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Love Is a Choice - the Best Marriage Advice!

We have been duped! “Happily ever after” has been made out to be something that happens magically when you’re in love. People don’t tell you how much work it takes to understand one another in everyday life.

Love is a choice and one that isn't always easy. It can be difficult to set aside your own opinions and truly hear your partner’s opposing views.

No one prepares you with the necessary skills, such as how to express emotions without hurting your partner or how to calm your emotions so they don’t distort reality and blind you when communicating with your partner.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A married couple wrapped in a blanket

Choosing to Love Even When in Disagreement

If you think that you’re always going to feel loving toward your partner just because you love them, you are in for a rude awakening!

What happens when you adamantly disagree with a decision they make or an investment that you think jeopardizes your financial security?

Now, that requires some very skillful conversations—or fights begin to ensue. Finances is one of the top subject that couple fight about and it requires us to be intentional to learn how to work as a team.

Over the last two decades, I’ve met with hundreds of couples. Rarely does a couple come in and talk about what they love about each other.


Because they let things build up for far too long! They need better communication skills.

In marriage and partnership, it’s easy to slip into bad habits that can soon begin to tank the relationship.

Even after decades of a very happy marriage, when I allow my attention to focus on little irritations too much (instead of on the things I admire and love about my husband), it doesn’t take long before I’m feeling a slight distance or friction between us.

In that moment, I’ve learned to stop myself and bring to mind all the amazing qualities he has, the incredible support he gives me, and all the ways we enrich each other’s lives.

Is this mind shift easy when I feel like griping and lashing out?


It takes practice.

To make a marriage stronger, a couple needs better communication skills and a willingness to resolve differences. And it requires making a choice to love when it’s not easy to make your marriage stronger.

Truths about Love and Relationship:
How to Effectively Communicate by Resolving Conflict

Love Tip 1Love is a choice made moment by moment.

Every minute, we can choose to respond critically or seek to understand.

Every day, we can choose to nag our partner or encourage them.

Every interaction is an opportunity to choose the higher road of love.

When we make loving a daily commitment, it becomes a habit that feeds the relationship and strengthens safety and trust, bringing you and your partner closer.

Love Tip 2We create the quality of our relationship.

Many clients list the many things they don’t get from their partner: attention, validation, time, support, etc. When I ask how they would rate themselves in those areas, they admit—somewhat sheepishly—how dreadful they are in the same areas.

We must do what we expect from our partner.

If you don’t feel heard, try listening.

If you don’t feel respected, look for ways you’re being disrespectful.

This is some of the best marriage advice I give to my clients who come to me for support. And it works almost magically.

How to express emotions and resolve conflictLove Tip 3It's part of being human to have differences that spark disagreements.

No matter how sweet a relationship is or how deep our love is, there will be bumps and bruises. We each live in a private, complex, and very personalized universe.

It takes consistent effort to build strong bridges of understanding and see things from another person’s perspective.

Building better communication skills is like building muscles. We must consistently work on the skill to see improvement. When we practice a new way long enough, it is integrated and becomes a natural part of our interactions. Emotional intelligence skills are no different!

Love Tip 4Don't believe everything your mind tells you!

When you feel misunderstood and start doubting how much your partner cares about you, ask yourself, “How true is this? Are there other ways they show me that they care?” Find evidence of caring and keep them securely in the forefront of your mind.

For instance, when I was first married, I felt like my husband didn’t care because he didn’t compliment me or respond as expressively as I would have liked. I was completely missing the many ways he did show me he cared:

  • putting gas in my car,
  • listening to me attentively
  • stroking my hair to relax me
  • supporting my goals
  • being happy to see me when I came home
  • encouraging me to go out with friends or take time for self-care

These are just a few. But I was watchdogging the compliment aisle and totally missed the ways he showed that he cared.

We’ll find whatever we look for.

Love Tip 5I am responsible for my needs getting met.

It’s an illusion that anyone is a mind-reader. Of course, it's natural for us to want our partner to anticipate our needs. However, when you hear yourself saying, “Why can’t my partner just ...,” stop and ask yourself what it is you want.

It’s easy to complain, but much more effective to actually determine what we want and ask for it!

Ask your partner for what you want and help them to be successful.

For instance, initially I complained to my husband that I didn't feel supported when traveling for speaking engagements. Then, I realized that he may now know what would feel encouraging to me so I made a list. Lo and behold, he started doing those things. And eventually, exquisite support was commonplace.

Related reading: "Why Keeping Score in a Relationship Isn't Helpful or Healthy."

My Best Marriage Advice                                                                                                                                

Keep your attention on the positive!

To be successful in a relationship, we must build muscles to keep our attention in the right place. There might always be little things that bug us about our partner, like their messiness or spending or sarcasm.

We are human and imperfect.

Best marriage advice ever: spotlight your partner's good qualitiesThis is not a Pollyanna concept. The brain will find whatever you look for.

Why not find the gold in your relationship instead of the rubbish?

Spotlighting the positive in our spouse can become a habit.

When we consciously redirect from the negative to the positive, many more opportunities arise that bring fun, closeness, and understanding.

And when you need to resolve a conflict, there will be plenty of goodwill in your emotional bank account with them for a successful outcome!

Address issues lovingly and respectfully, in a timely way.

Sometimes it really is necessary to have a heart-to-heart talk. Many couples bury their conflicts or push aside unpleasant feelings toward their partner until the negativity builds up and begins to eat away at the relationship.

The longer you wait to handle issues, the more the negative feelings build and distort your view of your partner’s behavior. Conflicting emotions interfere with effective communication so get in touch with what is bothering you and then speak to your partner. Clear the air whenever necessary, and reaffirm love and understanding!

Conflict resolution quickly clears the static out of relationships and creates a foundation for healthy relationships. 

So next time your relationship seems harder than it’s worth, dig deep, then identify and recall what’s really important to you. 

Love is a choice every moment. Choose love.

Seek to understand rather than to change the person you love.

Honor your differences and find the gifts their unique qualities have come to teach you. Couples often come together holding the gold of the other person; qualities and strengths to learn from their partner.

When we are open to learning from each other, we become richer and happier. Then your relationship will blossom! Every conflict will become just one more opportunity for understanding and closeness.

Sign up for a free couples discovery session and discover valuable keys for a successful marriage. Take your first step towards a thriving, fulfilling relationship. 

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Jennifer A. Williams / Heartmanity FounderJennifer A. Williams / Heartmanity Founder
Jennifer, as the Heartmanity Founder, has coached couples for over two decades. With her extensive experience and vast knowledge of emotional intelligence and brain science, Jennifer provides profound insights. She specializes in communication and teaches EQ skills needed to create healthy relationships. Jennifer is happily married and the mother of three grown children who are incredible human beings.

Posted in Love, Marriage, and Relationships

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