19 things I wish I had of known that could have saved my marriage

I remember standing at the alter listening carefully to the minister say the following words because I believed them to be true, not quiet realizing the amount of effort it would take from both sides to make them work and go the distance.

Those classic words

I, ____, take you, ____, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, and this is my solemn vow.

And then your bride would repeat

I, ____, take you, ____, to be my husband to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law, and this is my solemn vow.

Well that was the plan….

Since then, divorce and separation touched my life, costing me relationships, work opportunities, money, loss & grief of not fathering my children day to day and mental health in some degree.

I am a strong believer in having pre-marriage counseling. We did attend a session with the church minister but it was very soft in the topics covered. None of the home truths were discussed or any of the tough questions that could prove to be a relationship killer. It was all simply a “tick the box” by the church minister and a process we needed to follow before he would marry us.

Its critical that couples go into serious relationships or relationships that will produce children with knowledge and their eyes WIDE OPEN!

The things I wish we had of known but know now:

  • You will both need to work at fulfilling your vows to make your marriage last.
  • The strength of your love needs to be there from the start and not based simply on surface looks. It must come from a deeper place
  • There will be times that your relationship will feel lost but love each other enough to be patient and ride the storm because the good times do come back.
  • The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence, work at watering your own grass and it will stay green
  • Can you imagine growing old with this person, will they be there for you?
  • You will need to bite your tongue. When you argue, spend some time alone if necessary to cool down so you don’t use hurtful language
  • Allow each other times to be in-charge, in all aspects of the relationship
  • If you feel your partner doesn’t want to talk about an important issue, be patient, they’ll come around
  • Marriage can get boring, look for the little things every day that you are grateful for
  • No one is perfect, expect stupidity, absent mindfulness and never perfection
  • You partner is different from the other relationships you have, nurture it and make it extra special
  • It will take both of you to be feel easy and relaxed with no restrictions or judgments
  • If you feel your partner is controlling & aggressive i.e. physically or emotionally – it wont work
  • Allow each other to have their down times and quiet times. We all need to rest and recharge
  • Look to always serve your partner, every little thing you do for each other makes for a happier marriage and builds resilience
  • Continue to look after each other when you have children. The kids will be gone one day and you will be back to the two of you again, nurture it
  • It is important that you are both working at it, it can not work if you are the only one
  • There will be times you need to care for each other and step up when things get tough…and they will
  • Its normal to question the strength of your relationship when things are tough, you both need to be patient and acknowledge it will get better

It’s never to late to modify behavior. What are some of the things you’ve found helpful in maintaining a healthy long-term relationship?

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