Marriage wisdom



Occassionally I like to ask married people for marriage advice; and I was thinking about it and realized most are not Catholic (which is perfectly fine).Therefore, I wanted to ask on a Catholic forum in the hope that Catholic people would respond :slight_smile:

I am not married so what is some marriage advice you would give to an unmarried person who wants to be someday? Also, I do not know if a thread like this has been created before (sure there has) so forgive me if there is an active one out there!


There's an old joke that "the secret to a happy marriage remains a secret", but I like to think that's not exactly true.

I was single for a very long time, and made a lot of mistakes along the way. So my advice is based on the idea that you can learn from the things I did wrong.

What I'd suggest first is to be very, very careful about the people you associate with. If you want to be married to a decent, respectable person, then hang around decent, respectable people. Relatively speaking, there are saints among the sinners, and sinners among the saints, but that's not the way to bet your life. I used to know a guy who spent all his time in bars, and wondered why he couldn't meet any decent girls. No wonder he was divorced *twice *before the age of 27!

The second thing is to be really sure about what you want--and make sure that whoever you're considering spending your life is just as confident. "Finding yourself" after marriage is one "heck" of a lot harder than doing it before strolling down the aisle.

Also, I've found that similar value systems will help two people get along a lot better than mere physical attraction or even common hobbies. (For example, two people may both play a lot of golf--but the person who plays for relaxation will be miserable with the person who has to win every single time.)

Finally, the faith that two people share is probably going to be the foundation that supports them when all else fails (and trust me, life will throw you wicked curve balls that you will swing at and miss again and again). Better make sure you're both grounded in something that can see you through.

Oh, wait, one more patient. If you want to get married in the worst will.


First of all, I agree wholeheartedly with the above post.

Secondly, 'advice' I normally give to young people regarding choosing a spouse is incredibly simple: Do NOT marry someone "you can live with"; marry someone you can't live without.

I realize there is a lot more issues when it comes to choosing a spouse. But we all know of many marriages where the couples seemed to fit "on paper", with all the same values, likes, dislikes, etc. But what was missing was deep compatibility of the soul.


[quote="psalm42, post:1, topic:190984"]

Occassionally I like to ask married people for marriage advice; and I was thinking about it and realized most are not Catholic (which is perfectly fine).Therefore, I wanted to ask on a Catholic forum in the hope that Catholic people would respond :)

I am not married so what is some marriage advice you would give to an unmarried person who wants to be someday? Also, I do not know if a thread like this has been created before (sure there has) so forgive me if there is an active one out there!


Hi, there.

As a divorced Catholic convert who has fortunately been given the freedom to marry, properly this time, in the Church (November 6!), I ask you to tattoo this inside your skull:

Marry only your best friend.

A best friend loves *and *likes you, and will always stick by you (and you by them) no matter how idiotic each of you are. :) You might argue and whine, but you both know that you aren't just man and wife: you're *partners *who could never see their life without the other at their side, come hell or high water.

Best friends *stay *friends. A person you are merely friendly with does not have your best interests at heart--and you won't have theirs, either.


Find out as many banal details about your spouse as you can.

You may find it hard to believe that you may someday be arguing over which direction the toilet paper comes off of the dispensor, but if your an “over” and she’s an “under,” the fight will be on.

The Devil is in the details :thumbsup:

Happy St. Pattys day!! :smiley:


Marry for the FUNDAMENTALS… bicker over the DETAILS…

What’s fundamentally important to you?
Strong Catholic Faith? -check!
Unrelenting obedience to the church? -check!
Logical approach to life? -check!
Cat or dog person?.. nah, that’s in the details… :wink:


In addition to what has already been said …

I think you need to make sure that you and your spouse have at least one (preferably several) shared interests or hobbies. Once the initial romance has worn off, and the children are on their own, you’ll need something to do together besides eat, sleep, and watch TV. You don’t want to be two people that have nothing to talk about and basically go their separate ways.



Understand that Love is not a feeling – Love is a decision. A decision you will need make every day. :love:

Cultivate your relationship with your in-laws. (They were in love with your spouse long before you were)



Good afternoon.

Great advice so far! I would also add that it is of utmost importance to find someone who views the sacrament of marriage the same way that you do. One of the things to consider is if you and your future spouse agree on how you view the question of annulments and legal separation. It may not seem like a big deal now (since most people presumably marry for life), but when the hard times come (which they are guaranteed to come), will you find out then that one of you thinks it’s OK to high-tail it when you thought you were on the same page? Another biggie is how you and your future spouse view the church’s teaching on sexuality, will you both be open to life as the church teaches? Hope this helps and all the best as you search out your vocation!



I would echo the posts above and add a few more suggestions myself.

I would be sure to find someone that loves the Catholic faith the same way (if not more so) that I do. I am greatful that my wife was “smarter” in the faith than I was, especially with natural family planning (NFP). Perfect lead in to my next point, learn NFP. As a guy, learn the basics, as a woman, take classes and learn NFP. Read the book “The Good News About Sex and Marriage” by Christopher West and any teachings that reference the “Theology of the Body” (or the writings itself).


I’m not married either, but I would say huge peice of advice is, “This too shall pass”.

It’s something a beloved mentor told me when I was having some trouble as a younger guy. It’s amazing how it’s stuck with me.

Another one-Never, ever, ever insult your spouse in public. To me, that’s a bigger marital sin than infidelity. Playfull stuff is completely different, such as, “Oh, my husband is SUCH a cheapskate” but serious insults in public are totally different.


Wow, thanks everyone for the quick responses! I will try and respond more to you all later! I’ve prayed for my future hubby on and off since high school… but I still have some fears for marriage so reading this stuff really helps :slight_smile:


Don't marry for money or for looks. Its better to have a spouse that believes in hard work and effort to provide a stable income. Both riches and looks can disappear overnight. And marry someone with a great sense of humor, this world is hard enough without having someone to laugh with you at the ridiculousness sometimes.


I've been married for 4 years and I received some good advice before I got married. One woman told me, "I've been married for 25 years and there have been good years and bad years. So many couples break up and divorce on one of the bad years when if they would just hold on a little longer, things will turn around and get better." I found this so encouraging especially when DH and I had our disagreements and things weren't going so well for us.

Also, no one ever told me how hard it is to move in together. After we were married and moved in together things were a little tense as we merged our belongings and worked out our roles at home. We thought since we were so in love that it would just be starlight and magic when we finally got to live together as man and wife. But geez that took a lot more patience, understanding, kindness, and prayers to the Holy Spirit than I had expected.


Absolutely load the dice. Simply don’t date anyone that doesn’t share your faith and major life values. (This presumes you are over 20, mind you. Teenagers date for different reasons even if they THINK they have true love…). A relative of mine thought I was terribly stuffy to take such a stance. Now she’s hurt and bewildered by the atheist husband who has decided that it would be “unkind” to bring children into this world…:rolleyes:

As for learning about the little things like toilet paper and toothpaste tubes, I have a different approach: learn now not to care! Vary your routine and practice doing stupid little things the way you DON’T prefer. Then you won’t get in idiotic fights over stupid things someday. You can’t shave off all your quirks this way, but every one helps!

As for moving in after marriage, it was not that hard. She found places in our new home for her things and eventually gave away or threw away all of mine! Easy! :wink: Stuff is over-rated anyways.


The best pre-marriage advice I ever heard was to not get married until you felt that you didn't need to get married to be happy.


What a big question… Well as you are already getting some great advice from the posters. Here are somethings to avoid, which have served me well in our 30 years of marriage (April 12th 2010).

*]Don’t let one partner become dominant in anything. It really is a partnership
*]Never sulk or give your partner the silent treatment
*]Never, ever stop communicating, even if your partner doesn’t want to hear it
*]Understand the true meaning of forgiveness with each other and for your family. It will be needed and has to be based in real love not just temporary or partial status
*]Marry someone who is in love with Jesus Christ as well as you
*]Make sure that giving back to society is a part of your marriage and family. Trust me the benefits outweigh the sacrifices manyfold.

Hope this helps


yeah i am 25…this is all such great advice! it IS hard work.

reading all of these wonderful messages makes me kind of excited for marriage!


One thing that I have realized and tell my wife often is “I love you more today than I did yesterday.” It is so true for both of us.


That’s good to hear, mirrormirror! My parents still seem to have that “puppy love” after 38 years…woah, that’s a lot.

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