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Marital advice to newlyweds

Recently I asked several people, family and friends, to send me their marital advice. This advice was collected as a wedding present to my daughter who recently got married. I received many wonderful pearls of wisdom; lessons learned from first hand experience that were learned through real-life trial and error of married life. Please enjoy reading them, and I hope that you can take whatever advice you need and apply to your own life.

“One thing I like to tell newlyweds is you don’t need to say everything you think because it isn’t helpful. And you can’t undo words once spoken. When you are upset with your spouse remember you have shortcomings too and they love you in spite of your flaws. This helps you extend goodwill to them and work on solving the issue.”

“Always laugh at wife’s jokes…. or at least smile.”

“First, marriage is the oldest of all human relationships but no one succeeds without sacrifice. Secondly, marriage is like a vehicle, it does not serve the owner unless it is well-maintained.”

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”

“Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes a commitment to each other that never entertains the thought of giving up until you reach the finish line together. It takes hard work, grace and dedication to the commitment you made to each other and to God.”

“Don’t think of yourselves as two halves of one relationship, but as two whole people who choose to go through life side by side.”

“My words of wisdom would be expect, celebrate and respect differences in personalities. No one wants to marry their twin!”

“Always give each other a higher level of courtesy, respect and consideration than you would a stranger, not less, because you are married.”

“Don’t ever assume your mate knows you care, tell them.”

“Expect the other person to be themselves not who or what you think they will be. Examples: She’ll do the laundry because my mom did all the laundry, he’ll work an 8 to 5 because my dad worked an 8 to 5.”

“Always hold your wife’s hand..guide and protect her through any challenges as well as any accomplishments. Stop and encourage each other when times are tough and always be each other’s biggest cheerleader.”

“Forgiveness doesn’t always have to come in the form of words. Change of action is actually better. Look for it. Give each other space to come around to the right thing.”

“When you get in an argument, don’t go telling it to your parents or friends. Because when you let it go an hour later your parents and friends are still upset at your spouse. And..Don’t think that because you are married now you magically don’t become attracted to other people.”

“When the babies come along, don’t forget you are still responsible for making each other remember you are married and happy about it! Make time for each other.”

Patrick Ward is a marriage and family therapist. Visit his website at www.wardmfts.com.

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