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Wise advice from those in the know

Wise advice from those in the know
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Who knows better how to have a successful relationship than someone who’s had decades of experience?

Be careful what you look for because you might just find it

Be careful what you look for because you might just find it
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“My great grandmother always told me to be careful what you go fishing for because you may come out with snakes. As a therapist, I share this with my clients when they are suspicious of what their partner are doing. They may think they want to know everything but are the results worth the fallout from that information? Often we tend to think we are ready to know all the dirty details only to realise we were better off before.” —Shannon Battle, licensed professional counsellor.

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it
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“As a child, my grandmother taught me that successful relationships were more a result of character than content. As such, her favourite saying was ‘You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.’ Now that I work as a marriage counsellor I see how true that is. It’s important to always speak kindly even in tense situations as kind words help couples establish and maintain habits of fair and equitable collaboration that creates a stronger bond.” —Bill Benson, licensed marriage and family therapist and clinical counsellor.

Let him (or her) win

Let him (or her) win
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“When I first got married my grandma told me to ‘always let him win.’ At the time, I didn’t like this advice because I didn’t think it was fair. Why should I always let him win? As I got older and more mature, I see her point and see why this is such an amazing way to be in a relationship. It’s not that we get taken advantage of, or let ourselves be used or abused, but it’s about letting your partner win with the small things. It’s about compromising for the sake of a peaceful marriage. You give in to smaller conflicts for the good of the whole, and for a more peaceful union.” —Karenna Alexander, dating and relationship coach.

Cook his or her favourite meal

Cook his or her favourite meal
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“My grandma always had a delicious meal waiting for my grandfather and told me to do the same. At first when I heard her saying this it seemed outdated and even a little silly. I figured a guy should love me for me, not for my cooking skills. And it’s true, if you have a good guy, you aren’t going to lose him if you are a bad cook. But that said, cooking a meal for someone you love is a way of showing them love and that you are there for them….It’s a form of communication, even on days when you both are exhausted and have nothing left. It’s a way of communicating love and creativity and caring, even when words aren’t spoken.” —Karenna Alexander

Pretend you can’t open the pickle jar

Pretend you can’t open the pickle jar
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“My grandparents were married for 41 years and my grandma told me her secret: ‘Sometimes you have to let the other person feel needed, even if they aren’t.’ She explained how she would have my grandfather do little things like filing papers, or opening jars for her. She knew how to open a tight jar herself but she would still leave the tight jars until he came home from work. ‘Nobody wants to feel like you don’t need them to do nothing!’ she’d tell me. I understood later in life that even though I can change my own tyre, my significant other wants to feel like he is the only one who can do it. And I am okay with that.” —Whitney Tillery, relationship coach and blogger at shewriteablog.com.

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Sing it with me: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Sing it with me: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
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“My grandmother showed me that the secret to a lasting relationship is respect. Treating your partner with respect even when angry or upset with them makes all the difference to your relationship. Using respectful language when talking to them and respectfully listening to them when they disagree with you or have a differing opinion is crucial to lasting success.” —Rosalind Sedacca, certified life coach and author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60!

Here are 14 things you should never say to your spouse.

Never miss an opportunity for contact

Never miss an opportunity for contact
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“To nurture your relationship you need to touch one another from time to time throughout the day, according to my grandparents, who always had their hands on each other. A pat on the back or on the butt, a quick kiss now and then, holding hands when walking together or a just a simple hug keep your relationship special and intimate.” —Rosalind Sedacca.

Before you light a match, check to see if you’re the one holding the petrol

Before you light a match, check to see if you’re the one holding the petrol
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“My grandmother used to tell me, ‘Before responding in anger when your partner does something, stop and ask yourself if you have done something similar or as annoying to them in the past. The answer is almost always yes.’ This showed me that when we walk in our partner’s shoes we are less likely to judge, criticise, or alienate our partner. We can be more understanding and tolerant and more able to build bridges to heal relationship challenges as they occur.” —Rosalind Sedacca.

Science debunks the biggest myths about what makes a good marriage. 

Relationships are like a casserole – better with time

Relationships are like a casserole – better with time
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“My grandma loved teaching me how to cook and she’d use it as a way to sneak in life lessons. For instance, when I was struggling with a big decision in my relationship, she told me ‘Don’t rush to act, but rather treat your response or decision like a pot of stew or a fresh apple pie and give it a day. When you come back to it 24 hours later, it will be all that much better.’ Decisions made in the heat of the moment often end badly and I use this with my clients all the time.” —Eric Marlowe Garrison, author and sex therapist.

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