Monday, 13 April 2015

10 Top Tips For Making Your Relationship Work

I have been married to my Hubby for twenty six years this year and we are madly in love. People often comment on how blissfully happy we are, but it hasn't always been that way. We have been through the mill many times, even separating for nearly a year eight years ago and when we decided to get back  together, we made a pact to constantly work on our relationship. 

We appreciate each other, respect each others wishes and we never bring up past hurts. We have both messed up and we have both been in the wrong, but we chose to forgive and move on. Now we are reaching middle age, we look back at all the good times that we have shared together, bringing up our four children together and now we are enjoying our Granddaughter together as a couple and we know it has all been worth it. We have a long shared history and after working through the stormy times together we know how strong we are.

Marriage and long term relationships are about giving half of yourself and receiving half of someone back. It is about love, honesty and building a life together. Here are my top tips for making your relationship work. These are things that have worked and continue to work for us. 

Remember: For these tips to work you must both want it and be willing to try. Not just one of you.


1. You Are A Team - You will argue and you will bicker, but never battle against each other. Look for a compromise. You won't agree with everything each other say or do, but you are a team so face every challenge together. Go into your marriage or partnership knowing that there will be problems, but make the decision from the start that when they arise you will work through them together.

It wont always be a bed of roses. It takes a lot of work and effort to make a relationship work. There will be struggles and times when you feel like you want to give up. Persevere and don't be tempted to walk away because it gets a little bit difficult. Always step into your spouses shoes and look at things from their point of view. 

2. CompromiseIf he/she hates doing dishes and scrubbing the loo, then be the one to do it and don't be upset when he/she never initiates the cleaning. The jobs you hate working on like clearing the gutters, cutting the hedge or tidying the shed ask him/her to do those chores instead. Discover what you're both good at/don't mind doing, and never complain when the other lacks in 'your' department. Deciding from day one what your household chores will be, will stop a lot of nagging and arguments before they start.

3. No Need for Outside Input - Don't let anyone come between you and your spouse. A relationship or marriage is a partnership of two people, there is no place for outside input. Never discuss your problems with other people because it will cause resentments and it can cause friends/family to become extremely negative towards your spouse, if all they hear are one sided criticisms. Keep private matters private. It really is best not to involve family or friends in your marital grumblings. Some never let you forget the rubbish times and will dredge it up from time to time, raking up old negative feelings which can often then lead to an old row resurfacing. Never badmouth your spouse. 

Don't let others try and push you to act one way or the other. Lots of people will be quick to suggest the easiest option, unfortunately the easiest option usually involves giving up, or just letting it slide. Giving up will leave you without your partner and letting it slide will eat away at you and cause deep rooted resentments.  No matter how bad things get, as long as both of you are willing to work together then you can get through it.

4. Be patient, be Kind, be Loving - Forgiveness is the only way to truly love someone for a long period of time, but often it is the one thing that is overlooked. Learn from your mistakes and forgive your spouse if they mess up. Even if you feel like they have broken your heart, it doesn't mean that it is the end of your relationship because you can move on from almost anything, including infidelity and heartbreak. You can end up stronger and happier than ever before

5. The respect of FriendsIf your friends don't respect your spouse, they don't respect you. Time to move on and find friends who will love and support your marriage/relationship. Joint friends who love you both are the best type of friendships to have. Only have people in your lives who don't involve themselves in your marriage or try and cause you problems by getting too involved.

6. Be Best Friends as well as Lovers - Remain friends as well as lovers. Your spouse should be your best friend and should always come before any other friends. Do activities together. Share hobbies and even if you do not share the same interests then find something that you both enjoy doing together and do it regularlyKeep the romance alive. Initiate sex, kiss, cuddle and tell your spouse how hot you think they are. Compliment often and thank them for the good things that they do for you.
7. The Grass Is NOT greener on the other side - Never be envious of other peoples relationships. What you may view as the perfect couple could look completely different behind closed doors and a lot of those blissfully happy couples have been through many troubles together themselves to have reached their happy place. 
There will sometimes be temptation to stray, especially after you have been together for a while. You are at your weakest during periods of times of mundane routine. Boredom can set in and an interesting stranger can turn your head. As I said previously, you can move on after an infidelity so don't assume it's the end. It can even improve a relationship if dealt with appropriately. You will fall in and out of love many times, but always make sure it is with your spouse. 
8. Would I be Happy With That?Always ask yourself  'would I be happy with that?' If the answer is no then don't do it, for example don't buy that £200 pair of shoes if you would flip out if he spent £200 on fishing gear or don't go clubbing all hours if you don't like him/her going clubbing. Treat him/her exactly how you would want to be treated. 
9. No-one is Perfect When all those little things he/she does start driving you insane, remember all those little annoying things that you do that he/she puts up with. Don't tell me you never annoy him/her because I don't believe you. There will be something. He/she is not perfect, but neither are you. Remember you don't own him/her. Marriage is about committing yourself to the other person, not controlling them. To often people think they possess their spouse instead of promoting their good points. 
10. Communication - Always communicate with each other. If something is bothering you, then talk about it. Be loyal and never talk to a friend about stuff you wouldn't say to your spouse. Compliment your spouse at least once a day if not more and never let them feel unloved or taken for granted. When you have conversations look each other in the eyes and really listen, don't just 'hear them'. Value what they have to say.

Have you got any tips to add? 
What has worked for you?

46 comments:

  1. Good tips - we must try to do more of these. We always seem to be so busy.

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    1. Thanks Erica, yes finding the time can be difficult x

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  2. 26 years? You don't get that long for murder lol. Some great tips - my other half (Beautyqueenuk) and I have been together 10 years and still going strong. Stephen :o)

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    1. Congrats on 10 years. 26 years have flown by x

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  3. What some great tips - I'm definitely lucky Ash has been a wonderful friend both before we got together and is now my best friend. x

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    1. Being best friends is so important in a relationship x

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  4. I think the last one is key and the grass is not greener on the other side, accept these and you have a reason to appreciate what you have and build on it. Great tips

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    1. I so agree. It is so easy to think the grass is greener, but it rarely is. Watering your own grass is the key x

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  5. This is all excellent advice. I've been married for 20 years but I don't ever stop and think about what makes the marriage work and it was really interesting to read your perspective.

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    1. Thanks Lovely. Congrats on 20 years x

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  6. some thought provoking tips here. wow and congrats on 26 years. We are 20 years together and 13 married.

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    1. Thanks Emma. Congrats on your 20 years x

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  7. Some really great, sensible advice. It is easy to think that marriage will always be a bed of roses but it can be hard work too.

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    1. Thanks Louisa. It takes constant work but worth it x

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  8. Now i know where Mummys relationship with Daddy went wrong :( none of the above applied :(

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    1. Sorry to hear that. Both sides have to be willing to work at it and if one chooses not to then they were not the person for you in the first place x

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  9. Some great tips here. Communication is a biggie for sure. It's so easy to ignore each other when you lead busy lives

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    1. Communication is essential. Five minutes a day is all that is needed x

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  10. Some really good tips there hun and for me the most important one is that you are a team x

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    1. I always keep that in my mind. We are a team and need to work together, always x

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  11. Lovely to hear that you're still so happy after 26 years together! I'd agree with everything you've said here. For me, I think #6 shines through the list, because if friendship isn't at the foundation of a relationship then personally I don't think it will be strong enough to weather the storms that parenting can often present. Brilliant post xx

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    1. Thanks. You are so right, friendship is at the root of a good relationship and so important x

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  12. We have been married 20 years and it is a partnership. I adore him as much now as I did then

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    1. Aww, I love this comment. Congrats on your 20 years. Thank you x

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  13. Some great tips there, and boy do I need them having been divorced twice (oops!) - this time we are only 6 years in, a mere blip compared to your 26 years, and we still feel like we are in the honeymoon period (when we get a bit of peace from the 3 kids that is!) - am hoping this time around we will get things right!

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    1. Some people just take a little longer to find their soul mate. Congrats on your 6 years together x

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  14. Some great tips here - we have been married 10 years and the key is talking I think. We have had our ups and downs too but have worked hard to keep our relationship together - its not always easy but its worth it

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    1. Congrats on your 10 years Kara. Talking things through is so important isn't it. So worth all the hard work x

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  15. At the moment my relationship with my husband is going to the dumps. I cant give away so many details but we are not talking for the longest time and we are both here in this marriage as parents not as a couple =(

    #magicmoments

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    1. Really sorry to hear that. Sometimes we reach that place where we feel we cant come back, sometimes even thinking we don't even want to. I have been there and it is a lonely place. You never know what life will throw at you and I hope things improve for you x

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  16. A very wise post, Emma.
    The two of you look so sweet together. xx

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    1. Aww Thanks Lovely lady. You are your man always look soooo in love too xxx

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  17. these really are fantastic tips and i so so think that the communicate and team work are really important we had a phase and i am glad we kept trying

    & Thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments xxx

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    1. Thanks Jaime. It is so easy to let things slip, but nurturing the relationship is so worth it. Glad you worked through your phase x

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  18. Aw I love your tips and congratulations on such a long and happy relationship - sounds like you know what you're talking about!!

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  19. 26 years is admirable in this day and age. Ive only been married for 2 years and therefore thank you for your tips.

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    1. Thank you. It only seems like yesterday when we were celebrating 2 years, the years fly by x

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  20. 26 years is fantastic! I completely agree with your tips, you have to put effort in to make a relationship work xx

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    1. Thanks Michelle. It does take constant effort. Our relationships need polishing all the time x

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  21. What a lot of good advise, I agree that it takes two to make a relationship work.

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  22. What a lovely post and congratulations on your 26 years x

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  23. Thanks for this Mama S! I've been with my husband for 8 years now married for nearly three which seems so small haha I hope to be like you or like my parents who also have been married for years and years now! Already in our short marriage we have gone through job loss, number of house moves, money worries, mental health problems, and yes even other things id not post here but this makes me feel like we can work together through anything and be so strong for years to come :-) xx

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    1. Aww Hannah Congrats on your 8 years together. Working through the stormy times are soooo worth it, especially when you get to your 40's and you have been through everything together and are still happy & in love, it gives you a huge amount of satisfaction x

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