16 Intense Marriage Lessons I Had to Learn The Hard Way

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Everyone who has been married longer than a week is sure to have learned some marriage lessons. But after being in a relationship for a time period of years, there are some marriage lessons that seem to prove themselves necessary for improving and strengthening any and all marriages.

Implementing these lessons as soon as possible has the potential to heal a relationship, as well as prevent a relationship from falling apart.

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16 Powerful Marriage Lessons that You Do NOT Want to Learn the Hard Way!

1. Improving your marriage first requires improving yourself

The first step in improving any relationship is first asking yourself what you can do to improve yourself. When you have any sort of issues with yourself, whether you realize it or not, you tend to project those onto others, especially your spouse.

“Success in marriage is not based solely on finding the right partner, but through being the right partner”

You want to give your best self to your spouse, and unless you’re constantly working on yourself, you won’t be able to give that to anyone. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically plays a huge role in a healthy marriage.

2. Pride really is the root of all evil and it will destroy any relationship

They say the root of all evil is pride, and they say that because it’s true. Pride will tear apart any relationship, whether it’s with your spouse, family or even friends.

To be prideful is to be overly proud of one’s self, and their achievements. While that sounds great, it also comes with the constant feeling of being right, and the struggle to admit when you’re wrong.

Being constantly told that you’re wrong, or made to be felt as if you’re stupid, is bound to cause your spouse to resent you. No one likes to feel nagged at, or put down.

By never admitting your faults, you’re destroying your relationships with everyone around you, as well as yourself. Humans are incapable of being perfect.

A major step towards letting go of your pride is to say sorry first. But, an apology means nothing if you’re not truly apologizing.

If you are still stuck in the mindset that you’re right, you can still say sorry for yelling, fighting, not being open to hearing their point of view, or even just being too prideful.

3. Vulnerability is important

To be vulnerable is to open yourself up to someone, and to allow yourself to be in a position where you could get emotionally hurt.

While this may sound bad, it’s actually necessary for having a healthy relationship.

You cannot be vulnerable with someone you do not trust wholeheartedly. And the ONE person in the world that you should have that full, undeniable trust in is your spouse. If you do not have that trust, you need to find out why and develop a plan as to how to fix it. It is sometimes necessary to seek professional help with this.

4. Intimacy is a must and it is NOT just physical

When you hear the term intimacy, you generally think of physical, sexual contact. And physical intimacy is very important. But emotional intimacy is even more important. Being emotionally intimate is to be connected on a deeply personal level, and to feel closer to your partner than anyone else.

That feeling of being loved and wanted for your mind, your emotions, and your personality is a much greater feeling than being wanted sexually.

5. You are a team – you’ll either WIN together or you’ll LOSE together

Along with pride and stubbornness comes the need to be right, and to “win” in every fight. But by winning every fight, you’re losing your marriage, slowly but surely. You will cause tension, and resentment between one another that will eat away at your relationship.

You will lose in the end, if you spend all of your efforts on winning in your arguments with each other.

6. Honesty is key

Honesty is the foundation of a relationship.

Without honesty, there is no trust, no vulnerability, and a lack of all intimacy.

Being honest with your spouse immediately after something happens that you feel will affect your relationship will save you from continuing to cover up and hide from the truth.

Not only will this help your marriage to develop a deeper trust because your spouse will feel as if you’re always going to be honest with them no matter the situation, but it will also help YOU more than you could ever imagine. It takes such a toll on your mental health to lie, feel anxious, and hide. The anxiety alone will slowly destroy you.

7. Being friends is more important than being lovers

Being physically intimate is important, but having a friendship with your partner is even more important. Part of getting married is being granted a new life long best friend. Friendship allows trust, vulnerability, emotional intimacy, and the ability to connect on a different and new level.

Being best friends DOES NOT mean that you have to have the same interests or knowledge of certain subjects. It means that even if you don’t like what they like, you respect it and you be happy that they have something that they find joy in.

If you don’t know enough about their interests, ASK QUESTIONS. They will love that you are taking an interest and it will light a spark between you. If you really don’t care about their passion, listen to them anyway.

8. Chivalry is NOT dead

Chivalry is generally referred to as when a man treats a woman with kindness, thoughtfulness, consideration, and they are willing to serve her, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

Sometimes, as couples are together longer, spouses start doing less for their partner, talking to them with less positive emotions, and lose their interest is “wooing” the other.

Don’t stop doing things for each other, like opening the door, giving massages, writing love notes,etc.

9. Love languages are a real thing

If you haven’t heard of love languages, I suggest reading The 5 Love Languages.

The book helps to spread a truth that couples find hard to discover until they hear about it and it all makes sense.

A love language refers to how one wants their partner to show their appreciation and love.

The five love languages are:

  1. words of affirmation – verbal compliments
  2. acts of service – doing things for them, willingly!
  3. receiving gifts – even simple, meaningful, and inexpensive gifts
  4. quality time – true attention without distraction (try going through our 99 questions to ask each other!)
  5. physical touch – not just sex, but this could be as simple as a quick hug

The part of this that most couples miss is that we often try to show love to our spouse the way WE want them to show us love. And then we wonder why they don’t appreciate it.

You have to remember to show them affection in the way that best satisfies them!

For a sentimental gift, this Create Your Own Personal Love Story” is amazing! You can customize the characters and create the story. Super simple and cute!

10. You need to be on the same page when it comes to your marriage triggers

Identifying triggers within your marriage is the first step to dealing with them. This is one of the biggest marriage lessons that couples face,

Some often triggers that couples tend to disagree on are:

  • finances
  • discipline
  • intimacy
  • chores and household responsibilities
  • long term relationship goals
  • etc.

Determining these early on, and coming to a compromise you can both settle for, will save you a lot of fighting and stress in the long run.

Commit to your compromise, and if you want to change it, converse with your spouse respectfully and calmy, being sure to give your reasoning AND listen to theirs.

Check out this list of the Most Common Marriage Problems That Lead to Divorce.

11. Your marriage is sacred – so treat it that way

Marriage is sacred. A deep-rooted, physical and emotional relationship is something you’ve worked hard on, and something you should treat with respect and class.

Certain things are bound to put stress on your marriage and cause psychologically damaging issues between you and your partner.

Common issues that can jeopardize your relationship include:

  • pornography use
  • friendships with the opposite sex
  • displaying inappropriate clothing or activities in front of people other than your spouse
  • infidelity, both physical and emotional
  • physical or emotional abuse

Treat your marriage, your spouse, and YOURSELF with the respect it deserves.

12. Don’t ever talk badly about your husband to anyone

Make it a point to never put your husband down, both in private or in public.

It’s important to be careful who you vent to, because in this day in age, everyone’s advice is to “leave them, you deserve better.”

The issue with this is, you tend to vent about the bad, and not talk about all of the good. Of course, they’re going to think you deserve better because they think all you do is put up with crap, they’re only seeing the worst side of your spouse.

Make it your goal to talk your spouse up in front of people. Focus on the good!

If you need to bring in a third party, opt for a marriage counselor, as they are unbiased, and have experience in mending a marriage.

Your spouse should be the one person you should vent to about whatever it does that’s upsetting you.

But, it can be hard to have that conversation when you’re still in an intense state of frustration.

I’ve developed a genius decision for dealing with this. Sometimes just expressing your feelings is exactly what you need to calm down. So, get a journal and write your frustrations and feelings as harshly as you want. Journaling your feelings first will help you to have a much calmer and more reasonable conversation later.

13. Saying “I love you” is not near as effective as showing it

They say actions speak louder than words, and it’s true. Anyone can say they love you. But they do not mean it if they aren’t willing to do things for you that show they love you.

Some ideas of showing your love an appreciation for each other are:

  • doing a chore
  • writing love notes (check out this “what I love about you” book)
  • prioritizing date nights
  • take an interest in their interests
  • buying or making something for them
  • cleaning their car
  • getting them their favorite meal or treat
  • etc.

You could say “I love you” a thousand times, and it wouldn’t be as effective as doing things to show them how much you care.

Check out our Mega List of Free & Cheap Date Ideas

14. Your happiness is your own choice – it’s not dependent on your marriage

Despite how it feels sometimes, you are responsible for your own happiness. You can choose to be happy through every situation. You can focus on the good and work on improving the bad.

Knowing that a good spouse doesn’t automatically equal happiness, you must also know that you cannot force someone to be happy. If your partner is struggling to be happy, the best thing you can do is be patient with them while you work on yourself, and help them to do any sort of work they need to do to help them with their happiness.

15. People CAN change

One of the most detrimental things to marriages in this day in age is the constant spread of the assumption that someone who is struggling with something is never going to change. If they truly want to change, it can happen.

Whether they’re struggling from addiction, previous had issues with infidelity, struggling with mental illness or self-image… change is entirely possible.

The reason your vows include “for better or worse”, is because there will be times that are worse. You committed to sticking by this person’s side through their struggles because you love them. Remember the love you had for them before they started having issues. Fight for that love to come back.

*It’s important to remember, this only applies if someone really wants to change. If they don’t you cannot make them.*

16. There is no shame in asking for help

Asking for help from an unbiased party, such as a marriage counselor, could be the difference between a healthy marriage and a divorce.

It can be hard to see things from an outsiders point of view when you’ve been stuck in your own mindset for so long.

A therapist is great for helping to identify underlying issues that can be affecting your marriage that you might not even know exists.

Let go of your pride, ask for help. Don’t give up on your marriage until you’ve given it your all.

Marriage is one of the most difficult parts of life, which is why it’s also one of the most rewarding. It can be hard to learn these marriage lessons, and even harder to use them to improve your marriage. But, I personally had to learn these lessons the hard way. I took my marriage from an ugly, unhealthy place to a functioning and thriving relationship that is growing and improving each and every day.

What marriage lessons have you learned throughout your life?

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