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21 Nuggets of Must-Have Marriage Advice

Corey Kagan Whelan
Nov. 23, 2015

When you're married, you need all the marriage advice you can get. Wondering how long-term couples get there? Check out these tips from super-wise husbands and wives.

When you're marrying the love of your life, you sure want to know the secret to "happily ever after." But figuring out which pieces of marriage advice will get you there and which ones to avoid (like these 15 Pieces of Marriage Advice Parents Should Actually Ignore) can be tricky. Sometimes, it helps to go old-school.

Here are some must-have nuggets of information from three couples: Mary and Jesse Goodman of Minneapolis, who have been together for 26 years; Annalisa and Dominick Giordano of Chicago, married 32 years; and Meryl Katz and Paul Diamond from New York, married 31 years:

  1. Sneak Off Sometimes
    Having kids doesn't mean saying goodbye to intimacy, you just have to get creative. Steal away while the kids are elbow-deep in mac and cheese. What you do is up to you.
  2. Let Go of the Small Stuff
    Seriously, does it matter if the toilet seat's up or down? Even if your husband is allergic to putting the toothpaste cap back on, it's not worth fighting over. He probably won't listen anyway, and you'll wind up just walking around aggravated.
  3. Stand United
    You know the part where your kids are right and your husband is wrong? Forget that part, pronto: You and your partner are forever on the same side.
  4. Cook Naked
    You can't go wrong! Just wait until the kids are safely tucked away in bed. One husband did this for the first time when he lost a bet with his wife. They had so much fun, it stuck and became their routine whenever their kids were away at sleepovers.
  5. Root for the Same Sports Team
    You can vote for different candidates, but never root for opposing baseball teams, especially during the World Series!
  6. Try That Whole Date Night Thing
    Hire a babysitter and go out! You'll look forward to those date nights like they're European vacations.
  7. Stop Texting and Start Writing
    Handwriting is so intimate. Try sending old-fashioned written notes instead of texts, at least sometimes, to make plans or to schedule a rendezvous.
  8. Create Your Own Secret World
    Be goofballs together -- have nicknames and secret words. Act like kids. It creates a bond with each other that no one else has.
  9. Keep Perspective
    You may gain a few pounds or lose a few hairs, but accept that nobody looks 25 forever. Throw out the dingy bathrobe and those ripped T-shirts and keep yourself attractive, but don't make it the most important thing in your marriage.
  10. Compliment Each Other
    Say something nice about each other's appearance or accomplishments every day.
  11. Let Him/Her Be Right
    Sometimes the best way to win a fight is by losing.
  12. Let the Past Stay There
    Don't hold onto past grudges or bring them up over and over again.
  13. Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn
    Once it's out of your mouth, you can't take it back. Your marriage will do better if you do more listening and less talking.
  14. Touch
    Physical connection is like marriage glue. Don't forget to spread it liberally.
  15. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
    Wear your rings, get matching tattoos or coordinate Halloween costumes and show the world your love. No matter what else you do, it's really the most important thing in your life.
  16. Eliminate Frenemies
    Life is hard enough. Don't hang with people who don't like your spouse.
  17. Don't Expect Your Spouse to Be a Mind Reader
    Tell each other what you want, rather than feeling slighted when you don't get it.
  18. Be Kind to Each Other's People
    Even if your mother-in-law is a pill, treat her with respect.
  19. Play Together
    Golf together, or cultivate other mutual interests, like traveling or movies, and you'll always have something to look forward to.
  20. Enjoy the Ride
    Looking back, there have been lots of bad times, but more good times. You've laughed more than you've cried. Enjoy every second.
  21. Trust in Your Love
    Butterflies and goosebumps don't last forever, but commitment stands the test of time.

Have any great marriage secrets you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments section.

Corey Kagan Whelan is a single mom living in New York. She's tucking these suggestions away for a future date.

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