The Best Marriage Advice: #4

In the event that you missed #5 of our top 5 countdown, click here. I originally said the next post was from Atlanta, but I miscalculated. The below advice sneaked in at #4.

#4 Always kiss your spouse and say "goodnight" or at least touch toes (19 points)

Mrs. T in Colorado, Erin in Illinois, Joel L in Connecticut, many others... 

Out of the 42 pieces of advice I received, almost 1/4 dealt with arguing in some way shape or form. Several people included comments about "fighting fair" and being quick to forgive. Frankly, the sure amount of comments I received about arguing/fighting was a little surprising. My biggest takeaway: disagreements are inevitable. The question, therefore, is what couples should do when they fight. Sarah and I don't argue often, but when we awful at it. Here's the thing, the synapses in my brain cease firing at about 8:30 P.M.. As you could probably guess, this proves to be a problem when Sarah and I are having a disagreement in the evening. For some reason, I revert to acting like a three year-old and mostly just pout and wail.  Like this kid:

At times these "disputes" seem to reach a stalemate and we both decide to go to bed. It is at this point where I often fail miserably. I don't say goodnight or kiss Sarah. For some reason simply doing these things have a way of releasing tension, and affirming that "I'm still here." I can't remember who told us this, but we heard that one couple always touches toes before bed. No matter how big the fight, they always touch toes. They always let the other know they are still there.

I once was told a story by a mentor of mine. He talked about a time when he and his wife were on the rocks. He was sleeping on the couch regularly, and essentially they were "coexisting." One night, after a particularly rough fight, he decided he should leave the house for awhile and go for a drive. When he returned he saw on the coffee table a 3x5 notecard with the words, "I'm still here" written on it. The message was clear. No matter what happens, I ain't leaving or quitting. I'm not going anywhere. He claimed it is actually easy to say the words "I love you", but it is quite difficult to say "I'm still here, and I'm not leaving."

I think this is the point of saying good night. It's more than just a phrase. It's a promise.


  1. I really enjoy reading your blogs. Also my daughter started crying when I showed her the video you posted.

  2. Thanks, Lisa. Hopefully I didn't cause your daughter to cry. I feel terrible...

  3. After I sent that as some of the best advice I had gotten (because it was given to us as part of something we did on our wedding day) I thought maybe it was too cliche. But you got it exactly right.

    HI LISA!

    Erin Schoenman

  4. Definitely not cliche!!! I think it's great!!!


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