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20 Rules for a Perfect Marriage

By:  Donna Martin

While cleaning out a drawer this morning, I came upon a yellowed sheet of paper.  The words printed in purple ink were a sure sign that it was a copy made on a mimeograph machine.  (Does anyone reading this still remember those?) I am sure that the paper was at least 40 years old.  Even though some of the wording is a little formal and antiquated, the advice is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago.  I thought you might enjoy reading it (and applying it to your own marriage!).

20 Rules for a Perfect Marriage


  1. The golden key to domestic happiness on each side is the cultivation on both sides of absolute and complete unselfishness.
  2. Never both be angry at once.  The wrathful word wounds more deeply than the sword.
  3. Never speak loudly to one another unless the house is on fire.
  4. Let each one strive to yield most often to the wishes of the other.
  5. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each.
  6. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and then always speak lovingly.
  7. Never taunt with a past mistake.
  8. Neglect the whole world rather than one another.
  9. Never allow an “in-law” to interfere with the running of your home.
  10. Never allow a request to be repeated.
  11. Never make a remark at the expense of each other.
  12. Never stoop to the trouble-spawning practice of pettiness, nagging, jealousy, or self-pride.
  13. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence.
  14. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance.
  15. Never meet without a loving welcome.
  16. Never forget the happy hours of early love.
  17. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is.
  18. Never be contented until you know you are both walking in the same narrow way to heaven.
  19. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and the His Blessing alone can make it what it should be.
  20. Kneel together in prayer each night, knowing that the family that prays together stays together.

PS.  I decided to pin this to the shelf behind my computer so I can remind myself of this advice daily.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at


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