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Marriage Advice from the 1950s That Still Applies Today

The decade known for happy housewives and Mad Men husbands may not appear to offer much guidance for modern unions. But these tips about loyalty, generosity, and love have proven to be timeless.

Portrait of young couple in 1950cate_89/Shutterstock

No nagging

“Nagging causes more unhappiness in families than extravagance, poor housekeeping, and infidelity put together.” —Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead (1957)

ucraine CIRCA 1950 - Wedding day - Circa 1978AnnaKostyuk/Shutterstock

Keep complaints private

“If you must criticize, do so privately and without anger.” —Edward Podolsky, author of Sex Today in Wedded Life (1947)

Vintage photo of couple on beach, fortiesElzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock

Be patient

“If they are patient and gentle with each other … they should sense the deep thrills that lie in store for them.” —Dr. Clifford R. Adams, author of How to Pick a Mate: The Guide for a Happy Marriage (1946) Check out these 7 other marriage tips from relationship experts.

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Be generous

“Love is concerned with giving. Abundantly and lavishly.” —Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead (1957)

spain , CIRCA 1950 - Wedding day - Circa 1947AnnaKostyuk/Shutterstock

Celebrate every “first” as a couple

“Every day you will take first steps. And those steps are important.” —Dr. Clifford R. Adams, author of How to Pick a Mate: The Guide for a Happy Marriage (1946)

Elzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock

Let small gripes go

“Good-humored acceptance of things as they come and a refusal to be upset over trifles strengthen the fabric of love.” —Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead (1957) Here are 28 more little things you can do to make your marriage happier.

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Make up in the bedroom

“Married couples should understand the importance of climactic sexual relations as a means of reducing tension.” —Dr. Clifford R. Adams, author of How to Pick a Mate: The Guide for a Happy Marriage (1946)

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Create an island of love

“Let’s not get so bogged down in the endless routine of housekeeping that we lose sight of its real purpose: to create a small island of love, security, and comfort for those dearest to our hearts.” —Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead (1957)

Vintage photo of coupleElzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock

Share

“Sharing anything—be it a crust of bread or an idea—brings people closer together. Sharing the special interests and recreations with those we love is one of the main highways to happiness in human relations.” —Dorothy Carnegie, author of How to Help Your Husband Get Ahead (1957) You’ll want to check out this marriage advice from couples married 50+ years.

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Be considerate of each other’s needs

“For two people to live together successfully as husband and wife they must be able to understand each other as only true companions can. They must recognize the needs of each other and be willing to cooperate to satisfy them.” —Dr. Clifford R. Adams, author of How to Pick a Mate: The Guide for a Happy Marriage (1946)

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Give your love room to grow

“While a husband or wife wants to feel that things are done out of love and for love only, the fact remains that love continues only if it is nourished.” —Dr. Clifford R. Adams, author of How to Pick a Mate: The Guide for a Happy Marriage (1946). Don’t miss these surprising secrets of the most happily married couples.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest