Marriage symbol. 3D rendered Illustration.Ask Rene:
I’m Getting Married And Need Advice.. STAT!


Hi Rene: 

Love your site and no-nonsense advice. So here’s a question for you. 

All my good girlfriends are single and I am the first in our group to walk down the aisle. I’ve already talked to my mom about this but I wanted some tips from you and your readers.

What three pieces of advice would you give a newly married couple? I’m getting married soon and I want to hear from people about what it takes to maintain a solid relationship? 

Thanks Rene!

Signed: Soon-To-Be-Wed in Washington


Hi Soon-to-be…

And onnnnnce again I need to preface this by saying I am not an expert. I am not a marriage counselor or therapist, just a woman with nearly 20 years of matrimony under her belt. Having said that, the thought of boiling down all the things I’ve learned in that time is daunting and frankly, I’m going to need help with this one. So I’m going to give you  my three and then open it up to GEMNation. Sound good?

Okay the three pieces of advice I would give a newly married couple are: 




Yes, initial attraction will get your attention; the deepening love will help solidify those bonds. But (and I hate to be the one to break it to you)  those early feelings (he’s SO HAWT!) will ultimately wear off and you’re going to need more to carry you through. Might I suggest friendship, loyalty and teamwork? One of the things I’m most proud of is that Buff and I didn’t give up, even when things were at their worst. We’ve kept sight on what we’ve built and understand that we’ve come too far to quit now.

Read more: What’s Love Got To Do With It? 19 Lessons In 19 Years Of Marriage 



I love my husband dearly but there are times I want to get the hell away from him (oh, that feeling is mutual, trust me). That’s not a bad thing and it’s not a “him” thing; it’s a me-thing. I need time and space by myself, to give my thoughts, ideas a visions a chance to come to life. That was part of the reason I wrote Good Enough Mother in the first place. You are sharing your life with someone else; they are not taking it over. Remember that.

Read more: The Good The Bad And The Ugly; An Unvarnished Look Inside A Real Marriage 


Stress Dad and Screaming Upset Boy

Several years ago when I anchored that big, network news gig, I interviewed a therapist. I have since forgotten his name but what he said, stuck with me all these years. He looked at me across the desk and, bright lights blazing, said, “Kids will, if you let them, rip a marriage apart at the seams.” It was enough to make me run out of there screaming. But 20 years later, I can say he’s absolutely right; they can.. if you LET them. So you have to guard against that by carving out time for yourselves. That means date night, perhaps even scheduling those intimate moments (yes you will be THAT busy). But at the end of the day you have to protect the primary relationship (your marriage) so that secondary relationships thrive.

Read more: The Story Of Us: Happy Anniversary Buff!


There’s one more thing I would add (see I TOLD you I couldn’t  boil it down to just three); make sure this is the person who brings out the best in you. Buff truly pushes me toward excellence and doesn’t let me go to the dark side too often. In short, he believes in me.

Okay so that’s the advice from this woman, married for nearly two decades. But as I said, I’d love to hear from our regular readers. So GEMNation, weigh in! What three pieces of advice would you give this ready-to-be-wed couple?


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