Straight From His Mouth: 10 Marriage Tips From Happily Wed Men That Have Nothing To Do With Sex

January 7, 2013  |  

Source: Shutterstock

Most of us are aware of the depressing divorce rate statistics. While the exact percentage may be up for debate, the general consensus is that as many as 50 percent of marriages will end in divorce. That’s not a very uplifting statistic; however, if half of marriages fail, then that means half succeed. For whatever reason, you don’t usually hear men – even happy ones – bragging about the virtues of marriage. I attribute this to two main reasons: 1) It’s not “cool” to brag about how happy your wife makes you; and 2) Happy people are usually too busy being happy to bother complaining. This is why they have customer complaint lines not customer compliment lines. With this in mind, I decided to poll some of my self-proclaimed happily married male friends for their thoughts, advice, and insider tips on finding and maintaining happiness in their marriages.

To gain a better insight on the male perspective of marriage than the usual “give him more head and more sex,” I asked the fellas to provide tips that had nothing to do with sex. Although this restriction forced them to take a bit longer to respond, here is a compilation list of what they told me in no particular order…

1. Don’t rush! Surprisingly, despite having almost 30 years of marriage under his belt, one of my friend’s simple advice was “don’t rush.” He didn’t say this to suggest he wasn’t happily married. He merely meant that when the time is right, the time is right and “forever is a long time.” He’s looking forward to spending the rest of his life with his wife; however, he can do so comfortably knowing he had a fulfilling single life before meeting the woman he loves. He doesn’t sit up late at night wondering, “what if” because he knows he met his wife and committed to her at the right time in his life.

2. No kids in bed. Married seven years, another friend said he had to learn this lesson through trial and error. The proud father of two girls, he let his first daughter sleep in the bed with him and his wife every time she asked. This exception soon became the rule. Eventually, as you might expect, their love life suffered, because it’s a little difficult to have sex with your wife when your child is constantly in your bed. When his wife became pregnant again, they decided that the baby would not sleep with them. Establishing this from the beginning, their younger daughter accepted it as normal routine and became more independent sooner than their oldest daughter. I’ll spare you the details, but he says their love life greatly improved. In the end, he said the parents should work together to set the expectations and not be driven solely by the children’s wants. In other words, it’s important to remember that “adults have needs too.”

Source: Shutterstock

3. Accept that other women are still attractive. This theme came up a few times. You’re beautiful and he loves you, BUT there are other women in the world he might, from time to time, find attractive. A quote from one friend sums it up best, “space is #1, a good wife isn’t smothering, she’s confident enough to let her man hit the streets and follow Draya on Instagram.”

Let’s be clear, these men weren’t advocating for letting your husband blatantly disrespect you by actively pursuing other women on social media or beyond. Still, you should be confident and trustworthy enough to know that just because he “LIKES” a picture on Facebook/Instagram or RTs some cute woman on Twitter, doesn’t mean he’s secretly plotting to run off with that woman the second you turn your back.

4. Recognize what’s important to him and make sure you’re at least casually involved. As you might have noticed, a number of men were transfixed with NFL playoffs this weekend. You don’t have to be into football. You don’t even have to like football. However, you should respect the fact that *insert random sport you don’t care about here* is important to him and he might be emotionally involved in the outcome of said sport from time to time. Don’t mock his seemingly illogical sports-related commitments simply because they don’t align with yours. More importantly, don’t make him choose between the game he loves and proving his love for you when the game is on the line by asking him to “turn down/off the game” so y’all can talk about window drapes or some other equal non-emergency. Aint nobody got time for that! Recognize he loves you and the game and there’s ample time in the week to show love for both of you – you know, as long as those days aren’t Monday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.

Source: Shutterstock

5. Marry someone you can laugh with. I’ve often heard that women like a man that can make them laugh but apparently men feel the same way! Almost every happily married man I spoke with referred to having a woman in your life that you can laugh or joke with. In other words, life is too short to take serious all the time. Apparently, having a woman by your side that can keep you in good spirits goes a long way.

6. Peace and quiet is underrated. Although these happily married men recognized that the women they love generally liked to talk more than themselves – and that was ok – peace and quiet was often underrated in the relationships prior to their wives. As one friend put it, “I think the key to a happy marriage, for a man, is understanding what most men want. Most of the married guys I know appreciate nothing more than peace and quiet. Just don’t bug us. A peaceful household free of drama and arguing goes a long way.” In other words, talking is fine and the men know it’s a key part of maintaining a happy marriage, but sometimes silence is golden.

Source: Shutterstock

7. Communication, communication, communication! As if sensing that they might need to redeem themselves from the “peace and quiet” request, most of my friends couldn’t stress the idea of communicating openly and honestly with their wives enough. If you can’t share your inner most thoughts with a woman you’re considering marrying, then you’re about to marry the wrong woman. Additionally, it’s important for both parties to be able to see and respect the other’s point of view. It’s not about agreeing on everything, it’s about respecting each other’s right to have their own opinion. As one friend put it, “you can’t put a price on a woman who respects your right to agree to disagree.”

8. Each day is a new day. A married friend of three years stated it simply, “grudges are for single people.” He went on to explain that arguing is a natural part of any relationship, but he plans on spending the rest of his life with his wife, so what’s the point of holding a grudge? In his mind, there is none. It’s not a game, so he doesn’t keep score. He and his wife aren’t perfect, but they both agree the best way to make their marriage a success is to take the journey one step (or day) at a time.

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9. The upside to divorce. One friend on his second, and happier, marriage told me the best advice he could give me was to “get a divorce under your belt.” Half-joking and half-serious, he explained that his first marriage in his early 20’s taught him what it really meant to be married. He said he went into his first marriage with ridiculously unrealistic expectations and he and his wife both suffered through the process. In the end, they couldn’t make it work because neither had any real idea of what it meant to be a good husband or wife. Further, and mistakenly, they were both convinced it was the other person’s responsibility to change. Older, wiser, and more mature, he is happy and confident he won’t make the same mistakes the second time around. So, the moral of the story is if we want a happy marriage, some of us might need to get an unhappy marriage out of the way first.

10. It’s us versus the problem. One of my favorite tips came from one happily married man’s philosophy on maintaining a happy marriage, “it’s us versus the problem.” In his marriage, he and his wife have made a conscious effort to ensure it’s always them versus the problem instead of it ever being a case of him versus her.  It sounds idealistic, but it’s proven very effective for them over the years. Regardless of the issue, in their marriage it’s always a team effort. This means whenever they have a fight, it’s not them fighting each other, it’s them fighting to resolve the problem, together.

Now I’ll turn it over to you.

Ladies, what’s missing from this list that women need for a happy marriage? Fellas, what advice have your happily married friends given you? What personal advice or philosophy do you plan to follow when you get married? If divorced, did you learn anything you’ll apply in your next marriage or would warn/share with others before they get married?

WisdomIsMisery aka WIM uses his background as an internal auditor to provide objective, yet opinionated, qualitative and quantitative analysis on life, love, and everything in between. As a Scorpio, many women wish death on WIM and some have attempted to hasten its arrival. WIM is not a model, a model citizen, or a role model. See more of WIM on his weekly write-ups for SBM, on Twitter @WisdomIsMisery, and Instagram: WisdomIsMisery.

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  • MarriedInChocolateCity

    Some thoughts, neither gender specific:

    1.) LEARN YOUR PARTNERS LOVE LANGUAGE, and learn how to communicate love the way that they receive it.

    2.) Never stop dating. Whenever you decide that you no longer feel like putting in the effort, someone else will be happy to step in and do it for you. Never, EVER, create an in for someone who wants to steal your partners attention or affection.
    – Keep trying new things. New places, foods, experiences, activities are ways to make new memories and connections. Get outside of your comfort zone, laugh with and at each other, and enjoy the variety that life has to offer.
    – Your partner was attracted to you for a reason. Keep those things up. I’m not saying you can’t put on any weight, but stay healthy, gregarious, vivacious, adventurous, driven, imaginative, flirty, creative, romantic, intellectual, kind, funny, WHATEVER it is that makes you your most alluring you!

    3rd, and controversially, according to research, you will be happier without kids. Or, at least you won’t be as happy as you were without kids until you get all the kids out of the house again… So… don’t have them if you can avoid it.

  • KlovesG

    I loved the last point!! I’d also add noticeable signs of appreciation. From inexpensive ” just because ” tokens, and that could be me buying your car polish unsolicited or you picking up my favourite body oil because you were close to the store…..back rubs, pinched bottoms, kisses, words of genuine encouragement, giving a helping hand, doing nothing together with a smile…aahhh love 🙂

  • Cat88L3

    Yes, thank you for putting at least 2 tips/points on a page. I agree we need to shorten the clicks/pages.

  • Ms.20009

    If you follow what the bible says about marriage, you will have a successful marriage that will with stand the test of time..

  • bigdawgman

    If you follow #1, you won’t have to worry about #9. Too many people get married too young without knowing themselves, much less who they want to marry. Plus, they have unrealistic expectations of marriage. It’s not all wine and roses and excitement, especially after the kids come. Most of it is “boring as h3ll!” But in a good way. There are exceptions, but most men should not marry before the age of 27.

    • olderwiser

      I agree..I don’t think it is fair to yourself ( both men and women) to be married before 27,28ish……there is alot to learn about the world and yourself wayyyyyy beyond romantic relationships and we should give ourselves a chance to explore them. The window of youth and ‘care-free-ness’ is VERY small.

  • HelloLovely

    I find this “us verses the problem” interesting. What about when she makes his child “the problem” but she does not show the problems that she brings to the child? Especially when she’s jealous because she was the other woman and sees that his ex makes him happier and more open. As always, you can have the papers, make sure no one else has his heart, or him.

  • Kris

    Those sound like a darn great deal to me!! Marriage shouldn’t feel like jail, sheesh. Go to jail once in your life, then it’ll make sense.

  • C.Love

    Every time I read these articles, I realize how lucky I am to have found such a great man.

  • Gigi

    Love this article! I’ve been waiting for one from the male perspective. I just don’t trust articles about ‘what men want’ that are written by women. Thanks WIM! You’re always dropping some much needed knowledge on me.

  • Girl_Bye

    God article. I don’t have an issue with my man liking a woman’s pi in Instagram or twitter . If its one of their vixen models then hundreds of guys are clicking the like button. Trust she won’t be paying attention to his ” thumbs up”. Now I won’t put up with disrespect, if he’s constantly on these networks looking for women, writing innaporaite comments on their pics, then that’s different , but I’m not goin to trip over a ” like” on a few pics.

  • Zettai

    I liked this article, format and content, but what was up with that “bio” at the end? Not sure if it’s just weird or egotistical.

    • Or perhaps option #3: funny. Perhaps.

      • Zettai

        Eh, I guess.

  • TXMom

    THUMBS UP for the article format!!! Great list, but i can’t get with #3. You can follow and like all of the bonafide celebrities (no video models) you want, but I can’t tolerate liking the regular chicks. A lot of girls are so thirsty for a like they might get the wrong impression.

  • Trice

    I think the one point that is missing is to keep other people out of your relationship/marriage.

  • galegnac

    Follow the three “S”: sex, sandwich and silence (space). This goes for both sexes

  • FB

    You always take a vacation and get away from the house. It is refreshing and helps connect on a different level.

  • Alana

    I agree with the article. The only part that gave me pause was him finding other women attractive sometimes. I know he’ll see women he finds attractive, but is it necessary for him to go around following them on Twitter & liking FB pages??? I don’t know about that one…

    • Rayjulian85

      I agree. I’m not 100% on board with that one either. I feel like “liking” photos opens a door for communication. I may trust my man but I damn sure don’t trust a thirsty broad who puts up photos of herself half dressed everyday. However, he can follow all the celebrities he wants. I know badgalriri is hardly checking for his arse lol

  • Truths

    i like the format of the article. i hate when this website has one point per page, like really? that is unecessary but when u guys put several of the points on one page it makes me actually read thru the whole thing. keep up the shortening of pages for articles, thanks!

    • wordyo

      100000% agree…I hate the one point per page..sometimes I don’t bother to read the rest of the article..

  • T.I.

    Nice nice…….good article

  • Get your life!

    #3 I understand that my husband will find other women attractive but the last thing I will allow is for him to follow a have naked *@&$% on twitter. Temptation is real and if you play with it you might act out. Not having it.

    • itsthetruth

      ok, If you play with fire you will get burned!

    • FB

      If your man really wants to follow a naked woman on twitter, he’ll find a way to do it.

      • Get your life!

        And I’ll find my way to the court house to file “dem papers.” 🙂 If he has to “find a way” to creep, then I don’t need him or want him. Life it to short to be with somebody who really don’t want to be with you. Keep it moving.

        • FB

          You have to do what you think is right for you. I am simply say that you cannot try to control a man. A man will do it if he wants to, and you cannot stop it.

      • Get your life!

        And I’ll find my way to the court house to file “dem papers.” 🙂 If he has to “find a way” to creep, then I don’t need him or want him. Life it to short to be with somebody who really don’t want to be with you. Keep it moving.

    • If you don’t trust your man to look at naked women other than you from time to time, you should evaluate why you have trust issues, then fix them or get out.

      Temptation isn’t real for a good man with a good woman. Lack of trust however will crush the best of us.

      • Get your life!

        If you are “married” you should not be looking at “naked women” besides your wife. Are you serious? You are lusting after another women therefore you have already committed adultery. Biblically, I have every right to divorce. And to me, if you (a man) are secretly looking at other women behind my back, why should I trust you. You are not trustworthy. If you can’t be upfront and honest about your desires then we don’t need to be together. If the tables were turned I doubt you or any other man would be okay with it.

        • It’s naive to think that just because someone says “I do” then the attraction they felt for the opposite sex dies, or restricts itself to a single person. For straight men, women are beautiful, and naked women are even more so. I can almost guarantee your husband agrees with that. That’s simply biology, and a wedding ring, or all the love in the world for you won’t change that.

          You need to differentiate between having an attraction, and acting on that attraction. If you think that one necessarily leads to the other, again, you need to analyze what’s causing that trust issue and fix it. As a good, honest man who would never cheat on a woman, I know how detrimental it can be to my own security in a relationship, pride, and love if I’m not trusted…and it doesn’t sound like you’re very trusting.