Marriage Tips

My girlfriend @kvetchingeditor and her man are getting married very very soon. It is not known at this point whether I will be able to be there with them to celebrate this auspicious occasion with them. (Darn immigration paperwork!)

I wanted to ask you, my dear opinionated readers, if you wanted to share your tips here for a happy marriage. They can be fun, serious or just plain goofy – let’s hear it all.

My Tip – no matter how much of a feminist you think you are, sometimes you just have to let your man be the MAN, know what I’m sayin’??

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  1. shorty says:

    Never say no when he asks to go for a walk, no matter how tired you are.

  2. becoming_gana says:

    Communication. Most important thing, hands down.

    Oh…and get some cute things for your head :)

  3. shualah elisheva says:

    i’ve not yet been to the chuppah, but i read this tip recently, and i’ve used it, and i have to say that i heartily endorse it:

    hold hands when you argue [when halachically permitted]. it sounds completely asinine, but the feeling of his hand in yours [or vice versa] is an immediate soother of tempers. keeps things civil and more importantly, in perspective.

  4. mirimosh says:

    Talk, talk, and talk always talk about everything, and never go to sleep angry at your spouse.

  5. mrsjessica says:

    Having just finished a fight (the exact topic was stupid, but the underlying feeling wasn’t – I thought he wasn’t appreciative of something i did, turns out we were just communicating badly), learn how to fight with each other.

    This sounds ridiculous, but we have even written down some rules about fighting. They are things like “don’t interrupt. If you interrupt, you apologize immediately and yield the floor back to the person who was originally talking.” Of course, that’s incredibly difficult, but those rules have helped too very stubborn people able to fight it out in a way that doesn’t make things worse.

    So, whether it’s writing down rules or holding hands (as someone said earlier), learn to fight.

    Also, as religiously observant people, make sure you discuss lots of religious issues together, especially if something new comes up for you as the individual. Nothing is an individual choice anymore, so be on the same page (although that doesn’t mean you have to have identical practice either!). This becomes about 10 million times more important when kids come into the picture.

  6. Shira says:

    Compromise, compromise, compromise. Go with the flow. Put things in perspective. Compromise on all the little stuff (let him know you’re compromising though!) so you can be more adamant about things that really matter to you.

  7. RivkA says:

    There is no room in a marriage for ga’ava (pride) — apologize, even if you are not sure what you did wrong. Nothing is really that important besides treating each other with love and respect.

    Do not criticize the small things, they do not matter. Be gentle, and sensitive, when criticizing the important things.

    Remember you are a team — you are both on the same side!!

    The best advice I received (but was too stupid to follow): If you walk into a room and see your partner doing something in a way you do not like…. turn around and walk out of the room!!

    I wish I would have had the wisdom I have now when I first married. I would have let go of a lot more things early on! Thank God, my partner was loving, and patient! He did not give up on me.

    We are married almost 17 years and I could not imagine my life without him!

  8. batya from NJ says:

    definitely be loving & respectful but both parties need to act that way-it can’t be a one way street.

    also, b/f my marriage nearly 20 years ago, i went to a seminar on marriage where the speakers suggested that compromise was actually NOT a good thing b/c compromising means that no party is happy b/c each is giving in a little bit to the other side & not getting exactly what they really wanted. what the speakers suggested was that each partner give in the other party at times & that the other party gives in to your needs completely the rest of the time. this way both parties will completely get what they want part of the time. an example that the speaker gave was living in israel. if 1 party wants to & the other doesn’t, it won’t help to compromise & live in Europe b/c both parties will be unhappy in that case so that i think is an important idea to keep in mind in marriage.

    also, i believe in communication with ones spouse-the importance of discussing EVERYTHING together. of course, guys are stereotypically not always so into talking that much but the more a couple will open up & discuss with each other, the better it will be. again, never forget the first point above which is to be loving & respectful while communicating with one another & in every interaction that you have together.

    Mazal tov & only simchas :)!

  9. Chaviva says:

    I love the idea of writing down rules of arguing. Luckily, we had a sort of very good talk last week about some already tense things, and I think it’s better. But communication is something we’re working on EVERY day.

    Thank you Hadassah for starting this post/thread of comments!!!

  10. lady lock and load says:

    The Mishpacha family first magazine recently had an article about Boosting Your Marriage in their Advice Line. Mrs. Dina Schoonmaker suggests that “if you look nice in a particular outfit or he likes a particular color or style, plan to wear that on the days he’s at home. Often, we see the opposite: women who put no thought into their appearance when they are around the house with their husbands and kids, but suddenly do a cinderella-like transformation into elegant princess when they go to a simcha or social function.”
    I thought that was good advice. Married almost twenty five years to Lord Lock and Load, Yay!

  11. Ariela says:

    “My Tip – no matter how much of a feminist you think you are, sometimes you just have to let your man be the MAN, know what I’m sayin’??”

    This is the definition of feminism from the Merrian Webster English dictionary:

    1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
    2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

    Which part of this definition do you think does not let your man be the MAN? Is your advise not to earn as much or more money than your husband? Not to vote? Please clarify

  12. Chanief says:

    The best advice I received, given to my husband and I under the chuppah by the Rabbi who married us… RESPECT each other. Always apply the golden rule. Treat your spouse as you would expect to be treated. He specified the little things. For example, if you are both tired after a long day and your spouse mentions wanting a drink of water, get up and get it for him or her – when you do the little things that make your spouse happy, their happiness will be returned to you in the form of doing those little things for you, creating good feelings within you and the cycle will continue…

    Now, my marriage isn’t perfect, and we happen to be going through a tough time right now, but because of that advice it became a habit early on and we almost always treat each other with respect, even when things are rough.

    Respect makes the biggest difference in every aspect of a marriage, from your sex life to communication to the way you fight. It’s a simple thing but so crucial and easy to forget…

    Mazal Tov to your friend, I hope they have a happy marriage :o)

  13. Vicki says:

    Having been married for almost two years, I practically have a Ph.D. in marriage ;). I would say, don’t always think that everything is going to be 50/50 in a marriage. Sometimes you’ll be doing 60%, sometimes you’ll be doing 40%. Also, find something/class/activity you can do together outside of the home or community obligations that you do on a regular basis. Our thing is either horseback riding or bike riding. It connects you in a different way.

  14. mrsmelissasg says:

    Always give your full 100%, and hope that your partner does the same. It isn’t 50-50, or even 60-40 or 80-20 that makes a good marriage – its 100-100! {I know that contradicts the post above me, but it was one of two very wise pieces of advice I was given at my shabbat kallah}
    The other – go to bed angry. Sometimes you just need to sleep and rest and see it through a fresh lens. What seems like a big deal at 2am when you are exhausted, may seem less so at 8am after some sleep, than at 3 or 4 am when you’re just that much more exhausted.

  15. Z! says:

    I have a few suggestions.
    1. Use alot of humour. Always try to keep things on the lighter side. Make each other laugh- even through the stressful times. Sometimes a fight can melt away with a simple joke or smile. (This especially helps when you work together!)
    2. Don’t be ashamed to seek guidance from professionals and community leaders. Find someone you can trust, respect and look up to to help you talk through problems and share good times. It is important to learn how to fight in a positive way and sometimes getting someone else’s perspective helps. Also, a third party can help you feel that what you might be struggling with is normal.
    3. Try to do fun things together. Go for icecream, a walk, watch TV together, cook something. Share those simple moments of enjoyment. They really help to pad the hard times.

  16. Pearl says:

    Like Z! says: laugh a lot — it helps ease tensions and lightens the moment. As well, be a team, yet do not lose your individuality…because that is what attracted you to your spouse in the first place, and vice versa.
    Mazel tov on your upcoming marriage. May Hashem smile down on you as you begin your life — and your journey in life — together. L’chaim.

  17. Trip'n Mommy says:

    This is one passed on in my family for generations…

    No matter how hungry/cranky/tired you may be after a long day…FEED HIM FIRST.

    There is nothing worse then a hungry/cranky/tired man!
    :-)

  18. Maya Norton says:

    Create habits of affection– love rituals that will sustain your relationship throughout the trials and darker spaces. Love notes, bringing home each other’s favorite food as a surprise treat, etc. Romance is really about respecting and desiring the other as a person in the long term and that’s why when people talking about romance dying, the relationship goes downhill– because you forget what it is to invest in the other person’s happiness.

    Also, as much as possible, be thoughtful about the parenting process as you plan it and enter into it. It is the most complicated, trying, rewarding thing you will ever do, but you really need to be on the same page as much as possible about your methodologies and perspectives in the big picture and how that translates into your parenting practices.

    Mazal tov and b’hatzlecha, Chaviva!

    ~ Maya
    http://tinyurl.com/TheNewJew

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