15 Essential Pieces Of Marriage Advice From Grandma And Grandpa

There’s a lot to be learned about love and marriage from the people who’ve been at it a long, long time — like grandma and grandpa.

We recently asked PWG Head Over Heels readers to tell us the most important marriage lesson their grandparents taught them. Read their words of wisdom below.

1. Keep up the PDA

“I’ve never seen a photo of my grandparents where they weren’t embracing — whether it was when they were dating, had five kids under age 8, or just before my grandfather died of cancer. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have what they had with someone. They were a real life fairy tale.” – Cari Watts-Savage
2. You don’t have to agree on everything
“My grandparents were married for 65 years until my grandma passed away last summer. Opposite religions, opposite politics and they still made it work. I have a lot to live up to!” – Clare Dych
3. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number
“I asked my grandma why she married my grandpa who she only dated for one year when she was 18 and he was 31. She answered me, ‘Why not? He was hot back then!’ My grandparents weren’t the lovey-dovey type and actually distant, I think, due to the 13-year age gap. But they didn’t bail, they’re faithful, they kept each other for better or worse, in sickness and health, through thick and thin.” – Tze Tonn Ng
4. You can do anything if you do it together
“After 40 years of smoking five packs of cigarettes a day together, they decided to quit with no outside help. And they did. Together.” – Michelle Brown
5. Marriage is not something to be taken lightly
“When I got married, my grandmother and grandfather had been married some 68 years. My grandmother gave me her blessings and told me that if I got married, I had to stay married and it was a lifetime commitment.” – Leslie Johnson
6. Be with someone who makes you laugh
“My grandparents were always teasing each other. We all got such a kick out of it growing up, hanging out in their kitchen and listening to them when we were over there for dinner. But it also showed us how important it is to be with someone that you’ll have fun with, no matter what life may throw at you.” – Kristen Girone
7. Never stop flirting with each other
“Pinch butts.” – Sarah Hosseini
8. Your roles may shift in ways you never imagined
“My grandparents very much conformed to regular gender roles my entire childhood, but when my grandmom got sick, it was amazing to see my granddad taking care of her and cooking and cleaning. They really proved to me that true love lasts a lifetime and that marriage can last ‘until death do you part.’” – Carrie Burke
9. Always kiss hello and goodbye
“My maternal grandparents always kiss and say ‘I love you’ before they leave and it’s the first thing they do when they come together again — whether it’s a run to the grocery store or a full day’s work.” – J. Williams
10. You never know who you’ll fall in love with
“I learned that love is unexpected, and anyone can fall in love, even if the relationship is shunned by society. Their love was somewhat reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet in the sense that they were both on different sides of society, but fell in love and had to keep their relationship secret at first.” – Carter Garcia-Kimura
11. Find joy in the little things
“They found joy in sharing the details of daily living. Always smiling, even when doing the weekly budget or grandma peeling a banana for grandpa because she knew he didn’t like the feel of it.” – Kristen Van Orden
12. Not every day is going to be a picnic and that’s OK
“You don’t have to like each other every day.” – Nicole Snyder
13. It takes two people to make a marriage work
“They divorced after three kids and nearly 40 years of marriage, but my grandmother has always told me: A relationship will never work unless [both people] want it to.” – Mina Barnett
14. Sometimes your first love isn’t your forever love
“You might not get things right the first time, but you can’t give up because it could be the second time that you find true happiness. My grandparents have been together for 25 years and although my grandpa is not my biological one, he is the best thing to happen to our family and I could not love him more.” – Natasha Baker-Streit
15. Never stop doing the things you love together
“They share a sense of humor and make it a priority to do things they enjoy together, even though that has become harder for them with age.” – Theresa Kelliher