Franco Origlia/Getty
May 13, 2015 03:30 PM

Minding your manners could save your marriage, according to Pope Francis.

Using the phrases “May I?,” “Thank you” and “Pardon me” is the “key to building a happy family life,” he told a crowd during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday.

“These simple phrases are not so easy to say or to put into practice,” he said, according to “But when they are ignored, their absence can cause cracks in the foundation of the family, which can lead to its collapse.”

The pope’s latest words of wisdom come after he lamented the decline of marriage in another general audience last week, theorizing that young people are too afraid of divorce to take the plunge. In that address, he acknowledged the “difficulty of staying together.”

But using the pontiff’s three magic phrases can go a long way to strengthen and restore feelings of trust, respect and love at home, as well as to reinforce the familial bond, he says.

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“If these words are part of our daily lives, not just as a formal expression of good manners, but as a sign of deep love for one another, they strengthen a happy family life,” he says.

Hey, it’s worth a shot.

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