10 Things this single guy has learned about marriage.

Over the past month I got to interview 18 couples about what it is that makes their marriage strong. I asked them lots of questions. I asked if there was anything they wished they had known before they were married. I asked them about things they do together that keep their relationship strong. I asked them what habits they have that help maintain their marriage. Some couples had been through illness, some couples had been through divorces, some couples met when they were kids others didn’t get together until they were adults. We talked about their mission as a couple. We talked about how they met. We talked about the advice they’d give to new couples. We talked about what they would say to a couple who’s considering divorce. I edited these interviews down to six videos totaling to about 27 minutes.

I tried my best to capture the thoughts of these people in the videos but it’s not possible to capture five hours worth of interviews in less than half an hour. So here is a summary of my findings in simple terms.

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[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]As with everything else in life ITS NOT ABOUT YOU. If you get married just to get something, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re always looking out for the needs of the other then you’ll be far happier than if you were only concerned with your own needs. What happens is reciprocity; when you empty yourself out the other person can’t help but give of themselves.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]As with everything else in life ITS NOT ABOUT YOU. If you get married just to get something, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re always looking out for the needs of the other then you’ll be far happier than if you were only concerned with your own needs. What happens is reciprocity; when you empty yourself out the other person can’t help but give of themselves.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Apparently married sex gets awesome after 40. I had two couples tell me this. No joke. One man said “Sweet Moses – it’s insane.”[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Several people said it’s more important to like your spouse than to love them. All of these people were women. I think that’s because when women think ‘love’ they think romance. They simply recognize that the romantic part of love isn’t the most important part. Endearing companionship is a more important aspect of love than romance. Romance is very important, but it’s not where you’ll live most of the time.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Your spouse is no replacement for God. You can’t place that kind of faith in a person.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Most people start by saying “We don’t have the perfect marriage.” That seems silly. The perfect marriage doesn’t exist. So don’t try to fool anyone – your marriage is just as imperfect as the next guy’s. You have fights, you may have even had some serious issues, but that’s okay. Don’t hold your marriage as an Idol.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Most people start by saying “We don’t have the perfect marriage.” That seems silly. The perfect marriage doesn’t exist. So don’t try to fool anyone – your marriage is just as imperfect as the next guy’s. You have fights, you may have even had some serious issues, but that’s okay. Don’t hold your marriage as an Idol.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Divorce is terrible. It effects the people getting divorced far more than they expect it to, but it also effects everyone around them. There is no exaggeration for the destructive power that divorce has. It is not worth it. It is most definitely not a ‘reset’ button for you life. You cannot get married, get divorced and just ‘go back’ to the way things were.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Several women said that they were surprised to find out that they can’t change their husband. This sounds obvious, but don’t marry someone you don’t like, because while they can change, you can’t change them. It’s the Holy Spirit’s Job to change people. It’s your job to love them.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Several women said that they were surprised to find out that they can’t change their husband. This sounds obvious, but don’t marry someone you don’t like, because while they can change, you can’t change them. It’s the Holy Spirit’s Job to change people. It’s your job to love them.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]Marriage is really hard sometimes. Really really hard. But it is worth it.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]We’re not big enough to fix all of our problems on our own. Counseling isn’t for broken marriages it’s for marriages that don’t want to break.[/list_item]

[list_item icon=”fa-home(Check Font awesomes for Icon Class Names)” color=”#ffd600″]It only gets better. The couples that had been married 40-60+ years all said that marriage only gets better as time goes by.[/list_item]

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