Happily Ever After! 22 Non-Experts Offer Their Expert Marriage AdviceMeredith Carroll
Everyone’s an expert, right? Just ask them.
We here at Babble are no exception. And you don’t even have to ask us. You can just hit “REFRESH” and there we are — again — with yet more ways to do something. Anything, really. Particularly when it comes to something in a house, on the news, with a kid, simmering on a stove, while disposing of a cloth diaper. (That last one was a trick, by the way! You don’t dispose of cloth diapers! See! We told you something again!)
Because we’re so smart and expert-y, you don’t need to tell us that being married is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Even the good relationships require tons of elbow grease. Some marriages work in ways that others never could. But sometimes a little marriage tip from a friend might help make yours a little better.
So here are 22 of us — some of your friends right here at Babble — with what we think is good marriage advice. Hopefully it’ll help you or someone you know. And if you have some good marriage advice for us, we’d love to hear it in the comment section below. (Because as much as we know, we don’t really know everything. Duh.)
Going to Bed + Angry = Good 1 of 21"Go to bed angry, no matter what the â€˜experts' say. It's better to take a break from the disagreement to get good rest and a good breakfast. That way I'm ready to face the challenge with a clearer head the next day rather than fighting in pure exhaustion at 3 a.m., when I'm more likely to say something that I really don't mean."
- Beth Anne Balance
Read more Beth Anne on Babble here
Let’s Wait Awhile 2 of 21"You can't truly give yourself to another person until you understand yourself, so BE PATIENT. It's better to be single wishing you were married than married wishing you were single. (I know. I should write fortune cookies.)"- John Cave Osborne
Read more John on Babble here
Whoops . . . Did I Say That? 3 of 21"Don't say anything so hurtful during a fight that you can't take back. Like, â€˜You're an asshole!' is totally fine. â€˜You looked fat in your wedding dress!' however, is totally not fine.
- Meredith Carroll
Read more Meredith on Babble here
Oh, Right. You’re Still Here. 4 of 21Remember that, God willing, one day your children will move out. Hopefully your spouse will not. Sometimes you have to prioritize accordingly."
- Joslyn Gray
Read more Joslyn on Babble here
See No Evil 5 of 21"Try to ignore the annoying things about your partner and focus on the things you love."
- Cassandra Barry
Read more Cassandra on Babble here
On My Honor 6 of 21"My wife and I don't lie to each other. A pinky-swear is as sacred as the vows we made on our wedding day."
- Buzz Bishop
Read more Buzz on Babble here
Word. 7 of 21"Separate bathrooms."
Read more Marinka on Babble here
Lather, Rinse, Repeat 8 of 21"Say you're sorry. Forgive. Try harder next time. Rinse, repeat."
- Meagan Francis
Read more Meagan on Babble here
Remember Me? 9 of 21"Try to remember why you got married in the first place."
- Julie Van Rosendaal
Read more Julie on Babble here
This Works Both Ways. Ahem. 10 of 21
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 11 of 21"Think about how you felt about each other when you first met. In difficult times, remember that feeling. Remember the excitement, the waiting by the phone, the anticipation of seeing one another again. Remember that that is the same person you're upset with, the same person who you feel has let you down. Remember why you fell in love. Remember why that love is worth nurturing and fighting for and keeping alive. Remember who you were when you fell in love, and find a way to be that person again even in times of hardship. Because you're still that person, too."
- Mary Lauren Weimer
Read more Mary Lauren on Babble here
Auto-Pilot: Off 12 of 21"You can't just put your marriage on auto-pilot. As hard as it is when kids are in the mix, if you plan on staying with your spouse until death do you part, you have to work on your relationship. Your marriage won't always be happy, nor will it always be bad. Just like life, you will have to ride the ups and downs and work on building a life with this person."
- Molly Thornberg
Read more Molly on Babble here
Benefit + Doubt = Love 13 of 21"Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. My husband does lots of stupid things — not because he's a jerk, but because he's not thinking. Gotta love that guy."
- Lori Garcia
Read more Lori on Babble here
Forgiveness Cubed 14 of 21"I've now been married for 19 years and my best marriage advice can be summed up in three words: forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness. We've gone through our 20s, 30s and 40s together, and have had the opportunity to make quite a few mistakes in that time period — more than you can count on two hands and two feet and your children's hands and feet thrown in as well. You have to want to grow with, learn from and be flexible with your partner, but most of all you have to be willing to forgive."
Read more Katherine on Babble here
Got Wikipedia? 15 of 21"Marry the right person. Of course, many of us think we're marrying the right person and won't learn until much later that they're not a great partner, but stop and think before you get married. Trust your gut. Wait. Don't get married when you're 25. I can already feel the eye rolls from the young brides out there, but if you're happy in a relationship, wait it out. Give yourself some time to grow and make sure your partner is growing with you. My friend Jen Dziura says it best in this post, â€˜What I Learned From 20 Years of Dating': â€˜I know that, in some blue-blooded families, the conventional wisdom is not to marry until you've gotten your masters.' For me: Don't couple up until you've finally got a damn Wikipedia page!"
- Carolyn Castiglia
Read more Carolyn on Babble here
Thanks for (the Sweet) Nothing(s) 16 of 21"Remember to say â€˜thank you,' to each other, even for the everyday chores you do all the time. I always love it when my husband thanks me for making dinner (even though I do it almost every night) and I know he appreciates it when I thank him for doing the dishes afterward (even though he'd darn well better do them!)."
- Jane Roper
Read more Jane on Babble here
I’m Still Me 17 of 21"Well I'm hardly qualified to give advice, seeing that I've only been married for 3 years, but I think the most important marriage advice is to never lose yourself in the other, or invest all of your happiness in each other. My happiness is entirely up to me. I've seen this disintegrate marriages."
- Michelle Horton
Read more Michelle on Babble here
Let’s Get Together 18 of 21"The best thing I've learned after nearly 20 years of being with my husband is this: The more annoying he is, the more I need to spend time with him. That might seem crazy, but we snipe and bicker far more when we haven't had any time to just be together and relax. When we can't stop arguing, one of the best things we can do is go for a nice three-hour hike together. After we argue about that first big turn usually getting REALLY mad we totally settle down and relax and start laughing together. It's totally counterintuitive, but I always find that we do better with time together."
- Cecily Kellogg
Read more Cecily on Babble here
The Rule of Three 19 of 21"My best advice is this rule of three that The Cuban and I employ where we write three promises to and from each other weekly. We call it â€˜I will if you will' and it's a way for us to communicate and get what we want and need out of each other."
- Kelly Wickham
Read more Kelly on Babble here
R-E-S-P-E-C-T 20 of 21"Years ago, when I was single and on a trip in Turkey with a tour group, I befriended a married couple who were in their sixties. I was in awe of their relationship—they were cuddly, connected and still madly in love. At one point, the woman asked if I knew the secret to a great relationship. â€˜Trust?' I said. â€˜Well, that's really important,' she responded, â€˜but what's even more important is respect.' I've always remembered those words. I don't always agree with my husband and sometimes I get pretty ticked off at him, but no matter what, I try to respect his decisions and where he's coming from. He's pretty good about doing the same. It's that respect that keeps our marriage strong—and mostly sane!"
- Ellen Seidman
Read more Ellen on Babble here
Marriage Schmarriage 21 of 21"Don't do it! Bwahahaha! SO NOT BITTER. NO, SRSLY."
- Tracey Gaughran-Perez
Read more Tracey on Babble here
Photo credits: iStock
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