Sometimes the best marriage advice is from someone who was happily married- and then screwed up. A gentleman that was married for 16 years and is now (unhappily) divorced shares his happy marriage advice, in the form of twenty wise tips, for other men to learn to not make the same mistakes, and these happy marriage gems inspired me to share some of my own in addition to a few of my favorite simple tips for a happy marriage from Gerald Rogers, like:
* Be fully transparent (don’t hide things from your wife or wear a mask so to speak- be your true self, and share everything, because love is real only when we know a person’s “better and worse” and love them anyway)
* Protect your own heart (there is a special place in there that is only for your wife)
* Focus on the best in her (and not what you wish was different)…it’s not your job to try to change another person or make them “better”, they are who they want to be and want to be loved as they are
* Give her space (and if you have children, a break) so she can time to herself and fulfill her own dreams and enjoy her own friends and hobbies too
* Be silly together, and don’t get angry easily. It’s not the fault of your wife (or husband) if you are upset about something, so don’t take it out on them, and make time to laugh together and be silly together to keep your relationship lighthearted and the romance alive
* Be fully present by not only spending time together, but listening to each other and being focused and in the moment
* Don’t fight over money. Instead, work together as a team to beat money at its own game (or lose together, as long as you are on the same team and honest with each other)
* Learn each other’s love languages and fill each other’s needs to be loved the way they want to be loved
* Be totally open and vulnerable with each other…if you are afraid of getting hurt, you aren’t going to let your life partner get to really know you and you’ll miss something big- someone who sees into your soul and loves you completely. On the other side of the coin, when your wife or husband opens up to you, love and appreciate them, never ever judge them or make them feel afraid to be honest, or want to shut themselves down from you.
Head over and read the rest of this beautiful advice for a happy marriage from a man who learned wisdom about a happy marriage the hard way. What I love is that it’s the same tips I’ve been sharing with women for years (see, we really do want the same things, and men do listen and take note!).