Go Retro: 12 Tips for a Happy Marriage
Tried-and-true strategies you can borrow from your parents' marriage to enhance your own.
Retro Relationship Tip No. 2: Put Pen to Paper
Back before cell phones and instant messaging, people wrote letters of
affection to each other, often waiting weeks to receive them.
Lilia Fallgatter, author of The Most Important Letter You Will Ever
Write: How to Tell Loved Ones How You Feel Before It's Too Late, advocates
reviving the lost art of letter-writing to increase intimacy in a
"Love letters exchanged between a couple can strengthen their
relationship by helping them to connect to one another on a deeper level,"
she says via email. "These letters may also become treasured keepsakes
that can be revisited and experienced anew each time they are read."
You'll reap bonus points if you hand write it on beautiful paper and enclose a
cherished memento such as a photograph or ticket stub from a movie you saw
Retro Relationship Tip No. 3: Sleep As Singles
It was TV censors who kept sitcom couples in separate beds, but maybe there
was wisdom to catching your ZZZs in your own bed.
When one partner snores or is a night owl, tensions can mount in the marital
bed, experts say. It may seem like a throwback a la Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, but
many couples happily sleep in separate beds; some even maintain separate
bedrooms and eliminate tossing and turning and fights over the blanket.
And many couples who are secure enough to seek satisfying slumber on their
own report using the regained energy for more ... loving pursuits.
Retro Relationship Tip No. 4: Maintain Same-Sex Friends -- and Interests
Don't for Wives instructs women not to "try to regulate your
husband's pleasures and don't be jealous if they don't include you."
It's only been during the past couple of decades that couples expected to
share a bulk of their free time together. Retro couples didn't necessarily want
to participate in each others hobbies.
Charlotte, N.C., relationship expert Kathy Stafford recommends that couples
keep close ties with their same-sex friends throughout marriage. "My
parents had separate interests. Dad belonged to a men's club, and Mom belonged
to a ladies-only club. This gave them both time to cultivate their own
interests, and they weren't totally reliant on each other for their