It seems like family, coworkers, close friends and even acquaintances are always doling out unsolicited marriage advice.
And while their tips usually come from a good, helpful place, these folks aren't necessarily authorities on matters of the heart. So instead, we turned to a group of married relationship experts -- authors, therapists, professors and psychologists -- for the best relationship wisdom they've gained from their own marriages.
1. Never argue on an empty stomach.
“We have been able to keep a tiff from growing into a major fight by asking: 'Are we hungry?' Whatever the cause (low blood sugar, perhaps?), a sandwich or a cookie can help prevent serious conflict -– and both are cheaper than psychotherapy!" - Dr. Karl Pillemer, author of 30 Lessons For Loving and professor of gerontology at Cornell
2. Hold yourself accountable.
"None of us are perfect. I mess up, too. But what I have learned is that if I am wrong, or if I have deliberately or inadvertently hurt my husband, I will apologize. You just have to. It goes a long way." - Dr. Logan Levkoff, sexologist and author
3. Create a daily ritual that's just about you and your spouse and stick to it.
"It could be having coffee together every morning and talking about your day and what’s on your mind (what my husband and I do), enjoying port and appetizers at the end of every day together (something friends of ours do) or tucking the kids into bed early and then spending an hour or so together to end your day. What your daily ritual looks like or how long it takes doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you are consistent and it is a time set aside to connect each and every day. This will build trust in your marriage like nothing else." - Fawn Weaver, author and founder of Happy Wives Club
4. Sometimes you have to go first.
"You have to be the first one to break the silence, to be the brave peacemaker, to apologize first, to yield first, forgive first, be vulnerable first. Life is too short and marriage is too important to wait for everything to be fair." - Winifred Reilly, licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship blogger
5. Despite what you've heard, it's OK to go to bed angry.
"Staying up all night to fight will lead to escalation, while calling for a ceasefire to resolve differences the next day will lead to win-win solutions." - Dr. Jim Walkup, licensed marriage and family therapist
6. Two words: Separate bathrooms.
"It is way more romantic to bump into each other in other places in the home than near a toilet or a toothpaste-splattered sink. Having our own spaces to tend to our own private activities definitely preserves some of the mystery in a long-term relationship." - Iris Krasnow, author of The Secret Lives of Wives
7. Do nice things for your partner without being asked.
"At least once a day, do something for the other person without being asked. Clear the table, take out the trash, give a massage, watch the kids while your spouse takes a long bath. There are a million little things you can do each day that build a strong foundation for the future." - Marina Sbrochi, author of Stop Looking for a Husband: Find the Love of Your Life
8. Pay attention to how your partner treats others.
"If you want to see how your partner will be as a parent, check out how they act with pets or other animals. My husband bonded with a baby goat at a petting zoo and he bonds just as well with our babies." - Dr. Samantha Rodman, psychologist and dating coach
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