The bottom line is that a happy, sustainable marriage is about work. Not about some fairy tale script you saw in a movie. It’s about a renewed commitment to grow together, communication, and a willingness to learn and be teachable.
Brick by brick you will have a fortress of love that can withstand the storms of life.
Remember though, marriage in itself won’t make you happy. In fact, Psychology Today goes into detail about this as they cite 18 studies
Participants reported an increase in life satisfaction around the year of the wedding (compared to before the wedding), but, as the authors noted, “this effect was short-lived.” Over time, the participants went back to feeling as satisfied or as unsatisfied as they were with their lives before they got married.
Also, most mothers and fathers rate parenting as the greatest joy of their lives. I know all of my friends who are parents agree wholeheartedly.
That being said, many of us do get married and it’s worth taking a deeper look at how to be successful at it.
Below are hard lessons that many of us men have learned the hard way. Truth is, all of my guy friends love being married and don’t shy away from the work required because they are fully aware of what they are getting in return. This is called true wisdom.
Always See The Best In Her
Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love.
Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to have this woman as your wife.
It’s Not Your Job To Change Or Fix Her
Your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
Take Full Accountability…
…For your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
Never Stop Growing Together
The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
Don’t Worry About Money
Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
And focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
Give Her Space
The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing.
(Okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
You don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
Be Fully Transparent
If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds…
Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
Fill Her Soul Everyday…
Learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority every day to make her feel like a queen.
Give her not only your time but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.
Be Willing To Take Her Sexually…
To carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
Don’t Be An Idiot
And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
Never Stop Courting
Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it.
This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
Inspired by this article: http://www.healthyfoodteam.com/best-marriage-advice-divorced-man/