Tips for a happy marriageMy daughter Betty is getting married today. She didnt want a traditional wedding (thank God),so therell be a short sunset ceremony on the Beach followed by a big party at the nearby home ofher new in-laws. No tossing of garters. No shoving cake in each others faces. No chicken dance.There may be some toasts proffered, though perhaps not by me. Im not much for speeches, andtheres very little I would want to say other than, "I love you more than life itself. I wish you allthe happiness in the world. Now go make some grandchildren for me."But really, what is the best thing to say to two young newlyweds starting a life together? Well,given that marriage is just about the biggest, scariest and most amazing commitment one canever make (second to having children, of course), perhaps it would be good to share some wordsof wisdom from people who have been married for many years.One thing Ive learned is not to be too proud to ask for help, so some of the nuggets below wereinspired by suggestions from assorted friends and family. Some are aimed more at the husbandand some at the wife. Most of them can apply to all couples, newlywed or not.So, without further ado …. If you think shes beautiful, tell her.. Make dinner together. Eat dinner together. Go to bed together.. Your fantasy life should revolve around your wife, not your football team.. Life is short. Say "I love you" at least once every day.. The more time you spend trying to change your spouse, the less time you have for improvingyourself.. One of the sexiest things you can do in bed is to serve your spouse a nice breakfast.. Talk to each other, not at each other. And really listen.. It doesnt matter what you think youre fighting about. It always comes down to a choicebetween fear and love. Choose wisely.. Write this into your wedding vows: "I promise to faithfully replace the toilet paper whenever Iuse the last of it.". Do things together. Do things apart.
. Career, personal goals and family are important, but nothing is more important than yourrelationship.. The cruelest question you can ask a husband: "Notice anything different?". Be your spouses biggest cheerleader.. If youve truly forgiven your spouse for something, youll never bring it up again.. Your wife doesnt need to know that you think that chick across the street has a great ass. (Notthat theres anything wrong with noticing.). Be spontaneously ridiculous and unabashedly silly. Make your spouse laugh. It nourishes yoursouls.. No one person can give you everything you need.. If he forgets your anniversary, dont freak out about it. If he forgets your name, do.. "What can I do for you, honey?". Hes not a mind reader. If you want him to know what youre thinking or feeling, you have totell him.. If you make your kids the center of your universe, theres going to be one massive black holewhen they finally grow up and leave.. Recognize your spouses weaknesses, but focus on their strengths.. If you always have to win the argument, youll eventually lose the relationship.. Only if she asks: "No, honey, that dress isnt very flattering." (Not, "It makes you look fat."). Find someone to talk to about your marriage, but never talk your spouse down to anyone.. When you finally realize your spouse is as flawed and messed up as you are, you can leave therose-colored fantasy behind and start building a real adult relationship.. If your wife suddenly starts tanning and exercising a lot, might as well call the lawyer now.(This one came from a recently divorced friend.). Every little disagreement doesnt have to snowball into a discussion about "the relationship.". Its actually okay to go to bed angry sometimes, as long as you agree to discuss it in themorning.
. Shes your wife, not your mommy. Go clean up after your own self.. Its not your job to make your spouse happy. (Its not possible either.). Appreciate the love your spouse has for you. Its not something youre entitled to. Its somethingyou earn.. When he says "You might have a point there, honey," what hes leaving out is "if you werent sofull of crap.". Create your own traditions for the holidays.. Sharing your secrets (and hopes and fears) is the secret to true intimacy.. Want to get lucky tonight? Do a load of laundry, start to finish.. Listen to other peoples advice, but make your own choices.. Argue naked. Its guaranteed to keep a minor disagreement from turning into a big fight.. Random expressions of love and affection are the best ones. (Foot rubs count double. Feet aregross!). Being selfish and being in love are incompatible.. Just because you know where someones buttons are doesnt mean you have to push them.. If your dog gets more snuggle time in bed with your wife than you do, youre in trouble.. Money is something to talk about, not fight about.. When all is said and done, you can hang onto your pride or you can hang onto yourrelationship.. And, finally, heres a great one from Ogden Nash. "To keep your marriage brimming / with lovein the wedding cup / whenever youre wrong, admit it / whenever youre right, shut up."