If experience is the greatest teacher, there is no one better to suited to offer advice to men on staying married than guys who’ve experienced divorce.
We asked divorced men to share the one resolution they think married guys should make in 2017. See what they had to say below.
1. Don’t shy away from confrontation.
“I don’t mean Martha and George in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’-level fighting but a good fight is sometimes good for the soul. My ex-wife and I never fought and you would think that was a good thing, but it’s not. You are two people, living together, day-in-and-day-out; at some point, annoying things your spouse does will get to you. But a good fight clears the air, blows the cobwebs out of the relationship and gives you a clean start. By the time my ex and I did fight, there were so many unresolved conflicts, we never had a chance of lasting. You will lose every fight that you don’t have.” ― Al DeLuise, blogger at Conflict and Scotch
2. But always seek to be the peacemaker.
“Arguing when you’re married happens as frequently as a fart joke in an Adam Sandler movie. The important thing to remember in the midst of fights with your spouse is that there are times when appeasement beats arrogance. If you love the person you’re with, the best gift you can give them is to let them win because odds are, you’re not as right as you think you are.” ― Craig Tomashoff, writer/producer and author of The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name
3. Try to do more of what makes your spouse happy.
“Ask your spouse: ‘What are the things I do that make you feel happiest in our marriage?’ Whatever she says, do that. If she hesitates, looks uncomfortable or doesn’t answer, you have an important follow-up question: ‘What are the things I do that make you feel bad?’ She might have a laundry list. You might feel defensive and want to say ‘Yeah, but…!’ to each thing. Your feelings might be hurt even if you pretend otherwise. You might disagree with her assessments. You might think she’s wrong, illogical or unfair. Doesn’t matter. Whatever she says, believe she’s telling you the truth. Then work with her each day so that none of those things will be said in the year to come.” ― Matthew Fray, blogger at Must Be This Tall To Ride
4. Express your appreciation for your spouse.
“Show your appreciation for your spouse ― for big things and small things. If she cooks supper, say ‘thank you.’ When she does something for your children, let her know you appreciate what she does. Don’t wait for her to show appreciation to you before showing her some appreciation.” ― Elliott Katz, author of Being the Strong Man A Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom On Being A Man
5. Keep the farts in check, please.
“Accidents happen. But for the love of all things sexy, do not expel gas out of any part of your body anywhere near your spouse.” ― Bill Flanigin, writer and teacher
6. Recognize how important the little things are.
“Remember that notes, flowers, cards or getting her favorite candy never get old. It’s a reminder that she still matters to you. It doesn’t always have to be planned dates, gifts or vacations. The smallest things make the biggest impact. So often men forget to continue to chase the women we love once we’re in the relationship. It’s the good morning texts, the kisses on the forehead and the walks in the park that keep her coming back for more. Keep that flame burning as long as you can and always put her at the forefront of your life.” ― Anthony D’Ambrosio, writer
7. Participate in her hobbies.
“Humans usually couple up with someone they feel shares a lot of common interests. Then, once you’re married, the reverse starts happening. It’s easy to start focusing on the ways you’re different instead, which is the path toward a life alone in your furnished studio apartment. If you accepted her love of antiquing or Bridget Jones movies when you were single, it’s important to not just tolerate but also participate in what she’s interested in. Find a way to enjoy what she enjoys.” ― Craig Tomashoff
8. Compliment your S.O. more often.
“Tell your wife you like her new outfit or the delicious dinner she made without her having to fish for a compliment. Every day there is something you can say to her to make her feel special. Remember, if you don’t, someone else might.” ― Bill Flanigan
9. Be smart about how you spend your money.
“Financial stress can bring out or worsen problems in a marriage.” ― Elliott Katz
10. Validate whatever your spouse is feeling about the state of your marriage.
“What your wife believes and feels about your marriage is true and real and important. And you having different beliefs and feelings has no bearing on hers. Her beliefs and feelings will be real whether or not you agree with her. Resolve to understand your wife’s beliefs about you and your marriage in 2017 and change the ones that matter. Do good things.” ― Matthew Fray