Engagement season is about to be in full swing. Wedding Wire research shows that 38% of couples get engaged between November and January – right after that is when wedding planning kicks into high gear.
Once you’ve popped the question, gentlemen tend to get unsolicited advice from all corners. Advice from dads, brothers, groomsmen, bosses, heck even the mailman sometimes. Just to give you one more source of advice - actually a curated set of advice - we got input from a variety of reputable groomsmen and husbands to share with you this ring giving season. The top five we are sharing span a few tried and true classics and some less well known, but very clever tips you can put to work as soon as you put a ring on it!
5 Tips for a Happy Marriage
1) Pre-Negotiate Guy Time: A bone of contention between many couples is a gents wish for guy time, be it video game time, football season time, golf time or even poker time. Plenty of couples argue about this while other couples have it figured out. Figuring it out doesn’t mean giving up those parts of guy time that make you you – it means agreeing on how much guy time you can both live with. You’re not living solo anymore, so you may need to tone down total guy time but you should also be clear with your lady that overly limiting guy time will mean you don’t get to be you – the guy she loves and wanted to marry. Just be sure that she’s working out her own plans during your guy time.
2) Listen, Don’t Jump to Fix: Guys are great at fixing things. When presented with a problem, most grooms will immediately try to find a solution and move into fix mode. It turns out that sometimes when your lady has had a bad day or recounts a problem she’s facing all she wants is a sympathetic ear. When you try to fix it right away or offer solutions off the cuff you might inadvertently be making your partner feel like she’s inadequate, like she hasn’t tried hard enough or like she’s not very smart. Instead of jumping straight to solution mode – which you think may be super helpful – listen. Then ask if she wants help before you act.
3) Pre-Purchase Gifts: Let’s face it, we are ALL hard to buy presents for … and we all want to have the most clever, touching and thoughtful gifts to give. There’s one sure fire way to succeed. Don’t wait until gift giving time to buy your partner a present. Next time she eyes something special or mentions a wish she has go ahead and get that item – squirrel it away until it’s time to surprise her with your very thoughtful gift.
4) Buy Multiple Wedding Bands: It’s ironic from how many grooms we’ve heard this pointer. It seems that most gents can’t get used to wearing their band right away. Unlike the ladies who cherish the ring and love showing it off, guys can’t get used to the feeling of a ring on their hand. The weight when they type, the metal obstruction when they lift weights or golf, or the water trapped on their skin after they shower. That’s why many guys take their rings off, lose them and then need to replace them. So you can either buy multiple copies of an inexpensive ring so you’ve got backups or you can get a RingSafe to hold on to that ring when you can’t wear it.
5) Never Go to Bed Angry: Perhaps the most oft repeated advice that we’ve all heard, gotten or practiced with our loved ones (spouses, parents and even friends). It bears repeating. It also benefits from some supporting strategies. John asked what he should do when we’re too tired to think straight to resolve a disagreement – how do you get to bed if you can’t resolve things? Realistically, many arguments are too big or complicated to resolve before bedtime. But what you CAN do is commit to resolving it in the next few days and confirm that you love each other and that your anger is about the thing or the situation NOT the person. Give each other the reminder that you are in it for the long haul and that you will work it out – that’s what love is all about.
John and I practice two and a half of the five here and after writing this post together we are actively working on the others … with the exception of the multiple wedding bands (given that whole RingSafe product we’ve invented and all).
What do you practice in your marriage? What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?