By no means do I think of myself as an expert on this topic, but I can give a couple of tips about my experience. These are some general things that I’ve learned when it comes to having a happy marriage.
The first thing that comes to mind is communication. In any relationship, regardless of whether it’s marriage, employer/employee, or friendship, communication is extremely important. The more responsibility the relationship holds, the more important communication becomes. Marriage definitely holds a lot of responsibility, especially if you have children or own a home together. It’s not just about always focusing on having great communication, though—it’s really about making sure you have consistent communication. I’ve had great communication and I’ve had poor communication, but regardless, I’ve made sure not to go a week without communicating at all.
Another important thing is to make sure that your life goals are aligned. It’s not that all the goals always have to be the same (hopefully some of them are), but they have to be communicated. Sometimes we take for granted that those closest to us will already know these things. They might not, so we have to take the time to state them. The bottom line is, a man and woman are going to be very different from each other. I often think about it like pink and blue (two very different colors). Even though you’re going to think and feel differently, that doesn’t mean that your diversity cannot be embraced. Just as goals are important in a business partnership, life goals are also important to the partner that I have in life (my wife).
My last tip involves sacrifice, which is a word that isn’t well-liked. It’s not that I think you have to sacrifice everything in life. However, I think you need to understand the importance of sacrifice, whether it’s sacrificial love, sacrificing your time, or sacrificing your goals and maybe putting someone else’s goals before yours. There are times where you just need to be selfless. The bottom line is, any great friendship is rooted on what we’re willing to give to the other person. Most of the times that I’ve sacrificed my emotional side, physical side, my time, or whatever else it may be, I’ve found that I’ve gotten it back tenfold. Ultimately, I think give and take is rooted in understanding sacrifice. Sure, it might not feel the best right when you’re doing it, but after a while you’ll see that the sacrifice was worth it.
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