My husband and I have been married for 26 years, and my parents’ advice was:
- Separate bathrooms – I am a slob and my husband’s really neat, so I can splash water and make a mess and it does not bother him at all.
- Weekly date nights – we go to the gym after work on Mondays, then grab dinner after – a fun way to start each week.
Also, at our rehearsal dinner, my father made a toast to my husband that I thought was great: “Learn to give in on the little things – it makes it easier to give in on the big things.” Everyone laughed, but it really is great advice.
My dad’s advice was, “Enjoy the adventure!”
As an individual, couples, and family therapist, I have a lot of insight about what makes relationships work. But the best advice my mother ever gave me was: “Don’t ask who you want to be with forever, ask who you want to be with today, then the forever question answers itself.” It puts too much pressure on every single move the other person makes to think about “forever,” especially early on in a relationship.
The other good advice from my parents was: “Put your partner’s flaws in the bigger picture rather than scrutinizing every little thing.” Ask yourself if this person makes you happy overall rather than fixating on their limitations.