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This marriage advice from 1886 will make your love last forever

Posted October 26

Love is timeless. (Deseret Photo)

A lot can change in 130 years but love is timeless. A woman named Jane Wells gave this marriage advice in 1886. It was published in Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul and submitted by Carol Abbs. Needless to say, Ms. Jane Wells’ marriage advice still rings true today, for many reasons.

Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.

This piece of advice speaks for itself. As humans we have very powerful emotions and sometimes we let the negative ones take control. Love is one of the most powerful emotions we have. While others put up a good fight, love conquers all. Don’t allow yourself to live a negative, hateful life. Let love take control and be stronger than any other emotion in your life — your marriage will be that much stronger for it.

Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.

Any married couple that cannot compromise cannot last. There is wisdom in working with your spouse to come to an agreement. You are both two unique people with different needs. In order to satisfy your needs in a way that is healthy for both of you, it’s “better to bend a little than to break”. Don’t break your spouse for your needs only. You both need to bend and sacrifice a little for your spouse in order for things to work out.

Believe the best rather than the worst.

It’s all too easy to be pessimistic about life and the future. No matter how hard it is to put your fears aside, focus on the good in the world. See the best in your spouse, not the worst. If you continuously seek out the bad, you will have a negative mindset that will rub off on your spouse. By filling your life with good things and seeing the good in your spouse, you will live a much happier life and have a much happier marriage.

People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them.

No matter what other people do or say, very little is going to change your mind or opinion of them. People live up to the way you view them because as humans, we have a biased perception. We see things through a lens of our own understanding, which isn’t always the truth. Don’t be so quick to judge others or your spouse. You don’t know or understand the trials someone is going through so don’t label or put them in a category. The last thing your spouse needs is for you to categorize him based on an incorrect opinion. The best way to solve this tendency is to always think highly of others, especially your spouse; love and respect them for who they are.

Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.

Your spouse must first be your best friend. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life with someone who isn’t. Your marriage must be based on the principle of friendship, a relationship which can last for a lifetime. Don’t treat your spouse any differently than you would your friends. Your spouse is deserving of your love and the same courtesies and kindnesses you give to your friends. In fact, your spouse deserves more of your love than your friends — your spouse deserves all of the love in the world. The very foundation of your relationship starts with being the very best of friends. Let your love and friendship carry with you throughout the whole course of both of your lives.

Please hand this down to your children and your children’s children: The more things change the more they are the same.

The reason this advice is timeless is because it’s been shared and passed down for generations. It has been regarded in marriages and friendships and has had a tremendous effect on those relationships. While traditions and definitions of marriage have changed throughout time, this advice still rings true today. Implementing this advice in your marriage will make you love your spouse so much more and make your marriage last forever.

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