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A good friend of mine, and bride-to-be recently asked me what it takes to have a successful marriage. I was surprised by the question and then she explained that my marriage is one that she admires, and she looked to me for advice as she and her fiancé prepare for the rest of their lives together.

The question led to me to reflect on my relationship and on what I have learnt in the five years that I have been married. Upon my reflection it seems my friend was right to ask me for my advice. It turns out that I do know a few
things about being married.

Here are my tips for newlyweds and new couples on how to have a strong and successful relationship.

There is no such thing as a perfect marriage
Let me start by saying this, no marriage or relationship is perfect and that’s not a bad thing. If someone tells you that their marriage is faultless, they are either lying or they are in denial. This would be my first piece of advice to any new couple or newlywed, once you realise that no relationship is perfect you can move on to what really matters and build a strong relationship together.

Everyone has his or her own individual faults and imperfections. That’s what makes them interesting and what probably drew you to them in the first place. If you asked my husband what my biggest flaw is I am sure he will tell you it’s that I nag too much, and if you asked me I would probably ask you how much time you had!

My point is, don’t be delusional about your relationship and don’t worry if you argue about whose turn it is to take out the rubbish. Every relationship has its up and downs, some worse than others. The important thing is that you get through them together; you’ll be stronger for it on the other side and it will bring you closer.

Communication – talk to each other! 
This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you. Communication; talk to each other, and I mean really talk. Don’t just talk about what you have planned within the next week. Open up about your inner most desires and your feelings. Yes it sounds cliché but it is an important part of any relationship, you need to communicate with each other on a deeper level and reach a level of understanding.

Only then will you begin to grow as a couple and learn more about each other in the process. A good relationship is built on strong meaningful communication and the ability to recognise each other’s body signs and thoughts. You will get to a point where you know how each other think and feel and that will not only make you better people but it will create a connection between you that is strong and long lasting.

Laugh about the stupid arguments 
There have been many arguments in my marriage. Most of them are about small things, like who left the light on all night or whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher. These arguments are petty and completely normal, but the one thing that we do without fail when one happens is make each other laugh.

My husband always cracks a smile when I start getting angry about small things and then I simply cannot keep a straight face – let alone stay angry. That’s when we both realise how ridiculous it is and we both laugh and then
move on.

It’s important not to let the little things bother you too much. Yes, it’s the little things that make up life, but don’t let them run your life. Learning to laugh with each other helps you to recognise when you are being trivial, it is a great skill to have and can do a lot to defuse little arguments before they get out of hand.

Never go to bed angry – no matter what
Going to bed angry with your partner is not a good way to end a night. It leaves you both feeling upset and tense and can lead to disrupted sleep, which will in turn have you both feeling grumpy in the morning. So don’t do it, it’s as simple as that. Swallow your pride if you have to and apologise even if it isn’t your fault. Make amends and start the new day fresh and on a clean slate, your marriage will be better for it and while it may be hard to stick to this advice, especially if you believe you aren’t in the wrong, it is an important step to growing together
as a couple.

There is no denying that there will be arguments in your marriage, the hardest thing and most important thing to do in these arguments is to know when to stop and either let it go, or apologise.

Make time for each other, even if you have to schedule it 
Once the honeymoon period ends, and you start to get back into normal life you may find it hard to find time together. Life’s events can get in the way of your quality time so it’s important to make a commitment to spend time together.

Turn off your phones and schedule regular date nights. Go out for dinner, cook a meal together, watch a movie, do what ever you want to do there is no limit to it. Why not even go on a date to a place you went to before you were married to remind yourselves what it was like when you first met.

Say I Love You; every single day
My final piece of advice is one of the easiest to do and yet so many people fail to do it. Say I love you, every single day. Many people forget these words; just because you’re married, and it’s obvious that you love each other, it doesn’t mean that you or your other half doesn’t need to hear the words.

So tell them, every day, for the rest of your lives.

 


 

First published on my blog: https://journeywithsez.wordpress.com

© Sarah Gill 2016

Sarah is an avid lover of books of most genres, including Sci-Fi and thriller. She also enjoys reading fantasy and memoir. She loves to write, both fiction and non-fiction and living in the lovely Williamstown in Melbourne always offer quiet places for her to read or to be inspired. Sarah has a Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing. Alongside her full-time job in insurance and working for TAT she is working on a few of her own novels and short story collections including her first memoir. Sarah is currently studying Bachelor of Professional and Creative Writing at Deakin University which will completed by mid 2019. She loves to travel and loves sharing her experiences with others and is always planning her next destination!

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Email: sarah.gill@theaustraliatimes.com.au