A Budget Fashionista's 8 Secrets to a Happy Marriage From saving money to saving your sanity, check out these simple tips to improve your marriage. BY CATHERINE BROCK
A happy marriage includes a series of small, but easy considerations.
“ Love is important, yes. But love is no magic serum that turns everything to rainbows and sunshine.”
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "It's not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." No doubt Neitzsche would be mortified to watch modern-day rom-coms where relationships between unlikely partners survive on the idea that "love will keep us together."
Love is important, yes. But love is no magic serum that turns everything to rainbows and sunshine. The real workings of great relationships are far more down-to-earth. They're built on respect and courtesy. If you're short on those things in your marriage, use the eight tips below to get back on track.
1. Sort out the finances together.
Couples argue more about money than anything else. Be proactive about budgeting household expenses so you know what's left for discretionary spending.
Discretionary spending can be a sore subject, especially for the married fashionista who loves to shop. The solution here is not rocket science. Simply, don't buy these things behind your spouse's back. Instead, set up accounts with Rize or even PayPal for each of you, and then deposit a budgeted monthly amount. That's your fashionista fund. Use it wisely!
2. Divide and conquer.
Agree on how to split up the household duties, and know that each of you has different expectations for cleanliness. If you can't stand dirty dishes in the sink (but your spouse doesn't care), then make that your task. You want to avoid the silent standoff, where each of you is waiting for the other to take care of the mess.
3. Be polite... always.
Many, many behaviors go into "being polite." There are simple things, like saying "please" and "thank you." And there are complex things, like choosing to deal with a conflict later and in private. Get in tune with your spouse's feelings and how your actions affect them.
4. Dress well daily.
A sloppy appearance is not good for you, emotionally; and frankly, it brands you as a little careless. You don't need to invest in expensive clothes, but you should make an effort to look put together.
Think of your daily beauty and style routine as therapeutic self-indulgence — it fuels confidence, and confidence is sexy. Your spouse will take notice, guaranteed.
5. Be honest, to a point.
Lying is a slow poison that kills relationships. Just don't do it, unless telling the truth serves no purpose other than to hurt your spouse's feelings. For example, if you Google-stalk an ex and find out he's now an underwear model, just keep that to yourself. Oh, and stop Google-stalking the exes.
6. Surprise and delight.
Find small ways to surprise your spouse now and then. You don't have to spend big bucks either! Maybe you do his share of the household duties one day. Or, you find an old photo he's sentimental about, frame it and hang it up.
7. Work out together.
Take up an active hobby you both enjoy and do it together. The ideal activity has events you can participate in as a team. For example, walkers and runners can do local 5Ks or tennis players can play in a local league. This works out best when it's a sport that's new to both of you.
8. Keep the flame alive.
The best marriages have a healthy sex life. Flirt with your spouse, be attentive and show affection. Make time for intimacy and treat every other moment together like emotional foreplay.
Love alone won't keep you together, not without a daily fix of basic courtesy. Yes, that's too boring for rom-com, but who cares? This is your story, and you're in it for the long haul.
Catherine Brock is a style editor and writer who caters to the budget-minded fashion enthusiast on her website thebudgetfashionista.com. Are you an aspiring budget fashionista? Learn how to stretch your fashion budget today by downloading Catherine's Ultimate Thrifting Guide. You can also connect with Catherine on Instagram @budget.fashionista and Twitter @CatherineJBrock.