I recently found myself on an airplane sitting next to a woman who was flying to meet her fiancé. They were to be married the very next day. When I told her what I did for a living, and that I myself am married to my husband for 26 years, she asked me if I had any advice for her. I told her that no marriage was perfect, but that the key to a long, happy, and successful marriage was to learn to have trust in your spouse, be present when they speak to you, validate their feelings, and find the good in what they do.
Her initial response was silent confusion and then she finally asked me, doesn’t that seem like a given. She said she was hoping for some great insight and not the obvious. I told her that while today less than 24 hours before her wedding it may seem obvious that with times couples seem to forget the obvious, begin taking each other for granted, and start keeping score. What once was about making each other happy, overlooking the others imperfections, and meeting each other’s needs if not consciously worked on becomes annoying habits, not prioritizing one’s relationship, never forgetting and forgiving mistakes, and creating lists of complaints.
As I finished my sentence I could see the fear in her eyes as I assured her this did not have to be her future. I told her that although a successful marriage takes work it is well worth the effort. That it is never too early to start incorporating good habits into the marriage. The first is to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Trust that your partner does not want to intentionally hurt you. Second, take the time each day to tell your spouse three things that you appreciate they did that day for you. Third, but not least let them know they matter I told her that too often with time, children, and careers our spouses no longer a priority. So many times I have heard husbands say “that the dog gets more attention than they do”. “That all their energy and focus are given at work so by the time they come home they are done”. Marriage is a partnership not a competition, the only true way to win the game of love is to support each other in order to cross the finish line together. One person alone never wins.
When we landed she gave me a big hug, said thank you, and promised to prioritize her marriage and her husband every day. I knew she would. If you are getting married or you are in a relationship that needs help I encourage you not to give up but to get help. Dina from Family Coaching, LLC in the Phoenix / Scottsdale area can help you improve and repair your relationship. Call today for a free phone consultation or to make an appointment to come in and get started. Call (480)433-2800.