Most people get married for the wrong reasons; it’s as simple as that. Given that, it shouldn’t be a surprise that most marriages are not the blissful unions most young girls hope for and dream about. And, since most marriages are not bastions of happiness and harmony, it certainly stands to reason that something was missing from the beginning. Think about the married people you know. The happy couples are few and far between; and many of them are actually faking-it in order to uphold their illusion of perfection. The fact is that most marriages end in divorce and/or unhappiness. To fix your marriage, you’ll need to get back to basics and start with the fundamentals of any good relationship.
Start with being honest with yourself. Would you want to be married to you; or are you simply seeking a mate to fulfill your own personal ideal of what “your” marriage should be? The fact is that, while anyone could learn to be a good partner, most people are not taught these skills in life – and are probably too lazy or unmotivated to learn them. Western culture and society essentially programs people to be selfish and self-centered; if you want a good relationship, you are going to have to cure yourself of this – and then find someone else who has overcome or avoided this personality pitfall. Relationships are give-and-take affairs – with an emphasis on “giving.”
The next fundamental relationship saver is: Effective communication. You need to learn how to talk to each other and communicate your true agenda. If you don’t share common goals in a relationship, you’re not going to be blissfully happy; and, if you don’t communicate effectively, you won’t know what your goals truly are. Strong relationships require a lot of attention and focus. You need to have an incentive to drag your attention away from sports, video games, the Internet, talk shows and shopping in order to shun the unimportant for what is truly valuable in life. Again, Western culture and technology has a hypnotic grasp on most people and monopolizes their time and attention. In order to have a strong relationship, you must give the Lion’s share of your focus to your partner. You cannot communicate effectively when you’re wrapped-up in the typical life – but you can live a typical, mundane, unfulfilling life that way.
There is an old saying that tells us that the best thing we can do with our human lives is to give them away. Selflessness and sacrifice are truly keys to peace and happiness. In a relationship, however, both partners need to practice these skills. If only one person cares about their partner’s desires and the health of the relationship, then you have one practicing being selfish while the other practices victim-hood. An easy place to start is by making a conscious effort to be kind and gracious always. Don’t judge each other for shortcomings or failure to master this new approach; but give them a good example of kindness and unconditional love. Trust me when I say that this practice mostly benefits the one who uses it. You may not be able to manipulate your partner into being nicer – and that isn’t the point – but you will certainly receive countless benefits as the practice of unconditional, unwavering niceness becomes a part of you and your life.
With Honesty, Communication, and Selflessness, you can heal your relationship – with yourself as well as with a willing partner. If you don’t have a willing partner, don’t feel bad – feel happy that you discovered this as early as you did so you don’t have to fight against unyielding disappointment and sadness. Your life is valuable; you are valuable. These things should not be wasted playing into another’s self-pity and selfishness. If you can master these relationship skills, you’ll be better equipped to choose a better partner and build a better, stronger relationship next time around. Either way, you can have a much happier relationship if you take the time to learn what kind of relationship you want and how to get it, create it and maintain it.
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