From "The Marriage Boot Camp" to Redbook's version, you can find literally millions of articles and lists about how to stay married forever. My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week. Our silver milestone has me thinking about all the things "they said" before we got married, and how we've managed to make it this far.

  • Tell Each Other Everything, They Said

    The woman who has been married for more than five minutes and tells you she has never hidden a great pair of shoes or the perfect dress from her husband is the one whose nose would grow if she were made of wood. Most husbands would sleep on the couch or in much less comfortable accommodations than the dog if they told their wives how they really feel about going to the mall. My husband told me once how he really felt about a haircut I got. That was in 1996. I'm not sure I've forgiven him yet.

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  • Fight Fair, They Said

    I'm surprised I could even type those words. After 25 years, my husband and I don't argue much. I believe that's because we spent the better part of the first 20 doing plenty of it. Our "argument credit limit" had been exceeded. When we did, I prepared for a verbal sparring match and I was in it to win it. I'm just thankful my guy hasn't double-bolted the doors and not given me the key.

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  • Never Go To Bed Angry, They Said

    Our M.O. after an argument was always to not speak until we were absolutely forced to, like when you are stranded on the toilet. We are two strong-willed individuals who do not like to admit when we are wrong. More than that, we hate when we KNOW we are wrong and have to eat proverbial crow. It's much easier to pretend the crow isn't even there. If we don't say anything, maybe the crow will fly away. Right? Crow is awful, by the way.

  • Have Common Interests, They Said

    We both liked to fish. That's where our commonalities basically ended when we got married. He hated shopping. He talked about trips to the mountains and wasn't a fan of sand. I believe I was a beach bum in a previous life. I've always been an early bird. He was a night owl. Our personalities were different. Even our taste in food was not the same. It made for an interesting kitchen! We ate a lot of rice and gravy because it was the one thing we could both enjoy.