I’m getting married next month (yay!) and in planning my own nuptials and writing the WedTexts blog, I’ve had so many people tell me different things about how to sustain a marriage. Marriage is such a huge milestone and something I’ve never done before so any help from newly married as well as seasoned couples are welcome. And since this advice has helped me so much, I want to pass it along.

Don’t let things fester.

This goes without saying. You have to talk things out with your significant other if you want to have any chance of a long lasting relationship. My soon to be father-in-law always says, “Don’t let things fester.” He knows first hand the damage holding back frustrations and/or oppositions from your spouse. Everyone has heard the phrase “Never go to bed angry” but sometimes you need to sleep on things to be able to approach them with a clear mind and cool head, just be conscious of how much time has passed that you have been holding onto something.

Watch out for expectations.

For whatever reason, we are all stuck on the idea of what marriage is supposed to be as if it’s a universal thing. My grandmother always tells me to be especially careful of falling into roles and becoming so complacent and eventually resentful because I’m doing what I think is expected of me. An easy way to get around this? Ask. Discuss. Be prepared. You may be surprised at the compromises you can come up with.

Make time for yourself.

We’ve all seen it happen. Your friend is in a relationship and now you barely see them. I’ve fallen victim to this at times and I have to remind myself that just because I’m vowing to spend my entire life with this man, doesn’t mean I have to spend every single second of that life sitting with him watching HGTV. Everyone needs some personal time to reflect on things, meditate, read, or do whatever. You need to maintain your individual identities and it also helps to have some time dedicated to family and friends.

Hold hands…a lot.

My nephew in all of his innocence told me this is how he keeps his girlfriend happy and if it’s good enough for her, why not me. At the time, I just laughed and hugged him but thinking on it, he may be onto something. Physical contact is great for bonding, maintaining a healthy intimate connection and there are some health benefits as well — cuddling can lower blood pressure and stress levels. Read more about it here.