“The Best Relationship Advice I Ever Got”

For the 1.2 million lovebirds who will be married this summer, our resident voice of reason shares a few secrets for a long, successful marriage.

CoupleFrom My Mother…

Do choose your battles.
Don’t force your spouse to take part in the activities that you enjoy. Sometimes you can go it alone!

From My Sisters…

Do cut out words like should or ought, as in “You should be a better listener.” That’s parental, not relational. Instead, simply ask for what you need.
Don’t have a script for a happy marriage in your head—and don’t expect your spouse to magically follow it.

From My Best Friend…

Do recognize what your spouse brings to the relationship rather than focusing on what you wish he or she brought. Rejoice in the ways you and your spouse fit together; try to work around the ways you don’t.
Don’t compare your relationship with others.

From Pop Culture…

Do watch reality-TV shows about online dating disasters, such as the MTV show Catfish, instead of acting them out in real life.
Don’t forget that while a wedding can seem like a Broadway show with you in the starring role, a marriage is about forging a connection that endures long after the curtain falls.

From My Marriage…

Do come to some resolution to restore peace after a fight, even if it’s just saying, “I’m sorry.”
Don’t lose sight of what attracted you to the other person in the first place. That part might be hidden, but it’s still there.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest