A Couple’s Therapist Celebrates 40 Years of Marriage and Shares Simple Truths All Newlyweds Need To Know

Many of us are full of hope for endless happiness when taking a step into a marriage. We are so naive, young, and optimistic, and we are sure that love will always find a way. But marriage requires effort to last, and nobody really thinks of the pretty difficult road ahead or of the situations that they’ll have to grow into. That’s why sometimes it’s useful to listen to someone who is ready to share their life experience.

A couple’s therapist, Winifred Reilly, talks about the many things she had to learn along with her husband during their 40 years of marriage. And Bright Side believes that our readers need to see some of her important conclusions.

  • You need to always keep in mind that your marriage is a partnership, not slavery. It is wonderful to get what you want, but your partner is not obligated to make all your wishes and dreams true. And both of you have to accept this and find a way to make it work.
  • It is important to take responsibility for all the difficulties that happen in your life. Of course, there is a much easier way to deal with this — just blame your partner. But this isn’t healthy for your relationship.
  • You are both different, and this fact leads to the following possible options. It can make your life thrilling and magic, or it can drive you both crazy. And you’re the only one who can make this choice. If you are flexible and open-minded enough it can turn your marriage into an exciting journey.
  • Forget the words, “Why should I do it, if he or she doesn’t want to do anything.” Because this is a true way to be stuck forever while waiting for the other person. If you care enough, take a step. And if your partner cares enough, they will follow later.

  • Look at your conflicts as an opportunity to grow because they can tell what you really need, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. You don’t really think that you’re fighting about dirty dishes or being late, right? Because it’s more likely that the fight is about the fact that you need help, attention, and support, but don’t know how to ask for it.
  • Ask for your partner’s opinion when you’re having an intense conversation. The simple question, “What do you think about this?” can help you cool down and take a look at the situation from another angle. Your partner will also feel better because this means that you care about their opinion, too.
  • But when you ask for their opinion, don’t do it just for the sake of doing it. You need to actually listen to what they have to say. You might be surprised to see how many significant things you miss if you only focus on your own opinion.
  • It goes without saying that the taste of victory is very satisfying. But it won’t last for long and eventually you will have to deal with the things you lost. There could be some happy moments for you to share instead of trying to prove who was wrong.


  • Forgiveness is something that is crucial for you to learn. Don’t ever think that there is nothing to be forgiven for. Both of you are going to make an ocean of mistakes. And it will be easier to cope with them if you remember that one day you might be there too.
  • Another thing that Winifred shares is that there are a lot of words that are totally subjective. For example, “clean, finished, and enough” are among them. We think we could also add “ready, done, tired” onto the same list.
  • If you believe that each partner must make an equal contribution to the relationship in every situation, it is high time to reconsider this. It is normal that sometimes one person goes the extra mile or pays more attention to other things. Again, take responsibility and don’t expect that your partner will meet all of your expectations.
  • Sometimes you will notice that you get too busy. But never forget to kiss hello and goodbye. A moment of tenderness will help keep the spark alive.

  • People like paying attention to the things that are going on around them. And the lives of others might seem more bright and cloudless. But the grass is not always greener on the other side, all couples have to overcome difficulties and this doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with either of you. Problems allow you to grow and help you to get even closer.
  • Sometimes you may feel hate instead of love. This is normal. Don’t rush to weird conclusions or actions. This is a good time to take a look at your relationship and understand what’s going wrong and what’s making you feel so uncomfortable.
  • Remember that there is always a choice. It can be scary to take a step or stay in the same position, but it is you who has to decide what you want for yourself.
  • Don’t ever think that you will never argue about the same or different issues with another person. You will probably never find someone like you. There will always some difference in opinion that you will have to face soon or later.

  • It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married or how many things you’ve been through together. Sometimes you will find yourself in stupid and idiotic arguments that mean nothing to both of you. Deciding who is going to take out the trash isn’t a hill to die on.
  • Our life is going to pass in the blink of an eye. The less time you waste on things you aren’t going to remember the next day, the happier and fuller your days will be.

Which piece of advice from this woman do you agree with? Imagine that you are sitting at a table as a newlywed. What would you like to share with your partner and yourself?

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