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This Marriage Advice From the 1950s 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.

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Portrait of young couple in 1950Photo: cate_89/Shutterstock

Try not to nag

“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)

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

Don’t go public with all of your problems

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

Discover seven secrets of a lasting relationship.

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Vintage photo of couple on beach, fortiesPhoto: Elzbieta 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)

Can’t get enough ’50s-era wisdom? These insightful Mad Men quotes really make you think.

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Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Be generous

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

Find out the 10 things you should say to your spouse every day for a happier marriage.

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spain , CIRCA 1950 - Wedding day - Circa 1947Photo: AnnaKostyuk/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)

Not good with words? Try these simple romantic ideas that say “I love you.”

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Photo: Elzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock

Let small gripes go

“Good-humoured 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)

Sometimes the best way to let things go is to laugh. These hilarious jokes about marriage might help.

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Photo: KUCO/Shutterstock

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)

Find out how to be a better lover in six easy steps.

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Photo: KUCO/Shutterstock

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)

Brush up on the seven stages of marriage.

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Vintage photo of couplePhoto: Elzbieta 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)

This heart-wrenching love story will inspire to tell your partner just how much they’re loved.

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Photo: KUCO/Shutterstock

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)

Read one Ontario woman’s heartwarming reflections on a lifelong romance.

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Photo: Roman Nerud/Shutterstock

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)

Next, take a few pointers from the best romantic movies on Netflix right now.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest