We rounded up the best marriage advice of 2013. Listen and learn.
Don't Expect What You're Not Willing to Give
"I think that sometimes we expect to get from our partner what we lack within ourselves. Don’t expect for me to be organized if you’re not or whatever else it is. Sometimes we put pressure on our partners to be what we’re not, and I think sometimes that’s a real disadvantage to the other person." -- Singer Anthony Hamilton when we sat down to speak with him and his wife Tarsha on making their marriage work while balancing his busy career.
"We have been so fortunate because our kids are very close and they’re just easy together. From day one, we said, “We’re not referring to each other as ‘step’ anything. We are brothers and sisters and dad and mom.” We really embraced the concept of a whole family. We take family time very seriously. Ed has been insistent upon having dinner together and having lots of family time, and that has worked very well for us." -- Entertainment writer Leslie Gordon, wife of journalist Ed Gordon, spoke to us about the power of a happily blended family.
Your Marriage Is A Reflection of You
“I constantly remember that part of him is a reflection of me and vice versa. If there’s something about him that I do not love at that moment, I always look at myself and wonder why that is and what part I play in that.” – Shay St. Victor, wife of soap star Lawrence St. Victor, who talked to us about what it’s like being married to a soap star.
Have An Open Book Policy
“We're so transparent with each other. We both have an open book policy and I love that about him.” – Shante Harris Superville, a wife who shared the joy of getting married to her childhood best friend after a rough divorce, and the joys of their blended family and how they deal with raising an autistic child together.
Keep God As Your Foundation
"Our foundation in the church and in the word of God…that’s always been the foundation of our entire friendship, in our relationship and ultimately in our marriage. Even now, we’re very involved and active in ministry in addition to all of the other things we do, and that’s the common thread that keeps us going." -- Karla Robinson, who founded Urban Housecall Magazine with her husband and spoke to us about the importance of teamwork in a marriage.
Grow As Individuals and You'll Grow Together
"We started out with just this very powerful love for each other. It was a passionate, genuine love. Then the trick was for us to grow. We’re business partners and also marriage partners. To have that love continue to grow despite the almost insurmountable odds of successfully raising four children with the ups and downs of being African Americans starting a business and trying to make it a success, was remarkable. Our foundation is the love. But, had we not had such an emphasis on the individual, we might not have made it. You can’t just be a spouse. You have to be your own individual person. That way you have something to bring to the marriage." -- Atlanta-based entrepreneurs Gregory and Juanita Baranco, who recently celebrated 44 years of marriage.
Tackle Your Problems Together
"I enjoy the good times so much that I really miss it when we’re having the bad times. I just find myself trying to do whatever I can to get back there. I quite often find myself, caving in. The things we’re mad about may be important but they’re nothing in comparison to the good stuff that’s between us. We work together to get back to our normal, everyday happiness. When there’s a problem, it’s us as a team versus the problem, not us versus one another." -- Entertainment journalist Nekesa Moody, who met husband Malik Singleton right after she thought she'd given up on getting married.
Friendship Should Be Your Foundation
"Husband and wives should be best friends. It’s not only important to love your mate, but it’s important to like them too. That really strengthens your relationship." -- Past Anne Harris who sat down with her husband M.L. Harris to teach us about the ministry of marriage.
Get Your Priorities Straight
"Life is about balance. Some women are all about career and some are all about staying home with their kids. I fit right in the middle. Initially, I had to work a lot harder, but now I’m able to balance my career and family a lot better. You have to know your priorities. For me, they are God and family and then my career." -- Atlanta based dentist and TV personality Heavenly Kimes who spoke to us about the importance of balancing career and love.