My husband and I are lucky enough to be extremely compatible. When we first met and were dating, we couldn't believe how many things we agreed on or had in common. We felt this was unique and special because when we were single, we each hadn't found many prospects in dating that were similar to us.
It is nice to have a supportive and happy marriage naturally, but there are also many things couples (both young and old) can do that can make a marriage relationship more meaningful and smooth.
Keep it within the marriage
My husband and I decided when we were engaged that what happened in our marriage was sacred and personal and would remain that way. Not only do we not discuss disagreements we may have with others, but we also keep personal thoughts and experiences safe between us.
Never belittle - always praise
Naturally, in our marriage, we never belittle each other. We especially don't criticize each other in public. We always back the other person up within all our interactions outside the marriage.
We are also generous in our praise. It is not hard for me to find things to sincerely praise my husband about and thank him for. He is also my greatest advocate, cheering me on, believing in me and reminding me of all the good that I do. We maximize the good and downplay the bad to keep it positive in our marriage. We have found this makes marriage so much more enjoyable.
Use a gentle voice
It is amazing how much of a difference it can make if gentle, quiet voices are used at home. If there is a disagreement, confusion, or one of us just feels upset from the day, we have found that using quiet, gentle voices stops the escalation of the problem and minimizes the negativity.
Find things in common to have fun
We have found that one of our favorite parts of marriage is enjoying how much we have in common. Work hard to find things you both can engage in and enjoy. If this is harder to come by naturally, then be willing to take the time and effort to appreciate what your spouse is passionate about.
Consult on decisions
My husband and I have an unwritten rule that we consult each other on all decisions, especially big ones. We make sure we are a team on all things involved in our family. That may be monthly budgeting or major life choices such as school or a job. But we always make sure we are on the same page before we commit to anything.
We have found that comparing is a waste of energy and brings bad vibes into the relationship. This includes either spouse comparing themselves to others, or comparing the relationship to another we may see. You never have all the facts and everyone is different.
Service and listening
Love can blossom easily when each marriage partner takes the time to help and give service to their spouse. One part of this is listening. Actively listening can make all the difference in a marriage.
Make sure to go on dates, take time to get dressed up for each other and have fun. In my marriage, we have found that our romance blossoms (instead of fades) more with each year. I believe this is because of our deep respect for each other and the time we set aside to have fun and really listen to the other person.
Marriage is tested by all the pressures in life, but I have found in my marriage, that using these steps makes marriage a safe haven from all that outer stress.