As a psychotherapist I have been helping people find, keep, and develop healthy loving relationships for more than 40 years now. Carlin and I have been married (third marriage for each of us) for 30 years now. It hasn’t always been easy but it has always been enlightening. I’d like to share some words of wisdom that have been helpful to us along the way. Here are the 25 most helpful things that wise men and women have shared on the subject of love, marriage, and relationship and how to have happy and long-lasting ones.

Let’s start with number 25.

25. Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. ~Marlene Dietrich

24. That quiet mutual gaze of a trusting husband and wife is like the first moment of rest or refuge from a great weariness or a great danger. ~George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

23. Almost no one is foolish enough to imagine that he automatically deserves great success in any field of activity; yet almost everyone believes that he automatically deserves success in marriage. ~Sydney J. Harris

22. The way to hold a husband is to keep him a little jealous; the way to lose him is to keep him a little more jealous. ~H.L. Mencken

21. The concept of two people living together for 25 years without a serious dispute suggests a lack of spirit only to be admired in sheep. ~A.P. Herbert

20. Affairs are just as disillusioning as marriage, and much less restful. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic\’s Notebook, 1966

19. If you are afraid of loneliness, don\’t marry. ~Anton Chekov

18. In the early years, you fight because you don\’t understand each other. In the later years, you fight because you do. ~Joan Didion

17. Pity all newlyweds. She cooks something nice for him, and he brings her flowers, and they kiss and think: How easy marriage is. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic\’s Notebook, 1960

16. Marriage is a lottery in which men stake their liberty and women their happiness. ~Virginie des Rieux, Epigrams

15. By the time you\’re his
Shivering and sighing,
And he vows his passion is
Infinite, undying
Lady, make a note of this:
One of you is lying.
~Dorothy Parker

14. To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you\’re wrong, admit it;
Whenever you\’re right, shut up.
~Ogden Nash

13. Women hope men will change after marriage but they don\’t; men hope women won\’t change but they do. ~Bettina Arndt, Private Lives, 1986

12. Being divorced is like being hit by a Mack truck. If you live through it, you start looking very carefully to the right and to the left. ~Jean Kerr, Mary, Mary, 1960

11. In marriage there are no manners to keep up, and beneath the wildest accusations no real criticism. Each is familiar with that ancient child in the other who may erupt again…. We are not ridiculous to ourselves. We are ageless. That is the luxury of the wedding ring. ~Enid Bagnold, Autobiography, 1969

10. The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast. ~Gabriel García Márquez

9. I figure that the degree of difficulty in combining two lives ranks somewhere between rerouting a hurricane and finding a parking place in downtown Manhattan. ~Claire Cloninger, “When the Glass Slipper Doesn\’t Fit and the Silver Spoon is in Someone Else\’s Mouth

8. Love requires a willingness to die; marriage, a willingness to live. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic\’s Notebook, 1966

7. People do not marry people, not real ones anyway; they marry what they think the person is; they marry illusions and images. The exciting adventure of marriage is finding out who the partner really is. ~James L. Framo, “Explorations in Marital & Family Therapy

6. Getting divorced just because you don\’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do. ~Zsa Zsa Gabor

5. Marriage must constantly fight against a monster which devours everything: routine. ~Honore de Balzac

4. Wasn\’t marriage, like life, unstimulating and unprofitable and somewhat empty when too well ordered and protected and guarded. Wasn\’t it finer, more splendid, more nourishing, when it was, like life itself, a mixture of the sordid and the magnificent; of mud and stars; of earth and flowers; of love and hate and laughter and tears and ugliness and beauty and hurt. ~Edna Ferber, Show Boat, 1926

3. Marriage changes passion – suddenly you\’re in bed with a relative. ~Author Unknown

2. When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part. ~G.B. Shaw, Getting Married, 1908

And the most helpful thing that has been said about the secret of a happy marriage is…..

1. The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. ~Henny Youngman

Please share your own thoughts, feelings, quotes, and wisdom.

Jed is Founder and Director of the MenAlive, a health program that helps men live long and well. Though focused on men's health, MenAlive is also for women who care about the health of the men in their lives.