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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother's Rules for Marriage Brought Lifetime of Happiness

DEAR ABBY: I lost my mother several months ago after a lengthy illness. She and Dad had a beautiful marriage that spanned almost 50 years. I never heard them say an angry word to each other.

While sorting through some of Mother's papers, I came across the enclosed "Rules for a Happy Marriage." I don't know where she got it or how long she had it, but the list contains some excellent advice. I hope you'll think it's worth sharing with your readers. -- MARLENE'S DAUGHTER

DEAR DAUGHTER: I do. Thank you for sending it.


1. Never both be angry at the same time.

2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.

3. If one of you has to win an argument, let it be your mate.

4. If you must criticize, do it lovingly.

5. Never bring up mistakes of the past.

6. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.

7. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.

8. At least once every day say a kind or complimentary word to your life partner.

9. When you have done something wrong, admit it and ask for forgiveness.

10. It takes two to make a quarrel, and the one in the wrong usually is the one who does the most talking.