Forget expensive presents, romantic meals or grand gestures, the secret to a long and happy marriage is an old-fashioned chin wag; according to a new report.
A UK study of couples married for at least ten years revealed their top advice to newlyweds is as simple as “take the time to talk” as often as possible.
This was closely followed by advice to ensure there is clear “compromise” in the relationship.
The third most popular piece of advice was simply to “keep going” and persevere with the marriage, despite tough times and obstacles.
Only one per cent of respondents specifically mentioned the importance of a good sex life.
The research commissioned by Slater and Gordon Lawyers, surveyed 2,000 married people asking for the one piece of advice they would pass on to newlyweds about how to survive ten years of marriage.
The survey was commissioned to mark the start of a new lawyer-supported family Mediation service the firm is offering to stop legal costs spiralling out of control, and to keep family disputes out of Court.
Interestingly just three per cent mentioned being faithful in their words of wisdom while other nuggets of advice to newlyweds was to “keep working on it”, “listen” and “have patience”.
Slater and Gordon Family Lawyer Sarah Thompson said, “What’s clear from my work as a family lawyer is that marriage can be hard work. When I speak to clients about the reasons their relationship has ended, it’s often for the same reasons: problems communicating and not being able to compromise.
“Sadly, despite the best intentions in the world, not every marriage will last forever. That’s why I’m delighted that Slater and Gordon are offering lawyer-supported Mediation to couples who would like to sort out their differences at the end of their relationship away from the Courts.
“As this research has shown, communication and compromise can be the key to a happy marriage, but they are also the attributes that can help resolve a relationship that’s over in the best possible way for all parties involved.”
Reinforcing the importance of keeping things light, another popular piece of advice was to “have a good sense of humour” and “keep laughing”.
Another often-quoted piece of advice was “never go to sleep on an argument”.
There were some unexpected pieces of advice too, with a number of people simply stating “don’t get married”, while others cautioned; “don’t let the in-laws interfere”.
Children were also a bone of contention for some couples, with a small number of people advising “don’t have children”, while others said; “don’t have kids until you have saved up loads of money” or “don’t have kids straight away”.
People who go into marriage hoping to change their partners were given a dose of reality, with the advice; “Don’t have unrealistic expectations of changing someone to suit yourself”.
Remembering that a marriage lasts well beyond the wedding day was another popular theme with couples being urged to stick at their relationship and “expect the ups and downs, it’s not all a bed of roses, but don’t give up too easily”.
Top 20 Advice Tips for Newlyweds
- Keep going
- Work at it
- Don’t give up on the marriage too easily
- Don’t go to bed on an argument
- Be patient
- Be honest
- Have respect
- Be tolerant
- Have realistic expectations
- Don’t get married
- Do things together
- Be tolerant
Family Lawyers at Slater and Gordon offer a free initial consultation and provide both flexible pricing and fixed fees for family and divorce law services.