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19 People Share What It Actually Takes To Stay Married

Take it from the pros. H/T Quora.

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1. Keep dating each other.

Disney

"Dating is an important part of keep the relationship healthy. If you are not dating, start. Make it simple. Go to the park and eat sandwiches. Talk about good memories and future plans. Don’t talk about work, breakdowns, or difficult issues."

Jay Pyatt

2. Don't just love them — like them.

NBC

"After the intoxication of love and lust wear off, do you like the other person as a person. Seems obvious you have to like who you marry, but many get carried away in the romance and whirlwind events of engagement and marriage and find out later they actually wouldn't pick their partner if hypothetically there was no attraction and they were choosing a friend. So liking your partner as a person outside of attraction is a must."

Barry Webber

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3. Go bungee-jumping.

ABC

"According to Psychology Today, couples can improve their love for each other when they spend their time together exploring new and challenging activities. If you’re going to go bungee jumping for the first time, your relationship will benefit when you and your partner face this challenge together. If you’re not up to bungee jumping, seek out mentally challenging ways to spice up your daily routines."

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

4. Know that there's more to learn about each other.

Nickelodeon

"A constant interest in learning about your partner: asking questions, creating love maps, checking in with curiosity on your partner's world to enhance your knowledge of each other and your relationship together"

Luis Congdon

5. Crack plenty of jokes.

Paramount Pictures

"A healthy sense of humor, more humor, and plenty of 'sick' humor. If you're able to drop stiff conventions and find a common denominator, you're in for the adventure of a lifetime."

Rico F Berg, married 29 years

6. Have and hold.

reddit.com

"My father told me the short version last night.

* Before you're married: have what you love.

* After you're married: love what you have.

This means you have to find someone you love dearly before you marry them. When you're married the grass will start to look better on the other side, but then you need to love this woman you're married to.

My parents have been married for 34 years now."

Bennie van Eeden

7. Your partner can't read your mind.

Paramount Pictures

"When you're mad or resentful, say so! Don't keep things in, or hope your partner can figure out why you're unhappy. No one can read your mind, even the one who loves you the most. When you argue, stick to what you’re angry about. Don't call names, bring up old stuff or disparage your spouse. When you get to the point that you feel like walking away (and everyone does at one point or another), stop to remember at least three times your partner was the best thing in your life. Then take a deep breath, hold on to the memories of those joys, and go back to loving her/him."

Elizabeth Belden Handler, married 40 years

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9. It's never you vs. your partner.

NBC

"No matter what comes at you in your relationship, (or in life) it is never you against your spouse. It is ALWAYS you and your spouse against the issue. Often we get caught up in placing blame and designating responsibility to only one person. However, when you are in a marriage, you have made a commitment to become 'one', and you are to tackle all issues as a unit."

Oliver Marcelle

10. Answer this simple question every morning.

NBC

"When you wake up in the morning, think 'What can I do to make her day or his day just a little happier?' You need to turn toward each other, and if you focus on the other person even just for that five minutes when you first wake up, it's going to make a big difference in your relationship. That's likely to really work for many years. So start each day thinking about what you can give that special person in your life."

Karl Pillemer

11. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Comedy Central

"Respectful love. Not just love, or romantic love, but the love where you genuinely respect your spouse and who they are as a person, their feelings, their achievements, and everything they bring to the relationship. Being excited for them when they get a raise or promotion or just for putting together a book shelf. These things help to bolster their self-esteem and their perceived worth in your eyes. It also helps to create that trust, the one where you feel safe and where you can just be yourself. Knowing that at the end of the day they look forward to coming home, instead of dreading it."

Katie Bekei, married 15+ years

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13. Be resilient.

Paramount Pictures

"I’ve grown up seeing the sheer resilience of my mom over the last 40 years while my dad served in the Army. Things were not always easy. I credit my mom for getting through difficult times of long separations, frequent moves (as my dad got posted from place to place), bringing up two children mostly on her own, etc. My wife is facing similar circumstances as I work abroad and she is raising our two kids back in India. So, one important factor is ‘sheer resilience’, there has to be a willingness to endure the most trying of circumstances on either side... If both partners are willing to endure, and more importantly, support each other through these trying times, the marriage will only grow stronger."

Jay Maan

14. Validation is key.

FOX

"Recognizing how your partner feels or validating one another is an important tool. Be open and willing to respect, acknowledge and relate to your partner's feelings. Some research shows that invalidation is one of the strong predictors in relationship difficulty and failure. You're not always going to agree with a partner, but putting down or belittling a partners thoughts, feelings, actions or character just contributes to further conflict and distance. We all require to be validated."

Angela Lacalamita

15. Think before you speak.

Universal Pictures

"The 'think before you speak' rule is the secret recipe for a long-lasting marriage. Have a good communication habit with your partner. Talk through your problems in the right way. Work out together how to improve things in your relationship rather than going on the defensive."

Elarie Mashi

16. Please stop saying, "Let me ask my wife."

NBC

"A marriage isn't free reign to tell each other what to do either. I hate it when I hear the 'let me ask my wife' or 'I'm not allowed to' come out of a grown man's mouth! If you allow someone to treat you that way, YOU are the only person to blame because — and this is the most important thing I've learned in my 18 years of marriage — you teach others how to treat you, so if you don't like how you're being treated then communicate, have patience, compromise, and show respect to one another."

Michelle Lane Markgraf, married 21 years

17. Commitment, commitment, commitment.

CW

"Commitment.

Commitment to love unconditionally

Commitment to stay no matter what

Commitment to happiness

Commitment to growing the relationship

Unmarried people think strength of love is the secret.

Married people realize the secret is to choose to keep loving."

Becky Lee

18. Stop arguing about the same sh*t.

DreamWorks

"Consciously try to learn from each misunderstanding/fight and try not to repeat the same fight over and over again. Don't hold a grudge and forgive quickly."

Nikhil Okhade

19. It's you two against the world.

Disney

"Whenever someone would ask us who was boss I would say that I let him think he was boss, then he would look upward with his eyes as if he was the one who was letting me think I was boss. The truth was, we were partners. It was us against the world. Talk to each other all the time about everything so little things don't become major issues. Play with your partner because you are best friends and really enjoy each others company. Never say the word divorce in a moment of anger. Tell you partner you love them, EVERY DAY."

Barbara Gotsopoulos

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