As great as grand romantic gestures are, in the long run, it's the small things that make a marriage tick.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 23, 2022. It has since been updated.
There's no one-size-fits-all secret that makes a marriage tick. Marriage is love, it's work and it's about finding innovative ways to spend time with one another. Everybody gives some advice to the newly wedded couple, mostly unsolicited, about how to make things work, how to make the relationship last and so on. One Reddit user was curious about marriage advice that people usually received that seemed weird at first but eventually paid off. User u/thecountnotthesaint asked, "What random marriage advice sounded absurd but was actually spot-on helpful?" Many people responded and it certainly is an eye-opening thread. Here are some of the offbeat ideas that came good in the end:
Dad said, “Be kind even if you’re not feeling it. Maybe especially if you’re not feeling it.” u/Semantican
At my wedding, my wife's Grandmother offered some funny, weird, solid advice. She said, "If you get angry with each other, go to bed naked and see if you can resolve it before you go to sleep." So far, so good. Anniversary on Monday! u/drizzyjdracco
The advice I’ve given people is this: if you can go grocery shopping with your person and have the best time ever, you have yourself a keeper. It’s all about making the best of the mundane things, because, after years of being together, life becomes predictable. You’ll need to keep the spice going, regardless of what you’re doing. Source: married 15 years. u/lemonfizzy0000
My grandfather told me "Never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink." What I learned is that he would always help my grandma and that is when they did their most talking. u/t480
I like to tell people "love isn't how willing you are to die for them, but how willing you are to be mildly inconvenienced by them." u/thatguysjumpercables
When our kid was about to be born, someone told me to change the first diaper. "If you can handle the first one, the others will be easy." So I did. I didn't know what I was doing, so I asked the nurse at the hospital to teach me, and I changed the first several diapers while my wife recovered from difficult labor. The advice was correct, no other diaper was as disgusting as the first one. It got very easy and I never minded doing it, and my wife was really really grateful. And I loved that I could take on some of the parenting chores since there was so much that she was the only one... equipped to provide. u/wordserious
Focus on tackling the problem, not each other. u/Reddit.
This is a good one. My FIL said something similar on our wedding day: "Always remember it's you two against the problem, not you two against each other." It's great advice, especially when we disagree. It's calmed a lot of arguments over the years. u/Xanderthesheepdog
Marriage is the act of solving team problems that you didn't have before. u/Stapernn
Marry him for who he is. Not his potential. u/There-no-beyond
Moma said "don't come whining to me about your wife, go talk to her"....and don't spend your time complaining to anyone about your SO. If you need advice, ask, but no talking down about your SO, chances are they have a long list of complaints too. u/Aware-rocks5769
My stepmom just passed away, and dad said something that has profoundly changed my attitude: "The little things that annoyed me are the things I now miss." Don't nag on the little things, rather, embrace them. u/Drewkungfu
Grandma said "Love is like coffee. Sometimes it's hot, sometimes it's cold, sometimes it's sweet, sometimes, it's bitter. No matter how you like it, it is good. But it's only great when you get it 'the way you like it'. Make sure you get what you want." u/Pathfinder91606
There are certain words, certain tone of voice, etc. that you can use on your children, a friend, a subordinate or even your boss, but which you just shouldn't use on your spouse. u/Traditional_bell7883
Always act like it's the last time you'll see them. Cause it might be. My mother passed last year at 45 from her second bout with cancer. Middle of the night, my dad said he's glad he stayed up later to spend a few more minutes with her. To tell her he loved her. You never know when you'll never see them again. Also pride doesn't belong in your marriage, if you have any self pride leave it at the door both you and your partner serve each other and support each other, each putting the other first and accept that they are giving it their all even if their all isn't what it was last month. u/Dawrven_Archer97
Randomly give your partner a cold beverage on a hot day. It's the little things that show you care. u/Purple12inchRuler
My grandmother said to have sex often and loudly. u/HJD68
You don't just marry her, you marry her whole damn family. u/crazyprsn
Don't forget to breathe. Your relationship was founded on your individuality. If you are not taking time to be yourselves as individuals, you are not maintaining yourselves and eroding the foundation of your relationship and your life. There is a reason most employers provide vacation. Time to get away from the grindstone, reset, recharge, and breathe. Same thing for your relationships. When you are together, you are a couple. When you are with the kids, you are parents. At work, you are working. There is a reason things like guy's/girl's night, man caves, and craft rooms exist. To take time apart, build individually, and appreciate your time together more. This is true of all relationships, romantic, parental, vocational, and personal. If you're not breathing, you're not doing much. u/StinkyMcKraken
Looks fade, marry someone who you enjoy talking to — grandma. u/catalystkjoe
Grab each other's butts as often as possible. Keep the flirtation alive. u/jollyrogerninja