16. BE FULLY TRANSPARENT.
If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING: Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know I she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK: If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
17. NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER.
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.
18. DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY.
Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
19. FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY.
Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
20. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE…
In the end, this is the only advice you need. 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.
In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.
Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.
These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late.
But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.
If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.
The woman that told him ‘I do’, and trusted her life with him, has been waiting for this man to step up.