Marriage Secrets From Couples Together 20 Years Or More

Marriage Secrets From Couples Together 20 Years

The best people to turn to for advice about a subject are the ones who have experienced or lived through them. So when it comes to secrets of a long-lasting marriage, no therapist or relationship counselor can slip you advice as strong as couples who have had personal experience of being in a marital relationship for 20 years or more. As you’ll go through the list, you’ll realize that there’s no one secret but rather a list of things that ensure you’re happily married for years (& years) to come. If you’re newly-wed or planning to take the next step in the relationship, take heed of these secrets from couples who have been married for more than 20 years. 

#1 Accept & Expect Change 

Couple: Anil & Suman 
Married: 29 years

Anil’s advice: “You really have to give space to the other person in the relationship. Don’t expect them to remain the same over the years. With Suman, through these years, I feel like I have been with 5 different women altogether. And you know what the best part is? I was able to not only witness those transitions, but helped her through them, and understood why she needed to transform herself without any judgment. Never suffocate your partner with the idea of who you expect them to be. Rather love, support, and cherish fully their happiness and transition.”

Suman’s advice: “Growth is really important to me. In terms of everything – personal life, professional life, and emotional life. And everyone has a different rate and expectations of themselves. It’s important that you let the other person flow and decide what makes them happy. Flow with them as they change. Also, keep your focus on individual growth and keep your independence, instead of losing your identity in each other.” 

#2 Get Ready To Compromise (without keeping the count)

Couple: Kritika & Anshuman 
Married: 21 years

Kritika’s advice: “Marriage is all about compromises and sacrifices. And please don’t think you’ll have to give up being you to work this out. If that’s the case, you’re probably with the wrong person. The right person will put the relationship before himself, and ask your sacrifices to align with the betterment for both of you. That’s the key. And you’ll have to do the same when making compromises. Most importantly, don’t keep count on how many compromises you make or throw it at the other person during the fight. The basis of the compromise is to be okay with it, make peace with it, and forget about it. Not keeping them as a score against the other person.”

Anshuman’s advice: “There’s no “I” in “We”. When you’re single you can make selfish decisions, like going anywhere you want or take into account only your feelings before making a decision. And when you’re in that mode, it’s not bad. It’s good. Because that’s how you grow and get to know who you are better. But once you’re married, you need to take a step back and prepare to make sacrifices and include other person’s emotions before making any move.”

#3 Keep The Romance Alive

Couple: Shubham & Apoorva
Married: 30 years

Shubham’s advice: “Over the years, I have planned several surprise trips for Apoorva. Other times, I just get her flowers while coming home from work or cook her breakfast on the weekends. Gestures as simple as plucking a flower while walking in the park and presenting it to her or touching your toes when you drift apart while sleeping can do a lot to keep the spark alive. Try to do these small and big things whenever you get a chance.”

Apoorva’s advice: “Explore intimacy out of the confines of the bedroom. Hold each other’s hands, steal a kiss, and make the other person feel wanted – sexually, emotionally, physically, mentally. It’s that simple.”

#4 Empathise

Ashok & Reena 
Married: 32 years

Ashok’s advice: “Empathy is everything. Being someone who loves to joke around a lot, it’s easy to cross the line with the one person you’re with more than anyone else – your partner. Having empathy helps me draw that line without her having to tell me to stop. Besides, empathy makes every fight easier. Once you understand the emotions another person might have felt or is feeling, everything changes. Everything. I think that single factor has changed our relationship completely.”

Reena’s advice: “Being emotionally aware helps you to understand and manage your emotions, but also makes you better at perceiving the feelings of others. And that’s what helps blossom the flower of empathy inside you. Trust me, that’s the secret magic sauce of a relationship. When people ask us “how are you so much in love after all these years”, that’s the answer. Work on empathy.”

#5 Communication is Key

Raj & Akshata
Married: 20 years

Raj’s advice: “I know everyone says it, but communication really is the key. Whatever the problem is – big or small -, just talk it out. Be respectful though. If at any point in time, things get heated, take time out to cool down. Never disrespect your partner – that’s very important.”

Akshata’s advice: “Don’t let things build up. Just don’t. If something is bothering you, speak your mind. If nothing else, the other person will always appreciate the honesty, Similarly, give your partner room to express themselves. You’ll feel so much better after the conversation. Fights are a normal part of a relationship – even the happy couples fight and have disagreements.”

#6 Some Years Will Be Hard

Prateek & Sulekha
Married: 27 years

Prateek’s advice: “I saw an interview of Michelle Obama’s and she said, “if you have been married for 40 years and 10 of them are bad, you have a good marriage” and I’ve related to nothing else more in my life. Your relationship will get rocky from time to time that doesn’t mean you start questioning your compatibility. We have had years that had more fights and disagreements and fewer moments of love and passion. That’s okay. Sometimes you just have to let go and let things fall back into place together.”

Sulekha’s advice: “My advice is simple. You can’t make anything 100% perfect. Not even your relationship. So, even if it’s 90 or sometimes stoop down to 70, relax. It’s not the end of the world. Sometimes your companionship will require tons of work. The important distinction here is that – despite those tough times we knew we were in this relationship for the long haul. Mutual respect, trust, and love never went away. That’s what matters, doesn’t it?”

#7 You Have To Want It

Dwarka & Jamna
Married: 57 years

Dwarka’s Advice: “If you’re always looking for ways to leave, just leave. If the first thing that comes to your mind when trouble walks in the door is to walk away. Just walk away. This proves that you don’t want it. And if you don’t want it, there will come a time when the other person will just give up. Respect the institution of marriage – and know that easy and rough patches are just part of this adventurous ride.”

Jamna’s Advice: “You have to wake up and choose each other every day. I got married at the mere age of 18. It was easy and fun at the start. Then, we had kids and some financial blocks here & there. Things got hard, but we got stronger. At the end of the day, we aren’t just a bunch of quitters. We built a partnership we wanted and stayed put.”

#8 Be Polite

Rajeshwar & Yamuna
Married: 46 years

Rajeshwar’s Advice: “I love opening gates of the car or the restaurant we go to for her! It may seem old-fashioned but these little gestures of respect go a long way and really do make a difference.”

Yamuna’s Advice: “There’s a lot that I have learned in my 46 years of marriage. Having a sense of understanding and trust, lots of communication, sorting out differences, and finding happiness on your own without being dependent on the other person are just a few highlighted ones. However, the one little thing that people comment on the most is how we say thank you and please often to each other. We also say sorry without letting the ego come in the middle. But I think with marriage, the best piece of advice always comes down to these little things. These little things build an exponentially better marriage. So the next time you ask your partner to get your phone from the bathroom to bedroom, just add a little please and thank him when he does that.” 

#9 Take Time Out For Each Other

Amit & Pooja 
Married: 35 years 

Amit’s Advice: “Thursdays have always been date nights for us. Just the two of us. Even after having kids, we make sure we have that one night in the week together with no matter what. When our children were young, we left them with grandparents or hired a babysitter – so no one could disturb our quality time together. On days when we missed the date night, we used to compensate the same with a short weekend getaway. Having a rule worked for us. Of course, you can figure out another way to spend some quality time together. Schedule everyday conversations too! We have our morning tea together – almost every day. During this time, we don’t talk about work or finances or anything serious. Just emotions, feelings, and take time out to listen to the other person.”

Pooja’s Advice: “Never stop dating. That’s always my rule, even when you get married you have to keep dating. You have to keep the butterflies alive. So, get excited when he comes home rather than nagging him with the questions. Try to groom yourself well. (same goes for the man.) Just keep that dating romance flourishing and thriving. You also have to take a few trips away from each other, which is what I call necessary separateness. It’s nice to be really like,’ I miss you so, so much.’ That brief moment of separation can bring back the gratefulness, the love, the happy memories. It’s just the best.”

#10 Grass Is Not Always Greener

Shruti & Aman
Married: 26 years

Shruti’s Advice: “Even in the happiest of marriages, there can be an inclination to cheat. You find someone of the opposite sex who you connect with and they start sending you signals. In moments like this, my advice is to block that person out completely. In that temporary itch, you might ruin your forever thing.”

Aman’s Advice: “I married Shruti after 2 years of knowing each other. Young kids these days want to wait in the hopes that they might find someone better. When you know someone is right for you, don’t let them go. Settle down with them. The grass isn’t always greener but the love and partnership you will foster together is.”

#11 Don’t Be Petty

Suraj & Shagun
Married: 20 years 

Suraj’s Advice: “Your job as a partner is to make the other person feel loved, cherished, and amazing about themselves. Not the other way around, anytime. Never use someone’s past mistakes, trauma, or pain against them during a heated moment, or otherwise. They will never forget how you made them feel. If the person they’re supposed to trust makes them feel like shit, how are they supposed to be vulnerable again? Choose your words wisely. Negative and petty comments are how communication begins to break down.”

Shagun’s Advice: “Don’t fight like high-schoolers and say things that don’t make sense. Silent treatment, unnecessary judgments, playing games, bringing over past issues that you both agreed were resolved will get you nowhere. Talk like adults, behave like adults, and build STRONG communication. If you have children, you want them to know what to look for in their partners when they grow up. Set that example for them.”

#12 Don’t Involve Outsiders 

Preety & Kailash
Married: 35 years

Preety’s Advice: “Before getting married, my mother gave me the best marriage advice. It was to never compare our marriage to others. Each individual is created with their own purposes in life, that’s true for our marriages as well. A marriage is a divine union and serves a purpose on this planet different from any other. Once you start comparing, you’ll lose the sense of this purpose and become bitter. Be the best partner for the person you are with. Each relationship is unique and requires different needs. We never thought of any marriages around us as superior or inferior. This helped us build our own special foundation and create a strong partnership that was unique on its own.”

Kailash’s Advice: “Guys have a tendency to belittle marital values and say common things like, “yaar zindagi hi kharab ho gayi ab to” or “kaid hogaye hum to”. I understand humor is important, but there should be a limit. Once you start talking negatively about something to anyone (even as a joke), it won’t be long before you start thinking negatively about it. Anyone who says these things are definitely not happy in their marriages, so don’t walk down the same road. Criticizing/ complaining about your spouse to others destroys the sanctity of the marriage and is a betrayal. This doesn’t apply to abusive relationships though – in that case, please talk to someone and soon.” 

#13 Get Professional Help

Sumit & Koyal
Married: 31 years

Sumit’s Advice: “Koyal and I hit a rough patch at 21 years of marriage, we had two teenagers then and didn’t want them to grow up in an environment that doesn’t foster love and gratitude. We decided to seek professional counseling and it was a game-changer for us. The therapist made us realize how much our childhood memories and traumas still affect us. I was running from my emotions (and from uncomfortable conversations, as a result), and Koyal had deep-rooted insecurities and needed assurance from time to time. Once we realized the bedrock of our issues, I don’t think that communication was a problem ever again. There were disagreements and differences, sure, but we always talked them out. I’d really recommend couples to go for therapy, either couples or alone, to fix childhood issues and become a better individual, and partner.” 

Koyal’s Advice: “Seeking professional help is still a taboo. We have hidden it from our family, and multiple friends that we’ve gone to counseling. Even today, couple’s therapy means you have a weak relationship when it’s just the opposite. It just means you want to work on your relationship and build a better life for yourself and your partner. Therapists can help you in ways you had never comprehended. My number 1 advice for new-age couples is to go to therapy.”

#14 Marry Your Best Friend

Chanchal & Vinay
Married: 23 years

Chanchal’s Advice: “My secret to a happy marriage was finding someone who was also my best friend. We have such a good time together. Sure, marriage is hard and requires a lot of work, and we strive for the same. But we never forget to have a good laugh, have discussions on a lot of topics, and just enjoy each other’s company. Just last week we went on a trek together and it was so beautiful with the pouring rain and the beautiful clouds just feeling like they were coming on us. We find beauty and laughter in simple things and that really is a godsend. We’re just two positive, happy best friends living through life.

Vinay’s Advice: “Always put your spouse first, even after having children. Don’t let life’s hurdles take over you and ruin your beautiful friendship. We have always agreed that a peaceful partnership leads to a good home environment where your kids can learn what love and devotion mean. We have remained the best of friends over the last 2 decades.” 

#15 Pick Your Battles

Joseph & Anna 
Married: 54 years

Anna’s Advice: “At the end of the day, every person seeks solace in the arms of their other half. That means not going to bed without finishing a fight. Sometimes couples argue about the silliest of things like who’d pack the snacks for tomorrow’s road trip or who forgot to call the handyman, but at the end of the day, you’ll have to let these things go. It’s crazy to not kiss good night because of these stupid things – which trust me, are a part of your everyday life. Forgive and forget. Make your partner feel wanted and please kiss each other goodnight.”

Joseph’s Advice: “Loving someone despite their faults, failings, and other characteristics that make them human is the most powerful thing you can do! Every day I remind myself of the things my wife does for my family and myself, this makes me appreciate and feel grateful for her. By being intentional in looking for her good aspects, I feel that love comes easily and fights and grudges don’t last.”

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