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7 Marriage Tips to Stay Lucky in Love

Getting hitched on "lucky" 7-7-07? Besides luck, try this advice to have a happy marriage.
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Marriage Tip No. 6: Honor and respect your partner.

"Be honoring all the time," says Thomas Merrill. That means no "my old lady" stories, he says. And it also means a wife shouldn't be flirting with male co-workers or other men.

Respect was also a marriage tip that came up often from the marriage masters, Boggs says. "The No. 1 principle that almost everyone talked about is respect," he says. "You can have respect without love, but you cannot have love without respect."

Respect, say those with a happy marriage, means not undermining your partner in front of the children. "And don't go outside the marriage when you are having a problem," Boggs says they advised. "Discuss it with your partner."

Respect also means not criticizing your mate in front of others, Miller and Boggs were often told by the marriage masters. To make this marriage tip easier to practice, consider the input of one marriage master on the topic, Boggs says. "One man told me, 'Let's say someone is walking by when you are criticizing your mate. That is the only opinion they have of you.'"

Marriage Tip No. 7: If you're the wife, lower your expectations. If you're the husband, step up to the plate.

When Steve Brody and his wife, Cathy Brody, MFT, a marriage and family counselor, toured the country to promote their book, Renew Your Marriage at Midlife, they asked audiences what they wanted from marriage.

"Women expected to be loved, cherished, listened to, cared for, and courted," Steve Brody says. They had a long list of wants and expectations, he recalls. The men joked that their expectations were more basic: Their typical answers, Brody says: "Bring food and show up naked."

While the men were half joking, the gaps in expectations are a good lesson. To close the gap, Brody says, women need to lower their expectations -- to not expect 24/7 romance, for instance, especially if their mate has just worked an unbelievably long week.

Men need to do some of the things the woman wants, such as prioritize their relationship and listen more, he says. In a nutshell, Brody says, "Men need to do the same things at home that they do at work." He tells the husbands he counsels to think of it this way: "Your wife is the million-dollar client. If she walks out the door, the business is closed."

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Reviewed on July 05, 2007

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