Weddings / August 15, 2016

Marriage advice from our wisest relatives

One of my most cherished possessions from my wedding shower is a stack of colored index cards. On their way in, the wedding shower guests wrote advice on a colored index card – these cards were read out loud later at the event. It was remarkable, how simple and powerful the act of women sharing advice felt to me. These women distilled their best advice for marital happiness down into a few short lines.


Fast forward to the time of social media. Marital advice (and advice data!) is available from every corner of content. We have the opportunity to collect and share even more marital advice — so through social media, I’ve collected some of my favorite marital advice from some of my favorite people, my friends’ parents.

“Always try and out-do each other with kindness.” Stephanie Almeida’s father’s advice echoes current research into the vital ingredients in a successful marriage. That advice also has some good science behind it. Researchers have found that kindness is one of the vital ingredients in a successful marriage.

Alex Santantonio’s psychologist mother’s advice about communication is important for those of us prone to shutting down. “My psychologist mother told me, “It doesn’t matter if you yell and fight as long as you keep talking about what you’re yelling and fighting about. Communication is key to a successful marriage, and it’s equally as important to discuss how you’re feeling as it is to listen to how your partner is feeling.”


“My dad told us it’s all about compromise.” Sarah Brown’s dad shares a very good piece of advice. My husband’s father echoed that sentiment, telling us that every decision we made together would be “60/40.”  And that’s okay. That expectation that someone will get the better deal has helped us through some challenging times.


Designer Laurie Smithwick received sweet advice from her Mom. “My mom told us never to buy a king size bed. She said that even if you go to bed angry (which happens sometimes), you shouldn’t be able to be “untouchably” far away from your partner in bed.”

Speaking of going to bed angry, some parents seem to think it’s not all that bad, my friend Sonyia Grabski said, “It’s okay to go to bed mad – sometimes you just need a good night’s sleep. The sales and marketing VP’s grandmother also had a keen eye for self-protection, sharing, “Always keep a financial egg aside just for yourself.”


The advice April Damron received made me laugh out loud, “Don’t do anything the first year of marriage that you don’t want to do for the rest of your marriage.”


But ultimately, Krista Pemberton’s advice from her mother-in-law warmed this storyteller’s heart, “The stories we tell over and over become our beliefs about ourselves, our spouse, and our lives. My mother in law told me to always emphasized the beautiful moments in my marriage and I would continue see my marriage as extraordinary.”

When you describe your marriage as extraordinary, you’ll see your marriage as extraordinary. The stories we tell are so much more important than we think they.


Have you received any fantastic advice from your parents – or other people with more experience in wedding planning? Share in the comments!



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