Is marriage on the horizon for you? Stop buying every self-help book you can find and there’s no need to look into a pre-nuptial agreement – because it’s simpler than you think.

According to Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher, who were married for an amazing 87 years, it’s not all that hard to make marriage last a lifetime. Here are my favourites from their tips on ensuring a successful marriage:

Divorce was never an option

I love this. It’s not mentioned often, but I’m sure that more people get divorced these days simply because it’s an option in the first place. If you think divorce is a possibility, it’s much more likely that when the going gets tough, you’ll opt for this “easier” route, rather than work harder at repairing your relationship.

Remember marriage is not a contest, never keep a score. You’re on the same team to win.

It’s so easy, in a relationship, to keep a mental tally. “I did these five nice things today, therefore you owe me this.” That’s just not how it works! If you love someone, you give, without counting the cost – the best example being a mother, who works 24/7 to care for her kids who can’t do anything in return.

Agree that it’s okay to disagree, and fight for what really matters. Learn to bend – not break!

I think that when it comes to your fundamental beliefs, it certainly helps if your spouse is on the same wavelength. But there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing in little things – after all, no two people are the same. In fact, it’s good: you never learn anything from someone who completely agrees with you! Plus, it shows you’re truly comfortable with each other, can respect one another’s views, and can compromise if need be.

The one thing you have in common that transcends everything else – we are both Christians and believe in God.

This is not to say that every successful couple has to be Christian – definitely not. What it does point out however, is the fact that the most united couples are those that share the same beliefs or moral values. Why? Because then they understand each other, they can help each other stick to their beliefs, and they won’t face huge conflicts when it comes to raising kids.

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.