We want things. We don't want to wait. We want it all now.
This short article is about making a marriage or committed relationship work over the long haul, and shows you how to satisfy the relationship needs of the moment.
Recently someone told me he wanted "the world's greatest marriage . . . right now!"
I told the young man he couldn't possibly have the world's greatest relationship right now, but he could develop a world-class relationship in time . . . if he and his spouse were willing to make the effort.
Yes, you can have fast food any time you want -- just drive to your local Wendy's or KFC and fork over a little cash. What you'll get is no gourmet meal, but it may taste okay.
It's the same with relationships. They can be pretty darn exciting in the early days of infatuation, and work pretty well . . .
but only after many years can they reach their zenith.
1. It takes time for two people to get to know each other really, really well
2. It takes time to learn how to conduct a relationship well
3. It takes time for each partner to grow and mature, for each to become his or her best
4. It takes time for a couple to overcome certain problems or barriers they may face . . . barriers that stand in the way of relationship success
Only in time can we develop staunch wisdom and great inner strength . . . the wisdom and strength needed for us to see the big picture in our relationships. And to find the marriage help we need within ourselves. In many cases, this maturation process takes decades!
Yes, we lose our youthful beauty . . . in time. Yes, we all grow old. Yet marriage can get better and better each and every year if we keep our focus and stay in it for the long haul.
How To Make Your Marriage Last
The young, sexy body our culture prizes is not a person. It's merely a fleeting phase of life. That's why we should never marry for looks alone.
It is far smarter to marry a wonderful person, the person inside, not an appearance, which will only fade. So begin by making a good choice for a mate. Marry a real person, one you admire on the inside.
Someone who will only get better with time. Someone who will still be funny, interesting and profound when he or she is 90!
A beautiful person will always be beautiful. No matter what happens on the outside. It's the inside that matters. Oh, he or she may retain their outer beauty for a long time, but it's the inner beauty that really counts . . . and makes you happy.
Living with a strong, happy, caring individual who loves life and is always improving himself/herself is the only way to go! Put two such individuals together and you have a relationship with excellent potential.
How To Improve Your Marriage: Where To Start
Start with a vision. Your vision must take in the long-term aspects of your relationship. Try to see the marriage for what it can be in ten, twenty or fifty years! That's not easy when you're only beginning. But you can do it.
Talk about your long-term goals and plans for your relationship. Share your dreams. What are the likenesses and differences? Are your goals, hopes and dreams compatible? Be honest with yourselves and each other. Think! Don't jump into a relationship with the first pretty person who comes along. Remember, that skin is not who the person really is.
Also, realize the path to relationship success and marital bliss is paved with mundane bricks. It's the effort you make in the here-and-now that gets you to the promised land. Every day can't be equally exciting and romantic. Every year won't be the same. Your relationship will go through phases, good and hard times. There will be challenges (thank goodness, since it's partly the challenges that makes us strong).
But you can get through it all and get some of the marriage help you need if you remember to keep your vision before you, if you can keep seeing the big picture. Remember that great marriages are always works in progress . . . works that require great spans of time, diligence and more patience than anyone wants.
Make Personal Sacrifices
Spouses who make personal sacrifices for the relationship will succeed. Sometimes you have to give up things for the good of the marriage. Your immediate wishes or needs may have to go, as you invest your time in sharing, saving, listening and compromising. Many marital problems can be solved when we remember to make sacrifices.
One spouse may want to play in a softball league, but the hours of practice and long days spent in travel and tournament play are too draining. A better choice may be to spend that time with the young children and recreating as a family.
It's a decision that will build love and romance, and strengthen the marriage and the family.
If you are focused on the moment only, and your present desire, you will shortchange the relationship. But if you remember to see the relationship as a long-term commitment, a work-in-progress, one that will take time to confer the greatest benefit, you will put the marriage first . . .
and greatly enhance your marriage.
Decision Making Tip
Here's a cool tip for making good decisions about your relationship: when trying to decide anything, always ask what eventual impact the decision will have on the long-term success of the marriage.
Another way to go about it is this . . . try being clear about three things:
1. How will your decision impact your partner?
2. How will it impact yourself?
3. How will it affect your relationship, both in the present and future?
When it comes to relationships, those daily, mundane decisions and acts of love are the stepping stones to the greatest happiness, and the loftiest paradise. They will help you to overcome many marriage problems. No, the mundane bricks may not always seem glamorous, exciting or trendy, but that's okay. They form a solid path to marital bliss and success. If you sign up for the long haul, and persist in seeing the big picture . . . your relationship will succeed!