Sex & Relationships

Five Things We Learned About Marriage From Classic ’80s Movies

Whether you’re a fresh-faced fiancé or a seasoned relationship veteran, you can never stop learning how to master your marriage. And these lessons can come from almost anywhere—but it’s always more fun when they come from classic movies of the 1980s. So strap yourself in, engage the flux capacitor and let’s go back in time to gather some truly rad relationship lessons from totally awesome ’80s flicks.

–Chris Knoll

Ghostbusters (1984): Are You The Keymaster?

From the first moment that Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman laid eyes on Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett, it was love at first sight…then she levitated above her bed, transformed into a demon dog and did it with Rick Moranis. But, through it all, Venkman never gave up on his lady.

The Lesson: Marriage isn’t going always going to feel like a romantic rendezvous at Lincoln Center that leaves you spinning in bliss. There will be communication issues, unexpected transformations and, occasionally, one of you will act like you’re possessed by Zuul. Just try to think like Venkman: stay supportive, have a sense of humor and stick with each other through the darkest of days—and never cross your streams.

The Goonies (1985): Hey, You Guys!

When the kids from the Goon Docks had their backs up against the wall, they came together as a team and showed the courage to search for One-Eyed Willie’s treasure with nothing but a map, some seriously defective inventions and a boy named Chunk.

The Lesson: You’re not going to be fighting The Fratellis, but you and your lady will have plenty of adventures—good and bad. When the going gets tough, you’ll need to give each other courage, rely on one another’s strengths and tackle every challenge as a team. If things get too heavy—just do the truffle shuffle.

The Neverending Story (1984): Come For Me, G’mork!

Bastian might have been a bullied bookworm, but when the time came to defeat The Nothing, he conjured up his inner-Atreyu, looked danger in the eye and yelled, “Come at me, bro”…or something like that.

The Lesson: When it comes to marriage, you must constantly fight The Nothing. Don’t get lazy and let your relationship drone on with slight variations on the same day. Keep things fresh, use your imagination and make unique memories as often as possible. When you’re in a creative and dynamic relationship, you’ll feel like you’re triumphantly pumping your fist on the back of a fluffy dog dragon.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986): Life Moves Fast

Seriously, though, Ferris was kind of a dick—cool, but still a dick. He deceived his family, manipulated his girlfriend, faked a deadly illness, committed grand theft auto, hijacked a parade and drove his best friend to the edge of a nervous breakdown…but there was a method to his madness.

The Lesson: At some point, your relationship might take a back seat to life jobs, bills, family, friends, and general day-to-day stress. Don’t forget take a break and carve out a little time for just you and the missus. As a righteous dude (but kind of a dick) once said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Back To The Future (1985): Great Scott!

Everyone remembers Marty McFly’s mommy issues, Doc Brown’s mad scientist mane and Biff’s boneheaded noogies, but at the core of Back to the Future is a timeless love story between a hapless introvert and his density.

The Lesson: You and your wife are each other’s ultimate support system, so make sure you always have her back. We’re not saying you’ll need to confront a bully and say “Get your damn hands off her” but there will be times when she’ll need a confident partner who will never hesitate to take her side. Also—don’t make out with your mom.

Bottom Line

The best marriage lessons don’t need to flow from the brilliant minds of highly-paid therapists. If you want a totally bodacious relationship, just listen to choice words of wisdom from ’80s all-stars like McFly, Chunk, Bueller and, especially, Venkman: “I love this plan. I’m excited to be a part of it. Let’s do it!”

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