I’ve been married for 45 years and these are the things that have helped my husband and me.

Never marry a person thinking you’ll change them. People are on their best behavior when dating. If your dating an idiot, you’ll be the husband or wife of a bigger idiot.

Don’t talk about your in-laws. Your spouse can rant and rave but please, don’t say anything. Everyone has weird relatives, even you.

Men are different than women. It’s true. Adam and Eve were arguing about an apple 10 minutes after they were created. Accept that you’ll both agree and disagree and it’s okay.

Never ever take anyone’s side over that of your husband or wife. Always show honor to each other in public.

Never share arguments with friends/family. After you make up with your spouse, your family will keep count and your friends will think you’re stupid for living with such a person.

It’s an opinion. If God said it, it’s a fact. If you or your spouse say it, it’s an opinion.

Resolve arguments before you sleep. Going to bed angry won’t help resolve the problem. It makes it worse.

Realize that you’re sharing a life, not owning a life. If your husband wants to go fishing with the guys, then let him. If she wants to see a girlfriend in another state, let her. Nagging and being possessive pulls people apart not together.

Indulge hobbies. Our philosophy is and has been, “if it makes you happy, then that’s what matters.

Play games. Stay young at heart. Hold hands. Share secrets. Hide things from the kids. Go on vacation together. Laugh. Have funny names for one another. Marriage needs to be funny at times. Early on, marriage is not often fun. You’re tired from working, kids, and 10,000 other things. Give each other a break. She’s exhausted and he’s oblivious.

If you forgive someone, then NEVER throw it in their face later. Only a narcissist keeps count.

You both took wedding vows. Treat them seriously. Never break them.

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