9 Moms Give Their Best Marriage Advice

can mom be bridesmaid

Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to marriage, our moms know what's up. So we gathered nine to divulge their secrets to long-lasting, blissful commitment — the very best advice they'd willingly give their own children.

"Let your first response be to believe the best of your spouse, not the worst. I've learned this through the times I've done the opposite and believed the worst. It's been through those fights that I've discovered that often the things I'm offended by aren't things my husband intends as offensive. If I'd taken the time to believe the best and clarify first, I could have saved us from an unnecessary fight. So now my default is to believe the best first." — Ashleigh

"Argue constructively. Listen, really listen, to the other person and then be constructive with your words when expressing criticism, complaints and frustrations. Avoid absolutes such as 'always' and 'never,' and stay clear of the blaming 'should.' Every relationship in our life could benefit from more real listening and less needing to be immediately heard." — Christina

"Spend more time and money planning a marriage than you do planning a wedding. Your wedding is an event that lasts for a few hours and then drifts into memories. Your marriage is a lifetime commitment that, when properly planned and maintained, will provide joy and exhilaration day after day, forever. Learn the best way to communicate, love, express your needs, and meet the needs of your mate long before you walk down the aisle." — Anitra

"Find someone who is going to stand with you under the umbrella when life rains down on you — someone who will help you hold it up. Happy relationships are those that weather the storms together, because they learn to appreciate when the sun shines." — Michelle

See More: How to Get an Uninvolved Mom Excited About Your Wedding

"Pick your fights. Marriage is two very different people coming together in a partnership. You won't agree on everything. In fact, the first year of getting used to living together, you might not agree on anything. Let the little things go. You will both do things that drive the other crazy. Concentrate on what brought you together and compromise." — Olwen

"Always date your spouse. The little things are the big things, and all the little things you do while dating become big things when you're busy, married, paying bills and loving together. When my husband and I stopped dating — when we stopped placing emphasis on doing the little things — our marriage wasn't the same. The little things are everything." — Kimberley

"Although your partner is very important and should be treated that way, it is also important to love yourself and to sometimes put yourself first. After going through a divorce and now being married again, I have learned that making sure your mental and emotional health, balance, and happiness is in a good place will allow you to enjoy life and will then affect your marriage in a positive way." — Marsha

"Never compromise but find new solutions. I found that when my husband and I were newly married, I used to think we had to compromise. But what I found is that someone, or sometimes both of us, felt like we were giving up something or losing in some way. No one wants to feel that way even if it is over something little, let along something big. So once we changed our frame of mind and called it finding new solutions instead of compromising, we felt like a team with everyone winning." — Allison

"In order for you to care for your spouse with love and void of resentment, you must first and always care for yourself. There will be times when self-sacrifice is in order but that should not be every time, lest you become resentful of your spouse. I was taught as a young woman that I was supposed always forgo my own needs in order to make sure that my husband was comfortable and satisfied. Two divorces later, what I now know is that I sacrificed myself for the sake of both husbands, and it was not satisfying to either of them and I became an angry wife who often resented the good deeds I carried out for my husbands." — M.E.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com