Wednesday, May 19, 2010

25 Tips to a Happy Marriage


Now, I know the last person you expect marriage advice from is a divorce attorney, I mean, it does not exactly drum up business, but deep down inside I do value and respect the institution of marriage and hope that every one succeeds in their marriage. Also, most of the blog posts are about serious legal issues, so I thought a more light hearted post would be a nice change.

Directly from an article in the New York Post: Experts provide their 25 WAY TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE:
1. Don’t roll your eyes at your Mate: It shows Contempt.
2. Prepare for Temptation: Train yourself not to cheat.
3. You don’t have to like every quality your partner has, just decide whether you can live with it.
4. Don’t agree to anything if you don’t mean it: Don’t just say “yes” to avoid conflict.
5. Decide as a couple how you are going to compromise: Don’t always try to find a middle ground, but if something means more to one partner do it their way.
6. Make sure you really want to be married.
7. Stick to the Present and don’t bring up past conflicts.
8. Follow the 5-1 Rule – 5 Compliments to every one criticism.
9. How you fight is more important than what you fight over: Don’t start with name calling or criticisms. Speak in low quiet voices, look each other in the eye, sit or stand at the same level and use open questions.
10. Don’t interrupt: When discussing anything don’t interrupt each other, wait and listen until that person finishes.
11. Have Sex: Make time for it even if you don’t feel like it or are tired.
12. Avoid the words “never” and “always”: it doesn’t let a partner breath when they are told they are always doing something, or never do something.
13. Watch out for these types of marriages: a) one partner is eager to discuss problems, while the other withdraws from conflict; b) individuals who have tied the not-but live almost as if they were single; c) emotionally volatile marriages frequently marked by great sex but really awful fights.
14. Be prepared to split household chores: or take one completely if that works for your marriage.
15. Only one person gets to have a tantrum at a time: whoever starts the tantrum has dibs. Even a sane adult needs to act like a 2 year old sometimes.
16. Be prepared to talk about finances without judgment.
17. Be flexible with gender roles: like if a mother works and the father stays at home to take care of the children.
18. Create a world that the two of you share: do things together as much as possible.
19. Respect your partner’s territory: don’t speak for your partner, etc.
20. Hold Hands – lessens stress
21. Have high standards for each other - refuse to accept negative or hurtful behavior from the start.
22. Stick it out for 10 years – if you make it this far chances of lasting increase. (personal note – if you are completely unhappy after year five and nothing has worked, or if the marriage is volatile or abusive then don’t stick it out for 10 years just to make the marriage last).
23. Stop trying to make your partner be who you want them to be or thinking that the person is not the person you married, if you can accept them the way they are.
24. Make lots of Couple time – whether you have kids or not.
25. Be an optimist: Think positively about your marriage.

Good Luck and Until Next Time,

Helen M. Dukhan, Esq., LL.M. @

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