty dishes
Happy couples talk to each other frequently - not about their relationship, but about other things. Set aside ten minutes every day to talk about anything other than work, family, the household or the relationship. Pretend the household bills have already been paid, the in-laws already called - just for ten minutes. Ask her what her favourite movie is, and why. Ask him to recall a happy memory from childhood. Ask her what she’d like to be remembered for. This small change infuses relationships with new life.
Stay on your toes
When couples say they are in a relationship rut or feel bored, they are less happy over time. So escape the rut by mixing things up. The changes can be small, but they have to upset the routine enough to make him or her sit up and take notice.
Similarly, couples should be doing novel things together. Novelty drives up the dopamine system in the brain and can help to sustain feelings of romantic love.
Marriage is like a credit card
Sustain your ‘positive illusions' about your significant other. When you begin to feel irritated at your partner, instead of reviewing everything you don’t like, turn your thoughts to all the good things about him or her.
Newlyweds automatically know how to speak to the positive and make each other feel special and valued. The more enduring the marriage, the more you’ll find yourself noticing and speaking about what you don’t like. No one can survive in a marriage, at least not happily, if they feel more judged than admired.
Relationships, like the economy, run on credit. This means that both 'giving credit,' or expressing gratitude, for the things your partner does that make your life easier, things we often take for granted and 'advancing credit' by assuming that your partner has good intentions and would like to step up to the plate, rather than assuming that you need to be overbearing him or her in order to get what you need.