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Must Read Marriage Relationship Advice for Men.

Updated on March 5, 2016
Jeff Watters profile image

Jeff Watters is a business consultant & freelance author who lives in Havre de Grace, MD, former manager of Mattress stores & AWAI member.

15 Ways to Ensure a Good Marriage

I have been a bachelor for the last 18 years after a failed marriage. I know that is a strange way to start an article giving advice to guys’, however, what has saved me from many bad relationships could save you a bad relationship and a bad marriage. The first and most important advice I can give you is to be choosy. You may be lonely, may want sex, may think the right woman doesn’t exist; you might have a lot of reasons to make a move now to solidify your relationship. But I am going to give you some reasons why you should not.

The first is something I never considered before proposing to the woman I married, and that is a marriage license is a deed. It is a legal and binding contract and nothing more. It applies to her, and you and what that deed is good for is half of your property and money. Perhaps for the rest of her life. I point this out, not so much as to be misogynistic, but because I know some people don’t think things through to the ultimate conclusion. I sure did not. The result of marriage should be to walk down the road hand in hand in your old age and to love every step along the way.

Perhaps in the future, you will have raised a family, made your fortune, and become president of your company, but none of that will happen if you don’t consider your options carefully before proposing marriage and having that marriage proposal accepted. Being choosy is the only way to avoid problems in the future. It is about the right lady and not the woman of the moment that makes you content. I mention it upfront because the walking hand in hand contently in old age only comes if you are with the right woman.

Here is my checklist of Relationship Advice for Guys Considering Marriage and what you should do:

  • Be Choosy
  • Wait for sex, it will happen eventually
  • Find a woman you can talk to about what is real in your lives
  • Share your dreams, goals, and aspirations
  • Don’t say I love you (too soon)
  • Find things to do together and respect the things you do apart privately
  • Dine out on special occasions or when she is too busy to cook for herself
  • Flowers are for special occasions. Don’t be a chump who makes the receiving of flowers insignificant
  • Have your life in order before inviting someone to share your life
  • Find common interest and hobbies that you can enjoy together
  • Dress a little better than the average guy, remember if you are hers you represent her choices
  • Keep in shape
  • When planning a future asks her how you will make it together, what is her vision?
  • Have a mutual vision
  • Share power and have the same goals, even when goals change

There is a mindset among some men that think a woman wants to be wined and dined. If it is true, it is only to the minutest point. A woman in your life means shared experiences. I relate to it as railroad tracks. Two tracks side-by-side with ties in between. Each tie a memory of a time in your life that has led you down the road to a healthy relationship and there should be a lot of those ties before you take a relationship to another level.

That is why you don’t say I love you when you feel the only infatuation. It is why you don’t propose marriage either. Make sure you and she are healthy together. I can tell you from experience that a toxic relationship will trouble your soul. Perhaps more trouble than all the joy you first experienced.

While you are building your relationship, you will want to make a time to discuss how things are with your love interest. Will you make it as a couple? Ask her how? She has a different vision than you do and you need to understand her view. For instance, if she wants to own horses and you don’t like horses, I doubt you will make it as a couple. Of course, you could come to love animals, but you better be sure. One horse is a lot of work, and that's multiplied if there are many horses, which is again multiplied by your disdain. So take the time to discuss a future and get on the same page. Sure there is room for individuality, but you need to agree beforehand.

I was brought up to believe you should set time limits to “make the next move” in a relationship. My parents told me that you should date for six months before what we used to call “going steady;” six more months before considering marriage, a year after that before proposing marriage. That, of course, is only a guideline, but it doesn’t hurt you to have a map to guide you down life’s road either.

There are many warnings as to the unhealthiness of your relationship. Jealousy, obsession, ups, downs, and stress are all indicators of a bad relationship. Other signs include exclusion in certain areas of her life, which may indicate that she is hiding something. A relationship must be close to equal in all ways. 50% of marriages end in divorce. Don’t become a part of that statistic. Before considering the moving the relationship to the next step you must have a solid relationship and a plan for the future that offers security. Will there be one income or two? Will there be children and how will they be supported? Do you have the same goals as it concerns children and a way to support those objectives?

Not all relationships will continue to marriage, nor should they. If you cannot fix what is broken, then you must move on. Love is a curious thing, but rightly the highest form of human emotion. But there is a thin line between love and hate. When things go bad, they can move quickly across that line. So hear what she is saying. Don’t just repeat it back to her. Hear and listen and understand. You must accept the unsolvable.

Either be willing to live with it or not. Remember, a woman’s mind is connected differently than a man’s mind. We men organize our thoughts in boxes, and each box is separated from the others. In a woman’s mind, all things are connected and she may forgive but will never forget. This is true, I remember my wife was harping on me during our marriage about something, and I replied back to her, “Becky, that happened fifteen years ago don’t you think it is about time to let it go?”

Finally, I want to add this last bit of solid advice. Buy the car, boat, motorcycle, jet skis, and so forth before you get married. Going into debt after marrying will lead you to smack into the number one cause of divorce, and that is a lack of money. So finish school, get a career, and become viable before taking a bride. A woman will want some security in life. That doesn’t necessarily mean money, but it does mean a future with a man she loves. If you love her to be sure to offer her something more than attraction to you. Offer her a world contented with the man she loves.

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