I have been married to an amazing woman for the last 20 years. I can count the number of major fights we have had on just one hand. I wish I could claim all the credit for our success, but I cannot. I married an amazing, patient, and beautiful woman. And, for whatever reason, she still loves me and pretends (rather convincingly) to laugh at my jokes.
That brings me to my very first tip…
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If you have not tied the knot yet… read this while there is still time. If you have, skip to tips 2&3.
I would argue, who you choose to sign a legally binding death contract with is the most important success-factor. At a minimum, it determines how hard the marriage will be or how easy. So how do you make a good selection?
What are the key traits to look for in a spouse? Sadly, there is not a checklist that I can give you. Because if my wife found it - she might decide to see how well I did and that would not be good for my long-term prospects.
Instead, let me tell you what a pastor once told me. "Chase after God with all your heart. Then look left and look right - whoever is keeping pace with you, marry them."
In other words, the best way to find a wife or husband, is to get out in the world and do something you enjoy. Something that makes you more interesting. Something that adds to the value you bring to the union.
The more you do, the more you are engaged with the world around you, the more problems you are out-there trying to solve, the more likely you are going to select a wife or husband that compliments you.
If you want to marry someone hot and interesting… be hot and interesting.
#2 You can get a Divorce
Realize you can get a divorce. It sounds counterintuitive… but let that sink in.
The only thing holding you together is a piece of paper and a promise. If either of you wake up one morning and decide to call it quits, it is over!
A marriage is not something that you can put on autopilot. You have to work to stay married. You have to keep in investing. Remember when you were dating? You would have such long and interesting conversations. You would ask her questions and she would ask you stuff. You wanted to understand this woman or man. You wanted to know all there was to know about them
When was the last time you talked like that?
My wife and I don’t go on traditional dates. We do something called a Satur-date. We get very early on Saturdays, drive to the mountains and go on 1-2 hour hikes. No cell phones, no distractions, no one else to look at or talk to, just God’s creation and the woman I chose to love for the rest of my life. We walk and we talk..
Intimacy is defined as “close familiarity or friendship.” The bedroom is fun, but conversation will keep your marriage intimate in a way sex cannot.
Like sex, conversation is not going to just happen. You have to make time for it.
You have to create a space for it. Tired after a long day of work is not a good time for sex
and it is not a good time for conversation.
#3 The tip no one talks about.
I am not talking about sex. Cosmo can do more to educate you on the finer points of that act than I can here on this blog post. It is about self-esteem and where that comes from.
Low self esteem will destroy a marriage - fast! A person with low self-esteem will look at their partner and wonder why they are with them. The thinking goes:
"I know how messed up I am and you must be really messed up to love me."
Over time the partner is devalued. Ironically, the partner tells you that you are "great" but you know that you are a piece of crap. So the complement has the exact opposite of its intended impact.
It calls into question the judgement of the partner, devaluing them even more.
Low self-esteem is obvious in couples where the spouse just appears to be angry all the time and nothing the partner can say seems to help.
Here at SeventeenTwenty we know the only solution is to get back in touch with what God says about you. You cannot get from your spouse only that which God can supply.
Your spouse cannot fix your self image. As we noted, even when they try; it only makes it worse.
God knew you before you were born. He is the only one who knows your true identity. He is the only one who can add value to your life without taking anything in return. God is the source of all value.
Whatever you do, don’t see your spouse as a way to fill a whole in your life… a spouse is not to fix something in the present… they are there to add value to the future. Spouses are helpmates, they are there to help you achieve your calling in life.
If you need to better understand what God says about you or develop a clear vision for your life, go over to ChangeYourLifeInEightDays.com We have a special video there for you and a free eight day program that will change your life and could even save your marriage.