Swarms of married people took to Reddit and responded to user SolidFlow's question:
Married people of Reddit, what are the little things that keep your marriage healthy?
They responded with the best advice they'd discovered in their relationships.
Gut Check, Bro
We both agreed that whenever we start to have an argument to do a "gut check", i.e. check if either one of us is hungry. If so, end the argument immediately, eat something, and wait half an hour to see if we want to resume arguing.
We now argue about twice a year. SsurebreC
Sometimes The Simplest is the Best
I'm one of those people that absolutely suck at knowing what to say when trying to comfort someone and I'll always wind up saying something that just makes it worse...I think the best relationship advice I have ever received is that you don't have to always verbally comfort them and you can still let them know you care by just being there - holding their hand or just sitting with them while they're sad.
This saves me many times. Richard_james2
The Big Becomes Small and The Small Become Large
I heard some other redditor say it not me but he said marriage is when the little things become big things and the big things become little things. example:
Me: "Babe I lost my job."
Her: "It's okay we will make it through this."
things are going well:
Her: "YOU DIDN'T DO YOUR DISHES AFTER EATING SPAGHETTI I'M GOING TO MURDER YOU AND YOUR MOTHER FOR NOT TEACHING YOU BASIC INDEPENDENCE!"
My wife and I have also found what you said to be true. Sometimes we say, "I think you are hungry/stressed/tired."
Usually, it ends with..."I am not hungry/stressed/tired." and I'll make her a meal and she says...yea I was hungry.
It really makes things easier for both sides to just call the other person out. Nimbleturtles
Dating Life Never Ends
Just because you're married doesn't mean you're not dating anymore. soulreaverdan
The Husband Always Rings Twice
My parents used to do this thing where the person that comes late would ring the doorbell instead of opening the door with their key. The idea being the person that was home would stop what they were doing and come say welcome home kind of thing. When I was little I thought it was so dumb like use your f***ing key. But i get it now. Both my parents tend to get wrapped up in their business when they come home so the doorbell is a nice reminder that there's someone else that needs a little bit of attention when they come home. sc00bysnaks
Give Up The Big Half...
This is going to sound strange but: each of you give your partner the "big half." Salt-Pile
...Also Known As The 60/40 Rule
My mom calls this the 60/40 rule. Give 60, expect 40. If both partners stick to this, everyone wins. My parents have been married for 25 years and are the literal definition of relationship goals. asleepunderthebridge
Complacency Breeds Failure
It doesn't have to fade over time. My husband and I have been together for 15 years and we always thank the other for making dinner/doing chores etc. Mainly because we don't have expectations of who 'should' be doing it (completely get that you are taking on the burden while your wife is at school). I've seen people argue that if you thank your partner then it says that they have done your job which can set a bad precedent. Personally, we don't subscribe to that. S*** has to get done so if my husband has already done it, that means I don't have to, and vice versa. Combined with the 60/40 split others have mentioned (we'll each try to do specific chores the other doesn't like, even if we don't like them ourselves) makes for a contented relationship in our experience.
What I'm saying is, try not to get complacent once the newly-wed phase wears off. If you appreciate your partner, tell them. phrenologyheadbump
Start By Saying Sorry
Don't be afraid to admit fault and don't make excuses. If you hurt them, even if you didn't mean to, apologise.
Stay On Target
...If you're arguing, stay on the point, don't raise your voice, don't be mean. Learn what one or two things are important to you and don't budge on those. Compromise on everything else. Tounyoubyo-Kareshi
Let It Go
Just letting things go. Seriously. Don't argue about every little thing that pisses you off. FlakeyGurl
Who's Keeping Score?
I learned that pretty early on in my marriage. I was very unhappy around the 2 year mark. Then I realized I was keeping score on every little thing. It wasn't worth it and it wasn't fair to her.
So I stopped keeping score and now we're pretty damn happy. ToxicOffshoot
It's Us vs. The World
We're also open with each other and tackle problems as a team. Neither of us ever set out to "win" an argument. It's always us Vs the issue. We never go to bed angry if we do argue and to be honest that's rare. delibertine
Be Sure To Schedule Your Cuddles
He has an alarm that goes off at 9:15 every night that he calls his "bumbledaisy" alarm. He stops whatever he is doing, sings a little song and then asks me if he can do anything for me. Most of the time I just want a hug and a kiss. bumbledaisy
I Think You Can, I Think You Can...
This is a big one for me - whenever my wife talks about me in front of other people she always, always says the absolute best things about me, even though I give her plenty to complain about. She even does it when I'm not around since friends mention my wife said this or that. All of our friends think I'm a rockstar husband and father and I think this is largely due to me fitting the role she made for me. She wins me respect from others just by speaking good things about me. sonofespresso
Bro, Do You Even Lift?
We also powerlift together. He spots me, I spot him. We cheer each other on and help each other reach goals. The encouragement goes outside the gym and really makes us a solid team. He's truly my best buddy. sauerpatchkid
Ask "Who's #1?"
We are each other's #1 priority. All the time. No exceptions. Does that rule every interaction and impact anything on most days? Nope. But when we need it to, it is an automatic trump card.
"Hey, that guy at your work makes me uncomfortable. Can you not have lunch alone with him anymore?" Done.
"Hey, I know work is busy this week, but I am nervous for my doctor's appointment. Can you come?" Done.
"When we visit your family, I get a little overwhelmed. Can we have lunch, just the 2 of us, to get some breathing room?" Done.
"The baby is driving me crazy. Can you take her so I can take a bath/watch the game/get a nap/just breathe?" Done.
These situations are actually pretty rare, but to know someone will 100% support you means all the difference in the world. wittyish
Crack A Smile
Being able to take the piss out of each other.Being able to argue and let it go.Arguing and then cracking a joke almost instantly afterwards and returning to normal. Rikolas
Ignore That Inner Voice
Don't engage in the "my spouse is terrible because" conversations. That can start an internal dialogue it's hard to back away from. PolybiusChampion
Sometimes, Sleep Is Best
We go to bed mad. Usually wake up not mad anymore. Staying up to fight when you're tired and not feeling the love isn't productive. If you're still mad in the morning, you can talk then. katgib13
Put That Phone Down
We are religiously committed to having a date night every week. Nothing extravagant ever really. We have a rule that were not allowed to use our phones during the date unless its to show the other something funny or cool we saw on the internet earlier. cheyrasFind a Reason To Walk
We walk our dog together every day. It sounds dumb, but just talking for 20 minutes about nothing is nice. thirteenthfox2
No One Wins When You Both Lose
Above all else be focused on solving the issue and not on whos fault it is or "winning". If you go into every relationship interaction with the focus of "winning", the only one who will be winning is your divorce lawyer. theCroc
And, the final, most straightforward piece of advice you can get...
Touch The Butt
"Thank you", "I love you", and touching each other's butt. Works for us. Eliana45