Mothers Know Best: Smart Marriage Advice from Moms

Mother of bride

Lane Dittoe Fine Art Wedding Photography

Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author. Here, she shares the best marriage advice moms have given their daughters.

Does mom really know best when it comes to offering pre-marital advice? To find out, we went to those in the best position to judge:

Don't Let Others' Lack of Support Affect Your Joy.

Since becoming engaged last June, Kourtney Joy has found her mother to be a constant source of wisdom and comfort. Both qualities proved immeasurably helpful when Kourtney was faced with an unexpected development — the lack of support shown by a few long-time friends.

While planning her July 2015 nuptials, Kourtney says, "I found the negative attitudes of these 'friends' very hurtful until my mom reminded me their bad attitude is a problem they have with themselves, not me. And I shouldn't let their personal problems affect my happiness and excitement."

Kourtney finishes, "I hope they come around and if they do, fabulous." But if they don't, their lack of joy for her joy won't dim the luster of Kourtney's magical day of days.

All in the Timing.

Recalls Lisa Romeo, "Before I got married my mother told me, 'Timing is everything. There is a right and wrong time for important discussions, taking a stand, stating my choices, wants and needs...'"

Twenty-six years later, Lisa still heeds mom's maxim. "For example, if it's a financial matter, best not to bring it up until we are away from home — relaxed and pleasantly distracted."

Beware If Your Guy Shows No Interest in Wedding Planning.

Jaclyne Kirkorian-Poliseno shares, "The first time I was engaged, my fiancé didn't care much about details of the wedding. The few times he was interested, I didn't take his input." This marriage showed signs of disaster within three months. By year one it was over.

The second time she became engaged, Jaclyne remembered her mom's words: "If he's interested and wants to be involved, don't push him away... It shows he's interested in your wedding and marriage."

Jaclyne says, "My present husband was interested in every detail!" This marriage is in its third happy year.

Keep Marital Secrets in the Vault.

Mothers in law can also know best. Jani Elmore, married earlier this year, reports, "The wise lady who raised my darling husband told me, 'Keep others out of your marriage,' and she's absolutely right." Jani, who is the community manager at, confides, "I've seen relationships fall apart as a result of telling outside sources your business."

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.

This is one that smart moms pass on to their daughters, often learned from hard experience. Kourtney Joy, whose wedding was in July 2015, says: "My mom keeps reminding me to keep focused on the fact that I am marrying the love of my life, and that's all that matters!"

Related Stories