The Surprising Secret to a Successful Marriage
Sleep. It does a body good.
We have a three bedroom house, and the three of us (me, The Kid, and The Husband) each have our own rooms. Of course, I have the master bedroom.* So when my brother came to visit the other weekend, we were required to double up our sleeping arrangements. My brother and my niece shared a room, much to the chagrin of my niece.** And of course, my husband and I shared a room for the weekend. On Sunday night, after they left, we happily went our separate ways.
* This is because The Kid likes to stay up all hours of the night, giggling and watching TikTok, and I have a notoriously difficult time falling asleep if said child is giggling and watching TikTok videos.
** I offered a blow-up mattress …
Communication, schommunication. The real secret to a long and happy marriage? Lots of bed space.
Part of the issue … really a very small part … is that I roll around a lot when I sleep. My husband often has to ward off martial art-like kicks while my subconscious works out all of its kinks. He is constantly accusing me of taking up more than my share of the bed. I have no idea what he is talking about.
We discovered the luxury of having lots of bed space a few years ago when we went on vacation. The only hotel room available was one with a king-sized bed. I think it was on one of our trips to California, which I find to be ironic since we had a California-king. I was able to miraculously flip and flop to my heart’s content.
Fast forward a few years, and us three are all that are left in the house. Our two older children have flown the coop. And we had a bedroom that was used as storage.
My 10 Somewhat Serious Secrets For a Successful Marriage
- Marry well. Whatever that means for you, find the person that will give you what you want and need.
- Have your own bedrooms. Enough said.
- Leave your spouse alone for 30 minutes after he or she gets home from work/gets off of work.
- Get off your damn phone. Social media sucks anyway. The Joneses are not better than you.
- Eat dinner together. (Or breakfast or lunch. You do you, boo.)
- Tell each other what you did that day at dinner.
- Complain a lot to your spouse about everything else outside of the house. Good topics are: your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, your enemies, your frenemies, bad drivers, and people who let their f****** dog take a crap on your lawn.
- Refrain from complaining about your spouse unless it’s to your spouse.
- But stay away from these topics: politics (unless you agree), religion (unless you agree), and Kim Kardashian/Kanye West.
- Say “I love you.” Even if it’s in your head. I’m a huge believer in the power of positivity.
My Mother's Bonus Secret (#11)
Date each other once per week. Make a rule that you can talk about anything except about the children.
The Sample sends you one article from a random blog or newsletter that matches up with your interests. Help a girl out and check it out … I get more subscribers if someone signs up for another newsletter!
Quick! Grab a free story before they’re gone! An all-genre free book giveaway. Ends June 15.
I have Secret #12: Don’t be a fraud. I’m speaking about George Santos here, who was recently slapped across the face with 13 counts of fraud and money laundering, not to mention his padded resume and bank check scam in Brazil. I wrote about the 13 different counts, in case you are interested in knowing what the feds charged him with.
I’m trying (very hard) to slog through my backlog of books to read, so I started The Missing Piece by John Lescroart. It’s been on my NetGalley to-do reading list forever. Since this is a legal thriller, I will (eventually) throw up a review and recap on my website.
Also, I’m hoping to have some more book reviews up on my site, but right now I’m rewatching Season 2 of Goliath. That’s because I was supposed to do one of my massive recaps (see Season 1 and Season 4 … I have no idea why I went out of order).
And the website is up and running, although nowhere close to being done.
Oreo and Brownie
This week, Tanya sent in a picture of her two lovely rabbits. I love their names. I also think bunnies are quite cute.
Send in your pictures of fur, feathered, or scaly babies. I love to feature them in my newsletter. Joe will thank you, since he doesn’t have to model for me that week.
Marriage is a journey that is filled with ups and downs. It's a beautiful experience that brings two people together, but it's not always easy. In all seriousness, maintaining a successful marriage requires effort, patience, and effective communication.
The Impact of Poor Communication in Marriage
I don't have any research for this, but I suspect that poor communication is one of the biggest culprits that can cause a marriage to fall apart. Even the other two biggest culprits – finance and raising children – have their roots in poor communication.
One of the biggest problems with poor communication is that it can be difficult to identify. Many couples mistake a lack of communication for a lack of conflict, but the truth is that healthy communication involves both conflict and resolution. When couples don't talk about their problems, they often end up sweeping them under the rug, where they fester and grow into bigger issues.
The consequences of poor communication can be devastating. It can lead to a breakdown in trust, emotional distance, a lack of intimacy, infidelity, money issues, and addictive habits.
Understanding Different Communication Styles
One of the keys to effective communication is understanding that everyone communicates differently. There are several different communication styles, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Understand how your partner communicates ... and you can understand how to communicate with your partner.
- Passive communicators tend to avoid conflict and may have difficulty expressing their needs and wants. They often use vague language and may struggle to stand up for themselves.
- Aggressive communicators tend to be confrontational and may use harsh language or even physical intimidation to get their point across.
- Assertive communicators are able to express themselves clearly and honestly without being aggressive. They are able to stand up for themselves while still respecting the needs of others.
- I also like to add aggressive-passive communicators. These people are aggressive about other things, but passive when it comes to conflict with their spouse.
Tips for Effective Communication in Marriage
But how do you get over the merry-go-round?
- Identify how you communciate.
- Change how you communicate ... this can lead to lasting change in your marriage.
- Be clear and concise.
- Actively listen.
The Role of Active Listening in Communication
Active listening is a crucial component of effective communication. It involves being fully present and engaged when your partner is speaking. This means giving them your full attention, maintaining eye contact, and avoiding distractions, ahem, your cell phone.
Active listening also involves asking questions to clarify what your partner is saying and summarizing what they've said to ensure that you understand their perspective.
The Benefits of Counseling for Communication Improvement
If you're struggling to improve communication in your marriage, it may be beneficial to seek out counseling. A trained therapist can help you to identify communication patterns and find more effective ways to connect with your partner. They can also provide a safe space for you to work through conflicts and improve your relationship.
Fighting Is Okay
Remember, fighting is a form of communication, too. Learning how to communicate is a lifelong process, and it can change as your marriage changes.