The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Man.

Via elephant journal
on Aug 27, 2013
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~~LoVe nEvEr SToPs~~

 Update: a Woman’s Response: The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Woman.

“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.

9. Be silly…
don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday…
learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present
Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually...
To carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
13. Don’t be an idiot
And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
14. Give her space
The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing.

(Okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
15. Be vulnerable…
You don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
16. Be fully transparent
If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds…

Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together
The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
18. Don’t worry about money
Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
19. Forgive immediately…
and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love
ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity.

Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love.

One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

MEN – THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER.There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

Click here to read the rest.

~

Relephant:

The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Woman.

Funny-not-funny:

How many divorced men does it take to change a light bulb?

No one knows. They never get to keep the house.

Love starts with us, first:

 20 Things to Start Doing in our Relationships Now.

Why Everyone Should Get Divorced Before Marriage.

~

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Comments

13 Responses to “The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Man.”

  1. ?..........? says:

    “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”

    ― Bob Marley

  2. sara says:

    Very nice. What a wonderful place to be after a loss. Good for you.

  3. Karen says:

    beautiful thoughts….

  4. Amy says:

    Very nice article, however I believe both men AND women should offer all of these up to their partner. Man, woman, whatever… if you love someone, you will do for them, as they do for you. Article is too one sided. As a woman, I would return these things to my husband.

  5. Harry Dog says:

    And if she becomes something you didn't anticipate or care for, like a hundred and sixty pound couch potato, who nags and whines when she isn't able to manipulate you into serving her interests over your own, love her anyways… just because. I think I'm going to run to the toilet and vomit.

  6. scout4282001 says:

    I have had one 23 year marriage. He nailed it! Men and women are different in many ways. It's been 100% my experience that a women wants a strong man.

  7. PNWAudiophile says:

    LOVE it. Made me remember this, too. http://www.danoah.com/2012/10/16-ways-i-blew-my-m

  8. Justdivorce says:

    Some good advice there and most could be followed by both men and women. Marriage is not easy, but neither is divorce.

  9. Richard says:

    Firstly, disclaimer of humility: life is weird and I there is more that goes into a marriage than can be reckoned. However, I think the article is hung up on marriage as romance, and that energy cannot sustain a relationship, and is ultimately the reason why a great many marriages pass away. The answer is more about duty and being fully known (as opposed to courting) than the sugar of romance. Not much language for that in our culture without getting written off

  10. Just a lady. says:

    One hundred and sixty? Oh my Goodness! Unless she is 5' 6" or under, that is not an unacceptable weight. The couch potato part… not acceptable. So, ask her out, take her on a walk, get active with her! I'm wondering if you are the strong man (as in the article) that has attended to her as his woman? Are you in perfect health? …perfect shape?

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  12. CHULA says:

    Really liked this article, brought tears to my eyes… since my husband of 3 years but partner of 12 years are now separated… Looking at divorce as the next step. But as I read this I found some of my tears stem from not only him not doing his part, but how I could of done a lot of this advise as well. Really good advise!!

  13. Mendy says:

    After going through a divorce of 24 years I found it very helpful. Those topics were items I yearned for and felt I would never receive from my husband. The story was validating. I felt very much like I was alone on my island for wanting my husband to still treasure me as his wife.