6 Moms Gave Advice About Marriage & They Are So Perfectly Wise
My mom has been married to my dad for 30 years. He's the first and only guy she's ever dated, which I have trouble wrapping my mind around most days. She, on the other hand, doesn't understand how I can date someone without being exclusive. When it comes to millennial dating practices, we've agreed to disagree. Still, I think moms' advice about marriage might be more important now than ever before. With trends like ghosting, orbiting, and zombieing — which are definitely not mom-approved, BTW — it's worth reminding yourself of the basics.
For example, my mom's one bit of marriage advice is that things will never work if you don't respect each other first. My mom's theory is that relationship staples, like trust and open communication, can only exist between two people who genuinely respect each other's opinions, feelings, interests, and boundaries. Without mutual respect, you're just two people co-existing more like acquaintances rather than partners. You might as well be seat mates on the subway at this point.
Her advice reminds me of the scene in The Wedding Planner when Salvatore (played by Alex Rucco) tells his daughter Mary (played by Jennifer Lopez) the story of how his and her mother's marriage came to be so successful. It wasn't love at first sight for the fictional couple, who had an arranged marriage. For them, he says that appreciation grew to respect, respect to like, and like to a deeper love than he could ever hope for.
You may not do things exactly like your parents did but you can learn a lot from their wise and experienced takes on life and love. These six moms shared the best marriage advice with their millennial kids.
Marry someone you like.
My mom always says that you should marry someone you really like. If you don't really like someone at their core, you have less incentive to work through fights and stay together. Plus, like, if the person you're dating now is kind of annoying, just imagine how sick you'll be of them 30 years from now.
Love is important, too, of course. Passion is one thing, but it's a totally different thing to genuinely enjoy a person's company, lifestyle, and sense of humor. I've definitely dated people I was attracted to, but struggled to have fun with — that's the kind of person you should not marry, according to my mom. No matter how hot they happen to be.
- Hannah, 25
Don't hold grudges.
'Forgiveness and communication on anything big or small. Everyone makes mistakes and doesn't know everything. This alone will save and sustain and marraige.' - my mom on the day I got married.
Learn how to be happy on your own.
My mom told me 'a happy couple is made of two happy individuals.' First, learn who you are and how to be happy. Then, find another happy person to marry. My wife adds to this, 'if you think you need to be married to be happy, you're not ready to be married.'
Talk about what's bothering you sooner rather than later.
My parents are divorced but my mom always talks about how she thinks they avoided issues until it was past being able to be fixed. So she always tells me to be open and to talk absolutely everything out with my husband, regardless of how uncomfortable it gets.
- Leah*, 22
Don't let your emotions get the better of you.
My mom stands by the, 'Never go to bed angry rule.' Also, don't make hasty decisions.
- Catie*, 29
Manage any relationship problems you have as a team.
She always drills it into me that a marriage is between two people. There’s no need to involve your family and friends in every detail. If there’s a problem, it’s for us to tackle the problem, not to see who wins and who has more people on their side.
- Katarina*, 25
See? Mom really does know best.