For it is the giant cornerstone to the whole shootin’ match that we call marriage.
My parents advice was as follows, in no particular order:
You can’t have too much in common.
Never running out of conversation is always a good sign.
Having time alone together shows the children that they have joined their parents lives, not taken them over.
One person should be good in a crisis (my mom).
One person should be willing to get up in the middle of the night to comfort kids from their bad dreams (my dad).
Honor your spouse’s parents, even if they’re not always pleasant toward you.
Praise your spouse in front of your children.
When your kids (or anyone) asks who your best friend is, answer (but only if you mean it), “Your mother/father.”
Light up when your spouse walks into the room.
Be patient with your spouses’ shortcomings (this is extra hard, but my parents were temperamentally so well suited to each other that they nailed this one).
Above all else, be loyal.
Never keep secrets from each other.
Support each other’s dreams. Always.
Nurture each other.