My cousin and Triple B supporter Nik recently forwarded an article to me from Huffington Post. I was so enlightened by it that I had to share. Since we’re in the midst of engagement season, I felt it was especially poignant. Get ready to soak up some wisdom!
36 Tips From 36 Years of Marriage
by Winifred M. Reilly (Reilly is a psychotherapist specializing in marital therapy and relationships. Also an author, she maintains a private practice in Berkeley, CA.)
1. If you think marriage would have been much easier with somebody else, you’re probably wrong.
2. Most marital problems are fixable. Really. Even the tough ones.
3. The D word (divorce) is a dangerous weapon. I suggest the F word instead: frustrated. Nobody’s heart will be broken if you say, “I’m so FRUSTRATED I could scream!”
4. The term wedded bliss (Editor’s note: Not to be confused with bridal bliss!) should be stricken from every couple’s vocabulary. Marriage is wonderful in many ways, but expecting bliss makes the inevitable rough times seem like a problem when they’re simply part of the deal.
5. That bit about how your partner won’t change: Wrong. My husband and I met in our early 20s. If we’d both stayed just as we were, we’d still be two naïve kids, stubbornly insisting we have to have things our way, thinking marriage shouldn’t be as challenging as it is.
6. Marriage doesn’t get good or stay good all on its own.
7. Every one of us is, in our own way, difficult to live with. Beginning to work on even one of your own problem behaviors will make a big difference in the quality of your marriage. Added bonus: your spouse will greatly appreciate it!
8. People who are unhappily married sometimes think marriage is the problem — that marriage is unnatural or outdated or impossible to do well. There’s not a third entity called marriage. Everything that goes on between you is your creation. Each of you playing your part. Why not create something worthwhile?
9. Marriage is a “learn on the job” proposition. None of us comes into it with all the skills we need for success. When the going gets rough it’s most often a sign that we need some new skills — not a sign that we need a new spouse.
10. Struggle in marriage is not only inevitable, it’s necessary. None of us can grow a strong and healthy relationship without having to face and resolve difficult issues.
Be sure to visit Huffington Post to read the other 26 tips! What was your favorite/most helpful tip?
Check out this video from a (still) happily married couple who wed over 70 years ago!