When it comes to marriage, in a very true sense, time is limited. Pretty quickly into it, you realize fighting over petty things like wet towels on the bed isn’t the best use of your time. Some tips for a happy married life from a deteriorating 90-year-old man who wished he had more time to spend with his 86 year “young” beloved wife will do all of us some good.
You’ll still be fighting about what to order in for at least 2 hours, but these tips for a successful marriage will at least make sure one of you isn’t sleeping on the couch every other day. With the help of sane advice from someone who has seen it all, at least you’ll be able to look at things a lot more appreciatively.
Let’s take a look at some advice from a 90-year-old man, ailing in the hospital, who shares some words of wisdom for all married couples, how he wished his last few days were not filled with regrets.
How To Live A Happy Married Life: 10 Tips From A 90-Year-Old
It may seem like you’re not going to be one of those couples who’s always fighting, airing their dirty laundry out in public. But when five years down the line, you realize you’re annoyed at your spouse for the most trivial things, communication between you two may just suffer as a result.
The issues creep up without you realizing they’re there, and unless addressed, they tend to get worse. With the following tips for a good marriage, however, you can make sure the minor inconveniences don’t end up ruining your date nights, which are already few and far between.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to make sure you and your spouse have a happy married life, and what a 90-year-old man wishes he did more of when he had the chance.
1. Say “I love you” to your spouse
“You can never say I love you to your spouse enough,” says Bappa, this wonderful wise old man. He tells us that he started saying “I love you” to his wife after 50. He wishes he had said it right from the day he married her. She has been with him through thick and thin, and she keeps him rooted in his home. She is his soulmate, and therefore, he continues saying “I love you” to his better half an infinite number of times or more.
The number of times you say “I love you” to your spouse can never be enough. By saying the three words, you’ll be reassuring your spouse of the love you have for them. In a relationship that’s supposed to last you the rest of your life, it’s easy to take things for granted and just assume your partner already knows how much you love them.
While your adoration for them may be apparent in your own mind, it’s always helpful to show some signs of affection every now and then. Tell them you love them, tell them they mean the world to you, and most importantly, show them you’d do anything for them.
Related Reading: How Men Say ‘I Love You’ Without Saying Anything At All
2. Make time for one another
After having worked hard for more than 38 years, he realized that he should have also made time for his wife when they were both working. He says that after so many years he realizes that he should have grabbed every opportunity to spend time with her. Be it having a cup of coffee/tea in the morning, watching TV in the evening or going grocery shopping, all of it could be done together. His advice to married couples is to make sure they make time for each other.
Even if you’re both busy with work, make sure you make time for each other. Try to seize every opportunity to spend time with your spouse. You’ll regret not doing that when you’re both old, thinking of the years you spent running around at work.
Couples that spend too much time away from each other always drift apart. To ensure intimacy in a long-term relationship, you must always take time out of their day, even if it’s only for a little bit to spend with each other. This advice to married couples is to make sure they make time for each other so they can continue to make memories together.
3. The secret to a happy marriage is to take vacations together
As an extension to the earlier advice he suggests that while married couples can make time for each other in their daily routines, couples need to take long vacations every now and then. It is not necessary to have an expensive one, but even if you can spend time on a farm and explore the local cuisine and culture together, the novelty in the marriage stays intact.
The secret to a long-term relationship is going out, traveling together, and exploring the world in each other’s company. It will only strengthen the love and the bond between the partners. The new experiences give a couple a fresh perspective.
4. Look after each other in sickness and pain
“Do not blame each other for falling sick. Whenever one is unwell, take good care of them. No one is always going to be healthy. If your spouse is sick with the flu, please take time off from work to be with them. When they’re physically ill is when they need you the most,” he advises.
Today while he is in the hospital, I have seen his wife with him all the time. She is right next to him. But what is important to know is that even if there’s a small illness, be with your husband or wife and give them the affection that they need at that time.
The key to a happy married life is sticking by your spouse when they are most dependent on you. No one wants to be alone when they are sick or in pain. In fact, this is the time when you should give your spouse extra love and attention.
5. Don’t worry about what others think
At his age, he suggests that married couples should not let a third person take over their relationship. There is no need to think about what others think of you because their opinion doesn’t matter. Society and extended families have opinions about everything and they are the ones who’ll make your married life terrible.
Think about “us”, i.e. your spouse and you, and do whatever makes your relationship grow stronger and makes it more fun. It is only your life partner that will be around for the longest period of time. Others will come and go because their interest in your life is temporary.
Related Reading: Love Overcomes Any Handicap
6. Arrange for your spouse’s financial independence in advance
Bappa has made his will and made sure his wife is a nominee everywhere. His will has an external executor and he is making sure that after him, his wife will be looked after. Whether it is a man or a woman, both need to have their wills ready and must keep updating them as their investments and financial situations change.
As a wise man, he has made sure that the home, his savings, his pension, all investments, etc. automatically go to his wife through his notarized death will. Though it may seem like a grim thing to do, being prepared for the future and talking about finances is always a good idea.
You never know what’s going to happen, and taking care of things before anything unfortunate will also make you two feel more secure. When we talk about a happy marriage, you probably never think of something like getting your wills in order. Though it may seem like a bizarre thing to take care of, it’s one of the most important and thoughtful things you can do.
7. It is never too late to say sorry
Bappa says that if you have made a mistake, please say sorry. No one gets hurt by apologizing. In fact, an apology at the right time can make things better for a married couple. With an apology, one can keep behind their past and start looking forwards to a happier future. If you realize your mistake after you have evolved as a mature individual, you should have the courage to go to your spouse and apologize for your blunders.
Also, thank them for being there with you even when you made the mistake. If you let fights go unresolved for an extended period of time, the animosity is only going to get worse. Don’t let the molehills become mountains, and rectify the situation as early as possible. One of the best tips to a happy marriage is to swallow your pride and apologize.
8. The best tip for a healthy marriage: improve communication
Instead of avoiding conversations about serious topics, Bappa suggests letting it all out and talking about it. “The longer I ignored the elephant in the room, the bigger of a problem it turned into. Only when they got unbearable did we talk about them, which led to many fights,” he says. Improving communication in your relationship will help you work through nearly all the problems that may arise.
When you both know how to talk to each other about everything under the sun, you’ll make sure you leave no stone unturned in your journey towards a happy marriage. Do you want your partner to spend more time with you? Talk about it. Do you want to talk about something that’s been bothering you? Do it, it won’t hurt. Hate that wet towel on the bed? Tell your partner.
9. Don’t keep score and help out around the house
Bappa says, “Acts of service in a marriage should be done solely to serve the partner, not to expect something in return for it. A marriage is built on sacrifice, effort and selflessness. The more you keep score, the more resentful you will be.” Don’t try to win fights, and don’t do things expecting some return. Help out and take over the chores just because you want to, not because you want something back. The tips for a happy married life don’t get any easier than doing the dishes.
Related Reading: 12 Best Zodiac Pairs For Marriage
10. Have some personal space
Our last “happy marriage” tip may just be the most important one, given how personal space in a relationship holds it together. Yes, we know, we asked you to spend time together at the beginning of this article, but making sure you’re not joint at the hip is also a priority if you want to be in a happy marriage.
Though Bappa regrets not spending enough time with his wife when he was hard at work, he doesn’t think a couple should always be together. “Have individual lives, friends and hobbies. You are your own person, not an extension of your relationship,” he says.
Life has its ups and downs, but if you follow some simple marriage tips by 90-year-old Bappa, then you can keep the love and intimacy intact in your marriage, and live a long, happy married life. Just remember that true love is always worth all the effort. Make time for each other and be each other’s pillar of strength.