Top Tips for a Happy Healthy Engagement and Marriage

Top Tips for a Happy Healthy Engagement and Marriage

Over the years, I’ve read and researched tons of information
on what makes successful relationships work, and I have compiled my top five
tips for you here. I hope you enjoy!

Tip #1: Laughter is the Best Medicine

Humor is both stress-reducing and fun, and it can also help
maintain a healthy relationship. If your partner burns dinner, backs into the
neighbor’s car, or puts laundry detergent pods in the dishwasher (I’ve done all
three!), laughing it off is better in the long-run than getting angry.
Sometimes this takes a deliberate effort, so just remember that everyone makes
mistakes and it’s not the end of the world. Sweating the small stuff can slowly
eat away at a relationship, so make sure to laugh as much as possible. Luckily
for me, my wife totally gets this!

Tip #2: Distance makes the heart grow fonder

It’s important to put some effort into maintaining your own
friendships, and plan an occasional night out without your partner. This helps
to keep you balanced and in touch with yourself, and it will give your partner
an opportunity to catch up on shows, movies, or books that you don’t care for.
Keep in mind that genuine love is something that can only grow on a foundation
of true acceptance of each other’s individuality and separateness. Plus,
missing each other a little really does make you appreciate your relationship

Tip #3: We need to talk…

There are certainly exceptions to this, but generally
speaking, talking about feelings is soothing to women, and makes men feel
uncomfortable. Understanding this simple biological difference can greatly
improve your relationship. Men want to connect nonverbally, through touch or
doing things together, and the deepest moments of intimacy often occur when
you’re not talking at all. It turns out that when couples really feel
connected, men want to talk more and women need to talk less, so they meet
somewhere in the middle. For same-sex couples, this can also be true. Sometimes
one person in the relationship enjoys talking about feelings and the other
dreads it. The takeaway here is that the words must come out of the bonding,
rather than the other way around.

Tip #4: Can I get a witness?

When your partner is sad or frustrated, you may
not feel like you’re doing anything to help by just sitting there, but
sometimes it’s enough to just be present and empathize. When we try to
problem-solve too soon, we can interfere with intimacy. The goal isn’t
necessarily to fix the feelings, it’s to help each other feel less alone. You
can foster a strong sense of togetherness simply by being a caring witness to
your partner’s negative feelings.

Tip #5: Exercise!

Yes, I’m talking about sweat-inducing, heart-rate-increasing
exercise! We are fundamentally physical beings, so we really need to make
exercise a priority in order to stay healthy. But regular structured exercise
not only benefits your body, but it also stabilizes your moods, regulates hormones,
and triggers feel-good chemicals to be released in the brain. Studies have also
shown that physical exercise helps combat ADD, stress, depression, and a host
of chronic diseases. And you don’t actually have to do as much exercise as
previously thought to reap the benefits. There’s a great book about this called
Spark by John Ratey, M.D. that I highly recommend. The bottom line is that the
healthier and happier you are as an individual, the more you have to give to
your relationship. Personally, I’m more motivated by group exercise classes,
but I believe that the best plan is the plan you can stick with. So get off the
couch and figure out what works best for you. Do this for yourself and for your

I hope you benefit from these 5 simple tips. As Ben Franklin
once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

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