No Bull****

6 Genuinely Great Pieces of Marriage Advice From Reddit

What keeps a relationship going for the long haul? Redditors recently shared their biggest tips.

Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images

Maintaining a healthy relationship, one able to endure life’s ups and downs, is the result of effort. Whether it’s the big stuff (trust, respect, good communication) or the small (delivering well-placed compliments, making sure to buy that snack you know they love) prioritizing the work is what helps a marriage thrive.

It’s also never a bad idea to hear about marriage advice that has helped other people maintain successful relationships. Recently, Reddit u/Adrienadii_ posted a call for “the best relationship advice you ever got?” in the r/AskReddit community, and users that chimed in offered a variety of genuinely useful information. While largely simple, the advice shared highlights everything from the significance of self-care and communication to warnings about keeping score and remembering to focus on what’s important. Here are some of the nuggets of relationship wisdom shared.

1. Stop Keeping Score

"There is no reason to keep score,” Redditor u/slythernprol wrote. “You are both on the same team. If one (or both) of you starts keeping score with things it is time to evaluate the state of the relationship and why this is occurring."

This is simple (and fairly classic) advice — scorekeeping is a great way to breed resentment, an all-time relationship killer. But it’s important to remind yourself that — especially when you’re feeling frustrated — you and your spouse really are on the same team, and that holding on to a ‘score’ won’t help anyone.

2. Prioritize Self Care

It’s a simple fact that bears repeating: prioritizing self-care — that is, attending to your mental and physical health, your personal goals, and your friendships — helps every aspect of your relationship. As Redditor u/Ether_Freeth wisely put it: "A partner is the cherry on top of a cake. The cake is your responsibility."

3. Keep The Small Things In Mind

As one Redditor, u/ImFromAlbany offered: "If you take a Coke Zero out of the fridge, put another one back in." That is, be mindful of the little things. Everyone always says, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” But we all know that’s not exactly true. That small stuff adds up and, when not prioritized, can lead to people feeling undervalued or unappreciated. The small things in a relationship — say, cleaning the thing they hate cleaning, or leaving nice notes for them just because— go a long way.

4. Learn How Your Partner Wants To Be Listened To

"When your partner wants to have a serious talk, ask them if they want you to give advice or just listen!,” one Redditor offered. “There’s a huge difference." There certainly is. Men in particular tend to want to roll up their sleeves and solve issues right away. But that impulse can backfire as the other person may not want or even need advice. Instead, they want to be heard and validated by their significant other. Active listening is important. But it’s also crucial to take a beat and ask your partner what they’d like: Do they want you to listen? Give advice? Confirm that Sheila from the playground, is, in fact, a bore? Asking and providing what they need goes a long way.

5. Always Express Appreciation

“Don't forget to say 'thank you' when they make your coffee,” wrote Reddit u/Ok_Orange_2777. Another Redditor went a bit longer with it: "Recognize and validate what you do for each other; even the small things. Saying 'I appreciate you doing X', even for a small thing that doesn't seem like much, shows that you're paying attention to each other." It really does.

6. Communicate — Even When You Think You’re On The Same Page

You may know your significant other better than anyone — and vice versa — but that doesn’t mean you know everything, or that they can read your mind. That’s asking for trouble. As one Redditor shared, "Do not assume they know how you feel, you MUST clearly communicate how you feel and ensure that your feelings (and theirs) are comprehended." No, this isn’t always easy. But if you work on it, your relationship will greatly benefit.

To read the full thread of advice, check out the Reddit community’s post.