How to Have a Good Marriage in Just 38 Words

Before I got married, I read a lot about the importance of communication in marriage. How hard can that be? I wondered. What’s so difficult about talking to each other? Little did I realize how much is packed into that one word. There are some big picture rules to live by that can lead to a happy and healthy marriage and several of them can be boiled down to simple, specific words and principles.

That’s great news for those of us who feel overwhelmed by the idea of finding time to read another marriage book (or convincing our husbands to read it with us!).  So here, in just 38 words, is how to have a good marriage. Focus on one set of words per week and notice the changes in your home.

Show affection. (2)

Accept each other’s differences. (6)

Don’t condescend. (8)

Put each other first. (12)

Apologize when wrong. (15)

Don’t pout or seethe—discuss. (20)

Learn to fight fair. (24)

Have sex. (26)

Stay connected. (28)

Manage expectations. (30)

Share a dream. (33)

Don’t keep score. (36)

Be kind. (38)

What words do you live by to have a good marriage?