Gerald Rogers is a psychologist who has been through a rough divorce. A few years ago, he wrote an amazing post that beautifully describes the lessons learned through this tough process, and importantly, valuable advice for all married men.
His words remain timeless.
He says, “After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I could have had…”
What marriage advice does he wish he could have had?
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Dads, husbands reading this - this advice is solid. This advice is real. And if you think your relationship could do with a breath of fresh air right now, then this is it.
1. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable
Your wife is attracted to and loves your masculinity. But this doesn't mean you should remain stony-faced even when you are tearing up inside. Rogers' advice is to "be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes." You can't go wrong with this formula.
2. Don't make it all about the cash
Yes, you need money to survive in this mean world. But if you find yourself having more and more arguments with your wife about cash, stop. The advice is to find ways to work with your partner as a team to win the money together. Both of you have strengths, use these in order to win.
Cherish her even today like you did from the day you took that vow to love and protect her always.
3. Grow together
In Rogers' beautiful words: "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."
4. No skeletons in the closet
The foundation of a good relationship is trust and if you want to have her trust, then you need to open up to her about everything. It takes courage to open up your deepest heart, even as you are not sure that she will like what she hears or sees. Let her see your shades of light and darkness as these imperfections make you perfect in her eyes.
5. Never stop dating her
You might have two kids and 10 years of marriage behind you. But never, ever take your woman for granted - she deserves to be loved, to be cherished as much as the very first day you met her and knew she was the one. She is your treasure - show her this is little ways to remind her of this.
6. Find ways to fall in love with her daily
"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 every day. 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."
7. Finally, CHOOSE LOVE!
Ultimately, this is your magic charm, this is the only advice you'll need. As Rogers points out, 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.