“If we make the conscious decision to daily place our spouse’s desires and needs above our own, and that’s reciprocated, the marriage will succeed. Utter and complete selflessness. Isn’t this true in all healthy relationships?”
My advice after a divorce following 16 years of marriage, by Gerald Rogers.
This article comes via James Russell’s Blog.
Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had:
1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. Never ever take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would own her heart and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. She chose you. Never forget that, and never get lazy in your love.
2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. She doesn’t have to stay with you, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
5. It’s not your job to change or fix her. Your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she can’t make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of you. They are your emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of you that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them. When you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
8. Allow your woman to… just be
When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean.
The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET.
Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.