The Best Marriage Advice I Ever Got

No doubt there are days when you feel as though you deserve the Best Wife in the  World award: You make sure dates with your mate stay hot, you settle arguments  with amazing grace and you don’t always go into whining mode when you find his  dirty socks next to, rather than in, the hamper. How did you get so smart? You  were given some stellar marriage advice from friends and family. Here, the  nuggets of nuptial wisdom you’ve stayed faithful to over the  years.

Polite Fight
“On my wedding-invitation RSVP cards, I  left space for guests to write their favorite wedding wisdom. The tidbit that  rings truest after almost nine months of marriage is: ‘Attack the issue, not  each other.’ How it works: If my husband and I disagree about something, we stay  focused on the issue and skip the personal put-downs.”
Melissa  Gitter Schilowitz, 31, Metuchen, NJ

Fit to a Tee
“My  grandmother insisted that I learn how to play golf. ‘If your husband loves to  play, you can go along and spend hours together,’ she said. So I took lessons,  and now my husband and I hit the links once a month. We both love the game and  are thrilled to share a hobby, even when we spend half an hour looking for my  out-of-bounds balls!”
Aimee Borders, 27, Houston,  TX

Tabletop Trick
“My aunt told me that if I’m running  late when it’s my turn to make dinner, just set the table. That way my husband  thinks he’ll be eating any minute, so he doesn’t start complaining, which buys  me some time. It’s a silly trick that sounds straight out of the 1950s, but I  have to admit that I’ve tried it a few times in the three years I’ve been  married – and it works!”
Dawn Clayton, 34, Holdrege, NE

Perfect  10
“My husband’s great-aunt wrote a list of the 10 most important things  in a marriage, and she gave it to me at my bridal shower. It read:

10.  Patience
9. Kindness
8. Patience
7. Communication
6.  Patience
5. Caring
4. Patience
3. Patience
2. Love
1.  Patience

“First of all, this couldn’t be more true. Second, an  80-year-old woman made up a top-10 list; how funny is that?”
Beth Power,  26, Arlington, VA

Ratio for Romance
“After my husband and  I got together, a close friend of mine told me, ‘If the sex is good, it’s only  10 percent of the marriage. But if the sex is not so good, it’s 90 percent. So  do your darndest to make sure it stays really, really good!'”
Emily  Cho-Basco, 28, Los Angeles

Boob-Tube Brilliance
“Because  my husband is such a remote-control freak, my mom suggested that we have ‘my  turn’ TV nights. That means three nights a week I get to hold the remote and  watch whatever I want, and on the other nights it’s his turn to hold the remote  and watch whatever he wants. Now when he starts flipping through the channels,  it doesn’t get on my nerves like it used to.”
Angela  Clayton, 27, Odenton, MD

Pop the Question
“My  sister-in-law passed this helpful hint on to me, and it has served me well for  our five years of wedded bliss: ‘Marriage is not mind reading, so ask your  spouse what he/she wants and believe what he/she says.'”
Clare  Graca, 27, Dallas

Nix the Nit-Picking
“Before I said ‘I do,’  my mom (who’s been married to my dad for 55 years) told me to take out a piece  of paper and write down the top three things that bugged me about my  husband-to-be. Then she told me to forget the things on that list and forgive  him for not being flawless. Once you make a commitment this big, she explained,  you can’t let petty things get in the way. In our eight years of marriage, my  husband and I have had two kids, tackled cross-country moves and started two  businesses – and so far, so great.”
Rebecca  Hart Blaudow, 31, Jacksonville, FL

Space Smarts
“Always have separate closets, my best friend told me. It may seem silly, but I  listened to her and made sure to find a one-bedroom apartment with two closets  (mine being the larger, of course). Now my husband and I each have our own  private space, and we respect that: If he wants to keep his shoes in one huge  heap or leave his dirty clothes in a pile on the floor, the mess doesn’t bother  me a bit!”
Patricia  Bontekoe, 26, Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Agree to Disagree
“Before we got married, my minister told my husband and me, ‘You are two  imperfect people making an imperfect union, and that’s wonderful.’ This advice  made me ditch my belief that in a happy marriage, the couple always agrees. My  husband and I have learned to appreciate our differences (yes, even differences  of opinion!); in fact, we encourage them because we realize now that those  differences are what makes each of us unique and special.”
Beth  Swanson, 28, Chicago

Comic Relief
“Before I headed  down the aisle, my stepfather told me to always laugh and never take myself too  seriously. After four years of marriage, I know that this trick works. My  husband and I often play practical jokes on each other and always try to crack  each other up, even in the middle of an argument. Hey, if one person laughs, a  fight tends to fizzle, doesn’t it?”
Lisa  Giassa, 31, Bogota, NJ

You’ve probably heard a few of these pieces of  marital pop wisdom before. If so, these marriage experts say to promptly forget  ’em.

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.
“Oh, please!  In marriage, love sometimes means having to say you’re sorry even if you don’t  know what you did or you didn’t mean to do it.”
Trisha  Taylor, psychotherapist, Houston, TX

Always be totally  honest.
“What are you going to do, tell him that he’s just too short and  you can’t stand his mother? Sometimes you need to temper the truth.”
Tara  Fields, Ph.D., marriage, family and child therapist, Marin County,  CA

Children come first.
“This is bad advice if it means  your husband always comes second. Of course you should love and care for your  kids, but you should never lose sight of your couple-ness. The best thing a  child can have is happy, fulfilled parents who are deeply in love.”
Mary  Pender Greene, chief of social work services, Jewish  Board of Family and Children‘s Services, New York

Always keep  the peace.
“No, no, no. If you don’t face a hot issue head-on, you’ll  stockpile negative feelings. And before you know it, 20 years go by and you’re  still fighting over the same thing because you never resolved it in the first  place.”
Rebecca  S. Ward, M.S.W., psychotherapist, Little Rock, AR

Never go to  bed angry.
“Forget it. Often a couple needs time to calm down before  they can rationally wrap up an argument. And that may take a few days, so in the  meantime, get some sleep!”
Gilda  Carle, Ph.D., psychotherapist, New York

Reprinted with Permission  of Hearst Communications, Inc. Originally Published: The Best Marriage Advice I Ever Got

By Sara Anderson