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This Marriage Advice from High School Sweethearts Will Warm Your Heart

"She makes me a better person and I make sure to tell her that."

You may think that high school sweethearts who are happily married for decades only exist in books and movies. But it turns out, lifelong romance isn't always the stuff of fiction. Recently, a Reddit user asked people who married their high school sweethearts and are still happily married today to share their secrets—and the results are as heart-warming as they are eye-opening. Read on for the best pieces of advice from high school sweethearts.

"Never hide behind fake words."

Older Couple during Sunset

As any relationship expert will tell you, communication is key. And this Reddit user knows that. Her advice? "Never hide behind fake words. If we have a problem, we talk about it."

"She makes me a better person and I make sure to tell her that."

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"She makes me a better person and I make sure to tell her that. Being best friends helps, but marriage will always require some work," wrote one Reddit user who's been married for more than 10 years. "I don't do everything I should for her, but I try to make a point to ask her about her day, talk things out calmly, and pay attention to what she wants/needs and I keep a list of things I catch. … Being able to listen to your partner and do something to make their day/hour/minute is something that really makes people cherish each other."

"I speak my mind openly."

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"Early in the relationship I wouldn't communicate my feelings," one male Reddit user wrote. "This almost ruined it all together. I began opening up more over time and now I've gotten to the point where I'll keep the conversation going when I feel my wife is holding back. Now I don't really hold back feelings, I speak my mind openly."

"Our secret is quality time together."

Happy couple over 40 in the desert enjoying themselves on adventure

Another Reddit user wrote about her marriage: She was 17 and her husband was 19 when they got married 23 years ago. "We have three amazing kids. … We've loved each other and we've hated each other, but I can honestly say that I've never loved him more than I do now," she wrote. "We love spending time together, and we've taken a childless vacation once a year for the past 10 years, which helps us reconnect. So our secret is quality time together and a lot of forgiveness. Without the forgiveness, we would have never made it."

"Accept that you are not the same person."

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One Reddit user who met their spouse in 11th grade and got married in 2000 said that one of the keys to marriage is: "Accept that—no matter how long you've been together—you are not the same person. You will have different interests. Trips alone are okay. Give each other space."

"We're a team."

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Another Reddit user, who met her husband in middle school, revealed that they're about to celebrate their 40th anniversary. "It doesn't seem that long at all, and we don't feel old, we're just us," they wrote. "We aren't jealous, I think that takes care of a lot of problems. We grew up together, and are interested in enough things together that we have lots to talk about. Our opposites match up well into strengths as a couple. We know when to let things slide, and when to complain. Marriage isn't 50/50, it's more 80/20, but it slides back and forth who is giving, and who is getting. We do go to bed mad. I've planned his funeral in my head many times waiting to fall asleep. I'm sure he's dreamed of shoving me in a chipper shredder. But we talk it out. We're a team."

"Pick and choose your battles."

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"Pick and choose your battles, compromise, and communicate," said another Reddit user who's been married for 33 years.

"Meeting the other where they are sometimes makes all the difference."

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"Staying power, in my experience, requires common ground," wrote one Reddit user who's been with her husband 17 years. "When there are differences, meeting the other where they are sometimes makes all the difference. For example, my husband isn't a big reader, but he read my favorite book. He's really into paintball so I go and play from time to time even though I'm not crazy about it. We have a lot of hobbies we share too, which is always a good glue for the bond between us."

And one last thing, she added: "Before you go and speak (or yell) in anger towards them, eat something. I have learned hanger is real and the person I'm most likely to take it out on is my spouse … Sometimes when I've seen he's mad inexplicably, I've made him a sandwich and I'm pretty sure it's made our relationship and communication 100 percent better."

"Each for the other and two against the world."

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One couple that has been together for 17 years and counting wrote that they live by the saying, "Each for the other and two against the world."

"Recognize that you're both going to change over time."

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"Recognize that you're both going to change over time, and enjoy that journey together," said one Reddit user who's been married for 25 years. Want more advice like this? Here are 40 Secrets of Couples Who've Been Married 40 Years.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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