I will share some key lessons I have learned from 17 years of marriage for single people searching for their life partners. These are the bits of marriage advice I will give my single self. I hope it will benefit someone, even if they are married.
This post is the second in a series of lessons from my marriage. Please check out the first article here.
1. “Being in love” is not the only criterion that you’ve found your life partner.
That is because “being in love” is transitory and does not last long. So instead, it is better to identify other desirable traits in the person you wish to marry. Characters that may stand the test of time are different for everyone. For example, when searching for my partner, I highly valued patience, compassion and intelligence.
2. There are two phases of love in marriage.
The initial infatuation during courtship passes within the first year or two. Things are done effortlessly during this earlier phase when people are euphoric and feel like “being in love”. But unfortunately, we usually think that such a feeling will last forever. So, we become confused when the euphoric feeling evaporates.
Yet, it is entirely normal, and nothing is wrong with our partner or us.
The second phase of love starts after the first year of marriage. That is when reality sets in, and the hard work of marriage begins. The highest divorce rates occur within the first two years after the wedding.
3. Successful marriages require hard work.
All significant relationships, such as marriages, require daily efforts and commitment to last long. Therefore, the best thing you can do for your union is continual self-growth and development.
Though marriages may be made in heaven, they must be nurtured on earth.Anon
4. Every marriage passes through different seasons.
As in nature, marriages pass through Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall. But, according to Gary Chapman, “Marriages are perpetually in a state of transition, continually moving from one season to another—perhaps not annually, as in nature, but just as certainly and consistently.”
- Winter represents the “discouraged, detached, and dissatisfied” season.
- Springtime comes with “its openness, hope, and anticipation.”
- At other times, we enjoy Summer’s warmth and become “comfortable, relaxed, enjoying life.”
- Lastly, Fall presents “its uncertainty, negligence, and apprehension.”
Please know that it may not last so long, whatever season your marriage is. Be encouraged.
5. You and your partner have different emotional needs in marriage.
The main problem in marriage is that we typically treat our spouses the same way they treat us. For instance, if we love to receive gifts, we should not assume that our spouses also want gifts. Instead, we should find out their emotional needs.
Not understanding this concept is one of the causes of conflicts in marriages.
6. Your personalities play a massive role in marriages.
Are you a night owl and your partner a lark or early bird?
You may be an introvert and your partner an extrovert.
Or, are you an optimistic person and your spouse a pessimist?
Personality differences can lead to incompatibilities in marriage. Still, we can learn to accommodate the quirks of our partners without resorting to domestic violence.
7. Good communication is the best piece of marriage advice
You need to listen more and speak less to your spouse for effective communication.
Communication to a relationship is like oxygen to life. Without it, it dies.Tony Gaskins
8. The best thing you can do for your children is to love your spouse
You have to re-ignite your passions and nurture romantic love when children arrive.
Marriage is a fairly long travelled route. But, as in the rudderless pre-GPS era, most of its rough terrains and blind spots are only discernable after embarking on the journey. So, better be prepared for the ride!David Onu
You have eight of the critical lessons I have learned from my marriage. How nice would it have been to know more about these ideas when I was single?
Which of the above lessons resonates with you the most?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your time.
The 4 seasons of marriage: secrets to a lasting marriage by Gary Chapman.
Things I wished I’d known before we got married by Gary Chapman.