50 Pieces of the Best Marriage Advice We've Ever Collected
It's no secret that marriage requires major TLC as the years progress. It's ever-changing, which means you have to roll with the punches and figure out how to come out even stronger every time. And while that's no easy feat, it does help that there are endless resources out there who can offer some invaluable guidance. We've looked to both real couples and experts for their wisdom on how to make your after-"I do" the best it can be. See 50 pieces of marriage advice ahead.
"I think communication is key — although everyone says that, it's about really listening to each other and deciding that you can take time to cool off but you don't let something go. Fight fairly and hash it out until it has been resolved. I find my husband likes to forget a fight happened but I will be angry until it's resolved, no matter for how long." — Cynthia Puleo, POPSUGAR copy editor
Never forget about respect.
"Respect each other — never let arguing take you to a bad place where you say or do things you can't take back in the heat of the moment." — CP
It's not about receiving.
"Perhaps the best piece of advice I've ever received is: a relationship is not a place where you go to get something, it's a place you go to give something." — Gina Florio, editor, POPSUGAR Fitness
You can't stop trying.
"You should always treat your partner just like you did during the honeymoon phase. Be kind, patient, affectionate, and be willing to help out your partner and be there for them at any time — all the things you were so eager to do when you first got together. Also, I refer to this quote by André Maurois: 'A happy marriage is a long conversation.' So chat with your partner all the time, communicate, and find new hobbies to do together so you always have something to talk about!" — GF
Keep showing gratitude to your partner.
"Gratitude for your spouse is one of the greatest gifts you can give your partner and yourself. Every day, write a list of at least three things you're grateful for about your partner. Bring it out whenever you need a reminder of the gift your spouse is in your life. Also, tell your partner every day how grateful you are for them." — Dr. Dain Heer, relationship expert
Start from scratch each day.
"Destroy and uncreate your relationship as it was yesterday, every day." — DH
Don't go to bed angry.
"Never let the sun set on an argument. Before you go to sleep, after an argument or upset, bring out the gratitude list and let the resentment subside. You'll be glad you did." — DH
"Be honest about your expectations and desires. You can't expect your partner to be a mind reader, so holding things back will only lead to resentment. Having open discussions about what you want from your relationship is a win-win because a good partner will try to meet your needs." — Tara Block, POPSUGAR content director
Don't hold things in.
"Always talk things out, and don't just let them build up — you'll end up exploding!" — Jenny Sugar, editor, POPSUGAR Fitness
Don't lose yourself.
"Make sure to continue doing things you enjoy individually whether it's exercise, painting, playing music, etc. It's important to continue strengthening your own person, so you feel happy and fulfilled." — JS
Keep the reminders coming.
"Tell each other on a regular basis that you appreciate the other." — JS
Do nice things without being asked to.
"Randomly leave notes, or buy presents, or send flowers FOR NO REASON." — JS
Have sex on date night.
"I have a friend who's a therapist, and she said every time you have date night, have sex." — JS
Marriage success requires a strong foundation.
"Know that you won't always feel completely in love for your entire marriage, and that's OK. Sometimes you'll hate the other person. Every relationship has highs and lows. But if your relationship is built on love and open communication, those lows will make your relationship stronger." — JS
In front of the kids, be a united front.
"If you have kids, be on the same page on all the important issues. Don't second-guess your significant other in front of your kids — if you have an issue, talk it out with them privately." — JS
Keep showing appreciation.
"Never stop saying thank you! Even for the little things. Showing your appreciation/feeling appreciated is invaluable." — Facebook user Paige Nicholls
Ask yourself if it's worth fighting over.
"This is a little cliché, but that doesn't mean it's not true: don't get hung up on the small stuff. You decided to spend the rest of your life with this person for a reason; are a few dirty dishes in the sink really going to change that? With every potential argument, try to ask yourself whether this is going to matter in five years. If the answer is yes, then by all means duke it out. But usually the answer is that it won't even matter in 24 hours, so there's no reason to waste time and energy on it now." — Mandy Harris, POPSUGAR managing editor
You're a team.
"When I was engaged, someone told me that being a united front with your partner is the best thing you can do for your marriage. It's important to support each other when you're around friends and family, they said — even when you aren't necessarily on the same page. I sort of halfheartedly listened to the advice, but later I understood. You may not always agree with each other, and you don't have to pretend to have all the same opinions, but sometimes you need to speak up (or stay quiet) to make them feel supported and loved." — Laura Meyers, editor, POPSUGAR Trending and Viral Features
Let it go.
"Our marriage motto is: 'it's not that important.' We fight and bicker like everyone else, but we apologize and move on quickly because it's not that important. The important thing is our marriage." — Sally Kim, kindergarten teacher
Don't strive for perfection.
"Great love instead of perfect love. (Also: talking things out and tight bear hugs fix almost anything.)" — Facebook user Jessie Artigue
It's all about appreciation, respect, and laughter.
"Never take the other one for granted. Be respectful, treat the other how you want to be treated, and laugh often!" — Facebook user Elly Myers
Don't be stuck in your ways.
"Happy wife, happy life! Be flexible and be ready to compromise." — Linda Kim, elementary school vice principal
Give them a reason to miss you.
"Spend time apart and travel often, and then she will always be happy to see you." — Facebook user Dustin Yoder
Go back to the basics.
"Communicate. Don't nitpick, and let the small stuff go. Always serve each other in love." — Facebook user Stephanie Fay Mott
You need to take responsibility for your actions.
"Self-recognize. Many people say that a successful relationship is directly connected to communication. And, of course you have to communicate with your partner to have an understanding. For me, my main priority is self-recognition. You can communicate all you want but if the partner is unable to recognize their actions, we have a problem." — Sunny Yi, real estate agent
Marriage is a continuous effort.
"You must constantly work on the marriage. Just because a couple doesn't argue or fight doesn't necessarily mean everything is OK. You get distracted with day-to-day life stuff, work, kids . . . There are so many distractions in life, you lose focus on the priority, which is husband and wife. Before the children, it's you and your partner." — SY
Marriage doesn't mean dating is over.
"I've learned to laugh at ourselves and never forget to still date." — Facebook user Rachael Babcock
"Set yearly goals with monthly check ins." — Facebook user Steve Cairns
Make clothing optional in every situation.
"Fight naked." Facebook user SC
There's a time and place for the serious stuff.
"No serious conversation in bed or after 11 p.m." — Facebook user SC
Set aside time to check in with each other.
"Find a good spot and time (like a hot tub after kids are in bed without TV or phones) to debrief and check in on the day or week." — Facebook user SC
The family that eats together, stays together.
"Family dinners at the table do wonders for my marriage." — Facebook user SC
Keep it interesting.
"Always look for new ways to surprise your partner . . . keeps things interesting." — Bjorn Pave, senior director, POPSUGAR IT
Watch your tone.
"Be careful with sarcasm. It often has a ring of truth attached. Jokes aren't funny when they hurt." — Facebook user Natasha Toews-Friesen
Always give your relationship attention.
"A relationship is not a static thing, it is always changing. I always say, it's like a living, breathing creature. It's almost like a child that you need to keep your eye on. If your relationship is hungry or needing some rest or needing some communication, it's nice to check in on those things and give it what it needs." — Tara Caffelle, relationship expert
It's your responsibility to stay engaged in the relationship.
"Keep yourself turned on — that's never our partner's responsibility. Stay engaged, keep interested in your partner, do things that you know turn you on and make you want to be with them; create moments where these things can happen." — TC
Don't forget to be friends, too.
"Couples who are friends, who have a lasting friendship, who deeply care about each other as people, not just sexual partners to be married to, when they have this deeper basis, everybody benefits. Their relationship lasts, it's more enduring and durable and fulfilling for both of them." — TC
Don't rush into marriage.
"When I was in my 20s, one of my mom's really good friends said to me: 'You don't want to get married until you're 32. Wait until after you're 32.' I remember looking at her like, 'What the heck?' And she goes to me, 'A woman doesn't know herself until she gets through the hump of that 30, and then it takes maybe a year or two to settle into your 30s and then you're ready to get married." — Dr. Nikki Goldstein, sexologist
Don't underestimate the power of the simple things.
"A lazy breakfast in is sometimes just what the love doctor orders." — Laura Lifshitz, POPSUGAR contributor
Keep your ears open.
"Be all ears — listening is an act of love." — LL
Fights are always a lose-lose.
"There's no prize for who won the fight." — LL
Don't get lazy.
"Romance won't happen on its own. Make time for it." — LL
Marriage is about getting through the tough times.
"The secret to a long-lasting marriage is there is no secret at all. It's about knowing that nothing is going to turn out perfect, that your marriage won't be a highlight reel because that's not real life. It's about being deep in the trenches of so many obstacles that life could throw you and getting to look over and know that you aren't alone and that your best friend is walking it with you. It's about knowing that you can never be prepared for the burdens you might have to help your partner carry, but you do know you are willing to be there when they need rest from the burden." — Facebook user Nikki Pennington
Keep trying new things together.
"Never, ever stop the adventure." — Kathryn McLamb, POPSUGAR contributor
Support, sacrifice, and gratitude.
"A loving partnership comes down to three things: support, sacrifice, and gratitude." — KM
Enjoy every moment together.
"Cherish each and every chapter." — KM
Be prepared to compromise . . . on just about everything.
"Love. Honor. And Negotiate. These simple acts should be part of marriage vows, because the first two make the conversations, disagreements, and negotiations much more pleasant, productive, and kind. Because you will not always, really almost never, completely get your way. Be prepared to negotiate topics from big to small to the permanent — where to go to dinner, what style of bathroom tile to have installed, how to discipline your children. And these conversations actually bring you closer together and solidify you as a team of two." — Susi May, senior content director, Living
You can't buy love.
"The thing that has made me most happy in my marriage is that my husband has become more 'present' in our daily lives. Being with him is better than any piece of jewelry that I will likely lose." — Meredith Masony, POPSUGAR contributor
Remember to keep dating each other.
"Dating doesn't stop when you get married. If the courting process ends, the love will slowly die. You need to find time to remember why you married each other." — MM
Remember why you love one another.
"Take time to remember why you love your spouse, then tell them. You picked them for a reason. Sometimes it is easy to forget and hard to remember. In those times, think long and hard about where it all began. If you smile when you think about it, I'd say that's a good sign." — MM