When I was getting married, I was inundated with tons of advice about having a long and happy marriage. At the time I thought it friendly, but useless counsel. As I approach my twentieth anniversary, I recognize the wisdom of this guidance and realize that it can be beneficial for couples at all stages of their married life.

Pick your battles and your truces: Married couples are going to fight and argue. In fact, many psychologists and marriage experts say that normal levels of arguing are actually healthy for a marriage. But part of having a happy marriage is knowing when you need to fight things through to resolution and when you need some cooling off time. Not every argument carries the same weight and sometimes letting things go is the best way to keep the peace.

Listen to what your partner is saying: As simple as this sounds, it can be difficult for many of us in any type of long term relationship. Part of listening is determining what type of response your partner is looking for. I used to try to relate my experiences to what my husband was trying to talk about. After time, I realized he was looking for me to encourage him to speak of his concerns, not echo mine.

Spend time with each other: It is very important for the two of you to spend time together as a couple, even for as little as an hour or two once a week. If you have children or other responsibilities, like a business, it is understandable that this could be difficult. But recognize that there will always be other priorities and tasks, and that waiting for a perfect lull in your activities will be impossible. Recharging and reconnecting will make it easier to meet those other life demands together.

Don't get so comfortable that you forget to be thoughtful: after having three children, and spending much of my time worrying about their needs, I didn't even realize that I had stopped doing things for my husband. I no longer brought him home new clothes, or his favorite foods from the grocery store. I didn't know until he commented on my lack of attention, that just being thoughtful, like picking up something for him, lets him know how I still feel about him.

Author's Bio: 

Cathryn is a working mother of three. A self-professed health and fitness nut, Cathryn loves to research and write about health and wellness related topics. For more Tips For A Happy Marriage you can visit http://www.cathrynharperpress.com/