Every couple is unique, and each husband and wife is an individual, so how do you take those differences and use them to help a happy marriage blossom and grow? Locals offer some rules to live by for couples just getting started.

Saying “I do” is the easy part. But what comes next, after you’ve fallen in love, set the date and returned from that (hopefully) picture-perfect honeymoon? Every obstacle or difference can’t be planned out or predicted, and after the vows taken during the wedding ceremony, newlywed couples now face the challenge of making it work through the good times and the bad. Every couple is unique, and each husband and wife is an individual, so how do you take those differences and use them to help a happy marriage blossom and grow? Here’s some heartfelt advice from local couples sharing their secret success stories and some rules to live by for couples just getting started:

"I think it’s really important that you listen to the other person and let them finish what they’re saying before you start giving your ideas and your insight. When I was a newlywed, I thought I was right about everything. The longer we’ve been married, the better I got about listening. We’re both stubborn. Neither one of us is a quitter, but the other thing is that, in everything in my life, he is the most important thing."

-Chris Price, who celebrated 42 years with her husband Tom on March 4

"We were childhood sweethearts. We lived within a block of each other growing up, and we just always seem to know what each other tolerated and didn’t tolerate, we kind of know what each other appreciates. We seem to sense what each other enjoys and if it doesn’t correspond with both of us enjoying it at the same time, we work it out. She always let me have my area of what I like to do. She loves to dance – I’m not a great dancer, she is – and I never minded letting her enjoy that on her own."

-Allen Moore, who will celebrate 53 years with his childhood sweetheart Bea this September

"He was really my first boyfriend. I’ve come to understand the fact that this is the way he is and you don’t try to change him because you can’t. But I can’t see myself without him. We support each other with everything we do and that to me is a big thing in our marriage. You keep the love alive by telling them you love them daily and show it – with a hug, a kiss, even just a candy bar. You’ve got to keep the dating going, keep that courtship going. Don’t ever take each other for granted."

-Delores Blakey, who has spent 57 years married to her husband Don

"Both parties need to keep in mind that there are two people that they’re dealing with now, not just themselves. It’s important that you share information back and forth and communicate well. Make sure you don’t over-burden yourselves with finances because one of the worst things that can happen to you is when you get over your head in your finances. It creates a burden on your marriage. You have to plan out your monetary situation and think about how much money you have between the two of you and avoid going into debt."

­­­Dover Mayor Carelton E. Carey Sr., who has been married to wife Blanche for 50 years

"Try to be open-minded when you’re having a disagreement. Not everything is the end of the world. Try to listen to what the other person is saying. You should always try to do things together at least once a week. It doesn’t have to be an official date night but you need to go out and have some fun."

-Lorraine Dion, who has been married to her husband Russ for eight years.

"You don’t have to fight. You might not agree, after all you’re two different people, but you can manage to get through it. You always do what’s best for the family. Sometimes you have to give up what you want to do for the sake of somebody else. Love one another, care about one another’s feelings. Never go to bed angry. The last thing we say to each other at night is ‘I love you’ and we mean it."

–Evelyn Dubin, who has been married to her husband Bill for 70 years

"It’s about always thinking of the other person, not me just thinking about how I wish I could do something today, but always including Allen in what I want to do. I want him to be a part of something I want to do today. It’s important to think of your other half all the time and not just have it be one-sided. Just treat your other half like you want to be treated and think of them as your partner. It’s a partnership when you marry. It’s not just all about me or all about him. You have to work together."

-Bea Moore, who will celebrate 53 years with her childhood sweetheart this September