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by Abigail Van Buren

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.

DEAR ABBY: My wife, our 4-year-old daughter, "Betsy," and I went to my in-laws' for dinner recently. Within 30 minutes of our arrival, my mother-in-law had called her husband "stupid" and "dummy." Everyone heard it, including Betsy. Now, she uses those words when speaking of her grandfather.

My wife tolerates her mother's behavior, but I find it humiliating to witness. At home I am able to discipline Betsy, but I don't want to have to discipline her when she's at her grandmother's.

I have mentioned this to my in-laws on several occasions, but the situation recurs. We live only a few blocks from them and frequently eat together. Should we sell our house and move 10 or 20 miles away? -- A FATHER IN TACOMA

DEAR FATHER: Moving should not be necessary. Talk to your mother-in-law again, and make it clear that her name-calling sets a very bad example for her grandchild. If your suggestion falls on deaf ears and she continues the name-calling, just limit your daughter's exposure to her grandmother.

DEAR READERS: Concerning finding a mate: Friends of Edna Ferber, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, could not understand why she had remained single over the years.

"Surely, you must have met someone you would have married," suggested a friend.

"I have," admitted the famed novelist, "and I met one man who would have married me ... but unfortunately it wasn't the same man."

HIGHWAY SNOBBERY: "In Boston, they ask, 'How much does he know?' In New York, they ask, 'How much is he worth?' In Philadelphia, they ask, 'Who were his parents?'" -- MARK TWAIN

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)


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