Word on the street is that we millennials are pretty awesome at marriage . Our tendency to wait longer than our predecessors to tie the knot 鈥 along with our generally more deliberate approach to making major life plans 鈥 has contributed to a steady decline in the divorce rate over the last three years. (Is it too soon to say that this might be one of our greatest accomplishments as a generation? If so, we鈥檙e calling it early.) Though we do seem to kind of be killing it at this whole 鈥渂eing married鈥 thing, we鈥檙e not too proud to admit that we鈥檙e still constantly on the hunt for the best advice on wedded life that we can get our hands on.

A couple plays on a beach

For these pearls of wisdom, we typically turn to relationship experts and couples who have successfully lived their lives together for decades . But what about the people who鈥檝e had a front row seat to what some might call failures of the institution of marriage? Yes 鈥 we鈥檙e talking about divorce lawyers. These professionals have met with tons of couples struggling in the depths of coupledom鈥檚 greatest challenges, so if anyone is prepared to identify potential red flags in our relationships, these attorneys are about as qualified as they come. Keep reading for eight brilliant nuggets of marriage advice from the legal minds working on the front lines of so-called marriage battles each and every day.

1. Do things together. It may sound simple, but according to Alabama attorney Caleb Ballew , too many couples don鈥檛 do it 鈥 which often lands them smack in the middle of divorce court. Do more than just sit on the couch wordlessly watching TV: Get active outside of your day-to-day routine! 鈥淚f a couple is spending planned time together and sharing in activities and events,鈥 Ballew explains, 鈥渢hen each will have a shared sense of enjoyment over money spent and [will] share relaxation time from work or kids.鈥

2. Don鈥檛 bring work home. We know that the to-do list sitting on your desk at the office feels perpetually overwhelming, but we urge you to resist the temptation to carry those tasks into the hours of the day when you鈥檙e supposed to be off the clock. If the promise of that precious (yet seemingly unattainable) thing called 鈥渨ork-life balance鈥 isn鈥檛 enough to convince you, then we鈥檒l defer to Dallas divorce attorney Aubrey Connatser . The founder of Connatser Family Law in Dallas, TX, Connatser also happens to be married to a fellow lawyer, and she tells us that she and her partner make a point to leave their cases and files at work before turning their attention to matters at home.

3. Look out for narcissistic tendencies early on. Florida lawyer Eric Klein knows all too well what happens to relationships when narcissistic, misogynistic, or other toxic (or abusive) behaviors surface after the wedding day. 鈥淲hen these issues do appear, sometimes they appear slowly and gradually to a point where one partner or spouse does not realize it 鈥 nor do they want to acknowledge it 鈥 for years,鈥 he reveals. To avoid this recipe for an unhappy (and still potentially lengthy) marriage, be mindful of red flags (an exaggerated sense of self importance, a sense of entitlement, and arrogance, to name a few) before you even say, 鈥淚 do.鈥

4. Work on developing your conflict resolution skills as a team. 鈥淢any couples divorce because they don鈥檛 know how to fight fairly,鈥 shares Vikki Ziegler , celebrity divorce attorney and relationship expert. 鈥淩esentment builds, and they ultimately fall out of love and start to despise one another. Learning anger management tools can save a marriage.鈥 Work with your spouse from day one of married life to ensure that you鈥檙e developing conflict resolution skills that complement each other enough to ensure that you can tackle problems 鈥 instead of letting them tackle you.

A couple sits together at their dining room table

5. Maintain transparency with your finances. If you and your S.O. have decided to legally commit to each other (congrats!), you鈥檇 best be sharing just about everything 鈥 an adorably decorated home, a delicious Taco Tuesday tradition, and, yes, the mundane particulars of your financial situations. Even if you and your spouse opt to keep your accounts separate, communication is key where money is concerned. 鈥淎 lack of transparency regarding the financial circumstances of both parties to a marriage has been the catalyst or stepping stone to many of the divorces I鈥檝e handled,鈥 says family law attorney Angie Gambone. 鈥淗ave ongoing conversations with your spouse about the family finances, no matter how awkward those talks might be.鈥

6. Be complementary, not opposite. Throw away everything you thought you know about the extent to which opposites attract. According to our legal experts, the best marriages are those between individuals whose differences are less than total, and who instead bring out the best in each other. 鈥淎 happy marriage requires that you respect the strengths of your partner and forgive their weaknesses,鈥 encourages divorce attorney Angela McIlveen . For example, 鈥淚nstead of being frustrated by your spouse鈥檚 lack of planning, learn to view your spouse being spontaneous as a strength.鈥

7. Fake it 鈥檛il you make it (sometimes). Marriage is a healthy mix of good communication, thoughtful romance, and the occasional acting stint. Yes, you read that correctly 鈥 acting. 鈥淎t times, marriage should be treated as an acting job,鈥 suggests Susan Murray, a 30-year veteran of the divorce law industry. 鈥淥n the days when you are not feeling that loving toward a spouse, pretend.鈥 Flexing your dramatic chops here and there will help you bridge the more challenging gaps in your relationship, ensuring that you and your sweetie live to see the happier days on the other side of any necessary theatrics.

8. Voice your needs. If you鈥檙e not getting what you need from your spouse, don鈥檛 be afraid to ask for it! According to Charlotte, NC divorce attorney Libby James , a lack of communication regarding a partner鈥檚 needs is a common cause of divorce. Describing what tends to happen when an overloaded spouse vents about their cares in her office, she says, 鈥淢ore often than not, when the other party hears about how the burdened party feels, the response is, 鈥榃hy didn鈥檛 you tell me?'鈥 That vent sesh is often just the thing to save a marriage too!

You don鈥檛 have to be an attorney to give great relationship advice! Tweet us your best wisdom about marriage @BritandCo .

(Photos via Getty)