In Honor of Meghan & Harry: Your Best Advice for a Happy Marriage

Getting caught up in all of the pageantry and publicity over the upcoming royal wedding, is fun; no question.  Weddings are fun.  Marriage, on the other hand, is hard.  But here are some tips, from real world couples, that can help keep your relationship a happy one.

Say what you need

“If you need something, you must express it. Years ago, recently married, I was discouraged that my husband never offered to help out. A motherly neighbor noticed my funk. I explained, ‘He should know!’

‘They don’t know,’ she said. ‘You’ve got to tell them.’”

— Maura McCaw, Watertown, Mass.

Peas or carrots: Pick one

“My father told me that the key to his happy marriage was that when my mother asked him if he wanted peas or carrots for dinner, he always made a choice. Never say you don’t care or it doesn’t matter. Over time, I have found that this applies to a lot of other things besides peas and carrots, and it’s saved a lot of arguments.”

Squeaky clean

“Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.”

— Jem Stewart, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Make like ‘Frozen’

“If it’s not a deal-breaker, let it go. There are many small annoyances in life and marriage, but forgetting them in favor of the big picture makes everyone happy.”

— Alana DiCicco, Portland, Ore.


“Don’t keep score.”

— Elana Zucker, New Jersey

Deal with it today

“‘The secret to marriage is to deal with Monday’s business on Monday; deal with Tuesday’s business on Tuesday; don’t wait until Sunday to complain about everything that happened the whole week.’ I received this sage advice at the age of 16 from my plain-spoken, long-married high school debate coach, and I still think of it 27 years later.”

— Lillian Potter, Silver Spring, Md.

Ice, ice baby

“Always fill the ice cube tray. The priest who married us gave us this advice 35-plus years ago, in the days when you had to manually fill the trays in order to have ice. Nothing worse than opening the freezer and finding no ice! The general premise holds true today: always be thoughtful and considerate of your partner, in large and small ways.”

— Patricia Donovan, Manasquan, N.J.

Say yes to therapy

“Agree now that it only takes one of you to think you need couples therapy to get you both to therapy. Even if the other thinks everything is fine, if one partner thinks you need help, then you need help.”

— Joanne Weidman, Los Angeles

Leave it in the past

“Remember that when you get angry, ‘if it’s hysterical, it’s historical.’ This just means that if you get really riled up over small things … it’s more about your past, so leave your dear spouse out of it. This is advice from my mother-in-law, Noni, married for 65 years, and the happiest woman I’ve ever known.”

— Ruth Wimsatt, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Empowering, supportive, transformative. 
Your family deserves Collaborative.

Elizabeth Vaz