Calling all married couples – and those who are just nosy about other people’s relationships *raises hand*.
Just when we thought Reddit couldn’t give us any more, it’s only gone and produced a guide for couples on how to avoid common arguments in a what feels like one of the wisest threads we’ve read in a long time.
Specifically opening the conversation up to marriage counsellors for their expert input, Reddit user Hardypart asks, “What are some points of friction in a marriage that can be avoided easily?”
The advice has been coming in thick and fast, with some seasoned spouses among those doling out marital advice. From quick wins to life lessons (such as teaching yourself to stop using certain negative words), there are some nuggets of wisdom that come in handy whether you’re married, in a relationship or living with a housemate.
So give your pals their ears back and keep that therapy money in your purse; these top tips are relationship advice gold.
Embrace the growth of yourselves as individuals, as well as together
This thought-provoking piece of advice was given by Quasifrodo who says, “On my twentieth wedding anniversary a tip that has helped us is to understand that marriage is as much about personal and interpersonal growth as it is about anything else. Change is nothing to fear, just manage your expectations, and those of your significant other.”
Don’t go to bed angry
Reddit user Planting_progress thinks this well-known phrase is the secret to a happy marriage, “I try to live by the phrase ‘don't let the sun go down on your anger’, i.e. never go to sleep without apologising and making up. It's really helped us as a couple, we have never had one of those multi -day arguments that some people I know have, and as an added bonus I sleep better knowing we've made up!”
See things from your partner’s point of view
For gloriascranton, empathy is one of the most important qualities in a strong relationship, which means putting yourself in your partner’s shoes. They say, “When you realise that your significant other wouldn't do anything specifically to hurt you. If they did hurt you, they probably didn't mean to. So give them a chance to explain.”
Divvy up the dirty work
Shinkouyou reckons that the source of many an argument between married couples is the task that, let’s face it, nobody likes doing; cleaning. Their advice is to set out your standards, and chose a way of making sure no one gets left with all the rubbish jobs: “People have different cleanliness preferences, and the one with higher standards isn't necessarily ‘right.’ There needs to be some kind of compromise, whether it's hiring a cleaner or simply agreeing on a mutually tolerable weekly chore schedule.
“What doesn’t work is expecting the less-tidy partner (or child) to ‘know what chores need to be done’ or ‘do a little bit every day’ or ‘do their fair share without being asked.’ Less-tidy people just don't have that innate drive to clean, and they really don't see messes in the same way. Messes are a source of stress for ultra-tidy people, but a less-tidy person's instinct is to let cleaning go when they feel stressed.”
Never say never – literally
For Reddit poster chocolate_on_toast it’s all about language. They think by simply avoiding one specific word you can ease your marriage strains: “We both try hard to avoid the words 'never' and 'always'. As in: ‘You never pick up your socks!’ or ‘You always forget to wipe the sink!’ Acceptable words are ‘seldom’ or ‘often’. It's a tiny, tiny semantic shift, but it makes a MASSIVE difference when having discussions about these things.”
We know how tempting it is to have a vent about your other half to your pals over a glass of wine, but according to Queen_Dare_Bare this is a serious relationship no-no. Instead they advice keeping issues between the two of you, “never bad-mouth your spouse, especially to family and close friends. Address any issues that you have with your spouse only with him/her present.”
Coincide lights out
If there’s one nugget of wisdom 1ove1985 has got to share, it’s being bedtime buddies. For this forum user, ending your day together is a good way to keep your relationship strong, who says “always go to bed at the same time, if your schedule allows of course. We have weekends off together so we usually get up at the same time too.... this sometimes isn't the case as I sometimes like to sleep in later than him. But we always go to bed at the same time.”
Discuss your debts
It’s not surprising that money worries get a mention, as when a couple come together and shares their pot of pennies things can get complicated. Your_dragon_is_cool gives some great advice along the theme of honesty is the best policy, encouraging those in relationships to be honest about any debt they have from the beginning. They say, “Money, debt, and credit. Talk about it early, and often. Be honest. If the relationship is worth pursuing into marriage, then you will find a way to work through financial issues.”
Show a united front
If your spouse has been getting on your wick, it can be so tempting to poke fun at them in front your friends while you’re shielded by having others around and you know they can’t make a scene. But these passive-aggressive digs in public can be more damaging than we sometimes anticipate says Zubutay. The Redditer writes, “Don't contradict your SO [significant other] in front of others – or join the other side in an argument. If you think they're wrong, sort it out later. At the moment, if they see you on the other side of the fence, there's some resentment growing. If they truly are wrong, downplay the whole thing towards the other parties and discuss things later in private, calmly.”