The Secret to a Good Marriage...
My youngest sister gets married in less than a week. I am a very sentimental person, so I have been reflecting on words of wisdom I have to offer her after my almost ten years of marriage. Here it is: There is no secret to a good marriage. Marriage takes work and commitment—and that is no secret!
Dr. Ray (my favorite expert) says this, “The secret of a good marriage, for the most part, is that there are no secrets, only commonsense, time-tested ideas practiced by countless others who have done it well.”
In fact, much of the advice I could offer is stuff you’ve learned your whole life, starting from when you were very young. The “knowing” it is the easy part; harder is to put it into practice—every single day. Take the example of “say you’re sorry.” How many times in your life have you heard that? There has likely never been a more important person to say it to than your spouse. (And it’s never as easy as that sounds.) That’s the work of marriage—doing things you may not want to do, such as apologizing; the commitment is repeating that over and over throughout your life, even when it’s hard.
The good news is that when you practice these skills, it gets easier (notice I didn’t say easy). The best news is, when you both love each other and are committed, it is absolutely worth every bit of effort you put into it.
Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. . . . Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? . . . But, of course, ceasing to be “in love” need not mean ceasing to love. Love in a second sense–love as distinct from “being in love” is not merely a feeling. It is deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both parents ask, and receive, from God. “Being in love” first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it. ~C. S. Lewis
****Photo: Shutterstock/Karen Grigoryan
Quotes taken from:
Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards by Dr. Ray Guarendi
Love Never Fails: 120 Reflections by Debra Herbeck