My Marriage Advice (in case you wanted to know)

By March 1, 2012 3 Comments

Well, it’s the last day of the love month and it’s leap year.  I love leap year.  It’s like getting one freebie, one extra day, day 366.  What did you do with your extra day?  I checked out way too many books from the library (Wheat Belly, Jodi Picoult’s Lone Wolf, Brain Bugs, a Joan Didion memoir, and I’m still not done with 11/22/63.) But I also went on a date to the grocery store with my husband, when all the kids were tucked into bed.  I think it’s quite a nice state of things, to be able to leave a little here and there.  Maybe next time it will be Switzerland.  

We are quickly leaping towards 15 years of marriage.  It’s hard to believe.  This month I’ve seen posts on what makes marriage a blissful state, so I thought I’d add my own advice, mostly because it’s good for me to think about when I’m being a crab apple.

Amy’s Top Tips:
Marriage comes before the children.  The longer I’m married, the more I understand that a happy marital unit makes for happier kids.  What more does a child want, then parents who love each other?

“Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?”  I read this recently and loved it.  Sometimes, you just gotta let it go…
Go to bed At the same time.  At my house this is the time of day where all electronics are off and many of the most meaningful conversations take place.

Pray. Together.  Everyday.

When your spouse gets mad at you and cries, give her a hug.  This works on me every time.  
Sandwich.  This is um, something I say often…meaning, if you’re going to criticize or tell me something you don’t like, then you better sandwich between two whopping compliments!
Don’t Complain about your spouse to others.  Keep it within the marriage. Women can be bad.  Then again, I’ve never hung out in a men’s locker room.
Remember that physical touch is powerful…the hand on the shoulder, the soft brush of fingers on hands, the arm around the waist.

As soon as you walk through the front door, find each other.  Give each other a kiss
Always remember to ask, “How was your day?” 

Is a shamrock shake important to him?  Then it’s important to me.  (Gross.  I mean, I’ll share one if you really, really want one).
Never publicly criticize, never in front of others.

Make one-on-one time a priority.  A goal we repeatedly fail at is putting the computers away at 9.  Still working on that one…

Little loves notes in bags, pockets, books, drawers…Hmmm…it’s been awhile.

Remember conversations and follow-up.  It will mean you’ve listened!

Never say the “D” word.  Divorce shouldn’t be thrown around a conversation, even in jest.

Small considerations are big things

Mother-in-law advice:  Never be down at the same time.  When one of you is down, the other needs to be pulling up.

The habits you make early in your marriage will stay with you.  Make good habits early on.  Advice from my father and something that has helped us tremendously.
Live on less than you make.  Financial stress is marital stress.
Go away on trips without the kids.

Back each other up in front of the kids.  United front.

Call and check in during the day.  Yes, I’m giving you permission to over-communicate 🙂
Let things go.  Focus on the current issue, not all the past offenses.

Remember Anne Shirley…”Tomorrow is another day, with no mistakes in it.”  Go to bed.  My worse moments are when I’m tired.
As an added bonus:  How to Annoy Your Husband:

Repeatedly tell your husband you need another baby.  Tell him you won’t bring it up again until he does.  Bring it up the next day because he “forgot” to.

Buy shampoo and conditioner even though you know an intervention is coming.  Justify purchases by claiming it’s, “Hair storage.”

Make sure the kids eat in the backseat of Daddy’s car.  Make sure they shake their crumbs out all over the seats before they exit.

Turn on the lights in every room and then leave.

Place the bed-wetting child on his side.

Well, I guess I’ll stop there even though there are so many more annoying tips I could share with you. Have advice for me? I’d love to hear.  Do tell.

May you leap into the new month with love in your heart, stars in your eyes, and sweet shamrock shakes…xoxo.



  • Aw, I love your note about leaping into the next month. I will remember this advice as I walk down the aisle in May! 🙂

  • AmyMak says:

    I’m still thinking about the Ruth Krauss (sp?) and your vows…so lovely.

  • Julia Tomiak says:

    I love this list- so much good advice. Ok, sometimes I do vent to my girlfriends (only a few trusted ones), but I try to frame it with “He’s a good man, and I love him very much, I just wish…” My girlfriends usually are supportive and encourage positive, effective communication, not the nasty, “crab apple” stuff that comes out at 10pm when I’m VERY TIRED (my worst moments happen then too- I’m learning to just go to bed before I say something I’ll regret.) I’d add to the list- never go to bed angry and don’t hold on to your anger. Thanks Amy!

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