My Favorite Advice for a Happy Marriage

I'm a newlywed, and definitely still learning how things work. But you'll notice, just before you get married, that you will receive more advice than you know what to do with. Some of it will be great! And some of it will make you wonder how on Earth the person giving the advice ever ended up married. I wanted to record some of my favorites before we forget what people told us.

As a newly married couple you'll need to sort through the clichĂ©s, over-generalizations, and people who sound like fortune cookies - to decide what works best for the two of you.

Sometimes, you will hear something brilliant, or just incredibly funny. You'll probably put it on your mental list to pass the advice on to all of your friends when they get engaged. Or you'll just laugh really hard and call your fiancé up immediately to tell him. Either way, these are the two types of advice that I just loved hearing.

1. "Never speak ill of your husband. But, if you absolutely must vent, vent to his mother and not to yours. His mother loves him unconditionally and will forgive him. Your mother might not."

Amen. Why don't people tell you this one more often?

2. As long as he's not breaking the dishes, let him wash them however he wants.

You and your husband will do things differently. As long as his method of doing something isn't hurting anyone, it's probably just fine. You need to let it go.

3. Marriage isn't 50/50. You both need to be giving a hundred percent if you want things to work.

4. "There are very few problems that can't be solved with a good roll in the sheets. Plus fighting leads to great make-up sex." 

This wins the award for the funniest advice I received. It's more or less a direct quote that came from a saucy 90 year-old French woman at church. She then started explaining, with a huge grin on her face, about when she and her husband used to fight, mentioning that she quite enjoyed the aftermath.

5. Avoid using the words "always" or "never" during a disagreement.

"You never wash the dishes." "You always embarrass me in public." Saying this makes the other person feel like they're being attacked. They'll probably get defensive. Also, what your accusation is probably not true. Always and never are exaggerations.

6. Instead make the problem about you. Use "I" statements.  

Don't accuse your partner of anything, just let them know how you feel. "When you (insert behavior that upset you here), I feel (emotion here). Could we try to (suggestion here)? "

It takes some practice. But it helps you attack the problem instead of the person. Plus, the "could we" at the end makes the solution a group effort. You both take accountability.

7. Always give your best to the people you know and meet and you'll receive the best from those people.

My sweet Aunt and Uncle wrote this in our guest book, and I love it. It's good advice for life in general, not just married couples.

Like all advice, you're free to take it or leave it. These were just the nuggets of wisdom that I liked the most. I'm curious, what was the best marital advice you received before getting married? What was the worst?


  1. Hey Patricia. Found your blog thru another blogger. I'm now your newest follower so you'll be seeing more of me. Esp if your post are like this. I'm never married nor have I ever been but I hope to be one day when God sends me my Mr. Right. You were a beautiful bride. Would love for you to follow me back.
    and read and would love to hear from you

  2. LOVE this! I especially liked the one about having a roll in the Those saucy French ladies! I got some similar advice from my sister-in-law. She said, "If you're going to fight, fight naked!" Once time when I was arguing with my husband he just started taking his clothes off and I'm like, "what are you doing?" When he told me, I just laughed and we couldn't argue anymore. :)

    I hate the saying "never go to bed angry." Honestly, if I'm tired and upset, it's better for me to sleep it off rather than try and tackle the problem then. Because I guarantee I will say something I regret because I'm grouchy. If I sleep on it, I'm rarely upset or even care about the issue in the morning. But some people do need to work things out before going to sleep. I just hate that everyone tries to make that piece of advice a one size fits all approach to marriage.

  3. My mother in law told us "It's okay to go to bed angry sometimes." You'll just get more frustrated and upset if you stay up. Some disagreements just need a good 8 hours of rest before you approach them again bright eyed and bushy tailed :)

  4. I think #1 is great if you like your mother in law enough to be able to vent to her otherwise you need a really good friend who is also married! I agree though about not complaining to your own family!!
    At my bridal shower one of my bridesmaids had people write advice and my at the time 10 yr brother wrote "eat marshmallows everyday" which cracked me up but after I was like I am going to take it as have fun and do something silly everyday!

    1. Haha, thats true! I got lucky in the MIL department. She's one of my biggest fans. I like the idea of doing something fun and silly. "Eat marshmallows everday." - that's really cute.

  5. This is very well written with some good nuggets there Patti. I have to say after almost 34 years of marriage, I can add a couple more if it's ok...
    ♥ Dad and I have NEVER gone to bed angry at each other, and I will stand by that. We always tell each other we love each other before shutting off the light too, and we mean it.
    ♥ Pray for one another... since dad is not LDS and is not comfortable praying with me, we have never prayed together (which makes my heart hurt, but it's what it is) however, I know he prays for me, and I pray for him always. If you can pray together every single day, do that.
    I like the advice to talk to your MIL about husband problems as she does know him well, and adores him. When she was alive, I used to talk to my mom about concerns and she actually always had good advice actually, but I know grandma Qualheim would have too.
    HUGS and love, miss you much!!!

  6. I LOVE this!!! Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself to me!!! :) I love your blog already and I'm excited to get to be your friend!



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