Married People Reveal the Secret to a Happy Marriage

Whether it has been five years or 25 years, there is a certain amount of realistic information that comes from tying the knot that newlyweds just won't know. Here, some advice from people who know exactly what they're talking about because they've been there, done that.

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Photography by: New Line Cinema/Courtesy Neal Peters Collection

1. Make Your Own Mistakes

It's stressful to be the center of wedded-bliss attention as you're trying to figure out your new married life. Sometimes, picking up and moving away from all the talk can allow for you to make your own life without anyone else's judgment. "We were able to make our own mistakes without anyone looking over our shoulder," says Dan of Whitewater, WI (married 39 years).

2. In-Laws Should Stay On the Outside

Yes, you totally call your mom when you have to make a decision about your career or whether to cut five inches off your hair—but when it comes to the relationship make sure it's not the only advice you are seeking. "While family advice is important, at the end of the day, the marriage is between you and your spouse. You have to be on the same page about things," says Roberto Pires of Bronx, NY (married 5 years).

3. Kids Change the Dynamic—In a Good Way

Remember all those fun nights where you and your partner could take a spontaneous walk or catch a random movie? Those things can still happen. "Once you have kids, you're not so much a couple anymore. You're a family ... and you have to consider that," says Jeanne of Whitewater, WI (married 39 years).

4. Remember, You're On the Same Team

"I have learned that it is easy to start a fight. However, it is much harder to stop one. I have finally learned that a calm and easy approach helps the situation. When I start to sense that things are heading south I stop talking and listen to what he has to say. After he is done, I try to put into my own words what he has just said to me and repeat them to him so he knows I understand where he is coming from. Afterwards he does the same and in a much calmer way we can arrive at a mutual conclusion, or in some cases, agree to disagree. It is also important to remember that we are on the same team and to always remember to fight fair," says Vanessa of Roseland, VA (married 8 years).

5. A Fight Is Not the End

If you guys can get over your snoring and his weird smacking gum habit, then this fight won't destroy everything. "You will fight and it's not the end of the world. I think such pressure is put on weddings and having the perfect one that it's easily forgotten what comes after; the marriage. Just because you have a big fight, it doesn't mean a divorce is imminent. Take the time to work stuff out," says Adriana of Bronx, NY (married 5 years).

6. Make "You" Time

It's super great that you guys love each other and want to spend time with one another, but carve out a little thing that's just for you. Even if that thing is baking or working out. Give yourself a "you" activity so you're not completely dependent on each other to be entertained. "I treasure my time with my husband. I love to spend quality time with him and it is vital for me to have that time just for us. But I also crave time to myself. Finding the balance between the two is the key. Too much time and we can both become irritated with one another. Too little time and neither one of us feels like the other cares," says Vanessa.

7. The Fight Is Never About the Fight

Nothing is ever really as it seems—especially when it comes to arguments. "Give each a little space to think about what the argument is really about. Is it really because the wrong type of detergent was bought or is it something else?" says Adriana.

8. Understand Your Partner's History

There are plenty of fights and upset moments that can be avoided just but being aware of triggers. If your partner has stress around a certain place or topic, make sure empathize and not antagonize.

9. Love the Time You Spend with Each Other 

Make it a point to go on dates and do the things you both love to do with each other. Sometime we forget that we don't have to be extravagant—we just have to be there! "We have to push ourselves to be a little more social—but we really love spending time with each other," says Dan. 


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