Whenever I think of marriage, I hope that I am fortunate enough to remain married. Morbid, I know. But with the divorce rate at 40-50% in the United States, can you blame me for being cautiously optimistic?
Even still, I believe couples can walk down the aisle and stay together till death due them part. I know couples that are going strong after 20 years of marriage. I root for them every day, if only to reignite my belief in the constitution of marriage and that love does conquer all. When all else fails, I look to the wise words of men and women who are staying strong and beating the odds. They may not make the most sense or give practical advice, but it’s worked for them. Maybe it will work for you and me as well! Here are 5 unconventional ways to stay married.
1. A couple that fights a lot stays together.
That’s what Sally and Joseph Littlewood of the UK say. And they should know. They’ve been married 75 years! Sally told the Daily Mail: “It is never worth stewing over. People always have arguments, and in 75 years, we are going to have had a lot, but the key is to move on.” They credit arguing for their long-lasting love because after an argument, they can kiss and make up.
2. Go to bed mad. No, really!
Cause who wants to feel cranky and tired the next morning just because you stayed up to fight all night? My advice: Discuss what’s bothering you when you are well-rested and level-headed. That’s usually not at bedtime.
3. Don’t criticize your honey even if he’s driving you mad.
“Criticizing cuts people down,” said Yani who’s been married for 18 years. Her husband, Phil, agrees, sharing how difficult it was to hear her complain about what he was doing wrong. “Men want to feel needed and wanted. If women are constantly telling us how we are messing up, we don’t ever think we are getting anything right.” So, how about you start off with a compliment and a feeling of gratitude and appreciation before telling him he’s driving you nuts? Yeah, that may help.
4. Spend time apart.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend every waking moment with your spouse. Actually, Lorraine of Viva Fity suggests spending some alone time. “Sharing everything is not even healthy,” she explained. “I go running by myself, he goes to the gym. I go line-dancing, he has lunch with a friend. When we get back together, we have stuff to share!”
Lisa also agrees and advises couples to have their own interests. “I like being my own person with my own passions. And I love my husband for our similarities and respect him for our differences,” she shared of her 10-year marriage. “Having our own interests keeps our marriage interesting. We have things to keep learning about each other.” And that’s how you do it, couples!
5. Watch sports together.
I had to do a double take after hearing this piece of advice, but Rich from Miami swears this helps his relationship. Married nine years and an item for 12, he said, “We used to practice joint locks and chokes for fun!” Needles to say, they are a very active couple.
So, it seems there are more ways to stay married than the good-old fashioned way. Sure, you can “stick it out,” but I’d much rather have fun with my husband and do whatever is needed to stay married, even if it means going against the grain.