By Malini Bhatia

Don’t you wish there was a marriage handbook they gave out at the altar? Things that, if you followed, would guarantee a long and happy marriage? The thing is – each person and each couple is different. So, what may work for one relationship may not work in another.

That said, there are some basic pieces of relationship advice we all should follow—things like be positive, say nice things, do things for the other person, etc. Plus, we can learn from others, especially celebrities, how to avoid mistakes in marriage.

Here are some things NOT to do:

Do NOT Allow Other Things Ahead of the Marriage

We may never know the real reason former celebrity couple Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck split up, but some reports say there wasn’t enough togetherness—specifically Ben’s busy movie-making schedule. Sometimes, other things get in the way of marriage, especially our work. It’s a hard balance for anyone, especially celebrities, who can be gone for months at a time on a movie set. How exactly do you make that work when you are married and have kids?

Hard times and busy schedules are inevitable in marriage. The difference in whether you make a mistake or not is in how you handle it. Both of you must make an effort in making sure the relationship comes first. If being apart has to happen, then think of ways you can still feel like you are together. Visit often, have regular Skype dates, text, send pictures, think of each other at a certain time every day, etc. Be creative!

Do NOT Let the Temptation to Cheat Happen

Amid reports of cheating being the reason Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale went through a celebrity divorce, it’s a good reminder to always keep things in check. Both were on the road a lot, and being away from your spouse can definitely increase the chances that you’ll be tempted to stray.

So, keep those temptations to a minimum. Take your spouse with you when you can, bunk with a trusted co-worker, or make other arrangements. We are all human, so don’t think the temptation could never arise.

Do NOT Take Each Other for Granted

Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee Furness have been going strong for 20 years, and every time Hugh is asked about her, he raves that things just get better and better. It makes your heart melt, doesn’t it? He expresses the fact that they do everything together, and that they have a profound amount of respect for each other.

In essence, they are grateful for each other. That is huge. In marriage, you should see your spouse for who they really are, and vice versa. Don’t try to change them. Be thankful every single day for the unique person they are and how they bless your life. If you do that, you can’t go wrong.
Malini Bhatia is the founder of Marriage.com, a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage. Marriage.com provides resources, information and a community that supports healthy, happy marriages. Malini has global experience in international management and communications, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters.