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Go Retro: 12 Tips for a Happy Marriage

Tried-and-true strategies you can borrow from your parents' marriage to enhance your own.
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Retro Relationship Tip No. 8: Have Couples Fun

Bridge and pinochle were common activities shared by our parents and their friends. So was cocktail hour and formal anniversary celebrations with like-minded couples.  

Fine says, "Play board games with other couples! It's fun and a great way to be social with others and playful with one another."

Parrott says it is important to identify friends who are healthy additions to your social circle. "Your goal is to become close with other couples with similar standards and interests who have positive attitudes about marriage and family life. Gravitate toward fun couples who make you feel supported and enhance your active, healthy lifestyle. Friends like these are good for your marriage and overall well-being."

Retro Relationship Tip No. 9: Give Compliments

To give a compliment, you've got to pay attention -- really notice something about someone. Remember how Carol and Mike Brady, the happily married matriarch and patriarch of The Brady Bunch, lavished them on each other?

If it's been a while since you've doled out flattering praise, try it.

Tessina notes that it costs nothing to say, "You look good," "You did a great job," or "I like your shirt." Yet compliments can really reassure and pump up your spouse.

Retro Relationship Tip No. 10: Hold Hands

Back in our parents' time, hand-holding and discreet pecks on the cheek were the tasteful, chaste displays of affection.

Although anything goes these days, Morley-Ball encourages couples to simply hold hands in public. "[It] affirms to everyone your undying affection and love for each other. [It] shows everyone that you are proud to be with each other and you want everyone to know it."

Tessina echoes this sweet sentiment. "There's an actual electrical connection that passes between us when we touch. You can use that electrical connection to provide juice in your marriage. Give each other little pats and gentle touches and hold hands frequently when you're walking or driving and you'll keep the energy -- and the sweetness -- flowing between you."

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