I could write a book about how to have a great marriage. I could take full credit for the fact I married my best friend. I could talk about it in some way that convinces others that I know and that I am an expert because, look at my success. I could do that and gather up all the focus on me and get involved in people’s lives and tell them how to do it. What would I care, really? After I get past the point where I have dozens of people in my workshops or thousands attending my speaking engagements and buying my book, I don’t even see the cause and effect anymore. I have my reward for being able to put myself out there and gain “fame.”
The truth is I lucked out. I could just of easily have ended up with a psychopath. I could have ended up with an addict or just a ho hum guy who was as bored with life as I sometimes get and so we sat through the years and bored each other to death … literally. I say “literally” because I see so many older couples who occupy time and space together, but share nothing. They endure to the end in that state of emptiness.
My marriage is not great because I had some plan and worked it. What I do or don’t do is intrinsic to who I am and who he is. The only thing that people need from me is to see it is possible. Then they need to focus on who they are, what they want and on communicating that with the other person. Then, together, they find the path that works for them. I might need to discuss everything immediately so it does not fester. You might need time to simmer down and think so you do not say or do something stupid. I. CANNOT. FIX. YOUR. LIFE.
There is no recipe.
There is only you and your life and whether you are willing to take responsibility for it and do the hard work. Learn who you are. Love who you are. Do not be afraid of the mistakes, the darkness, or the problems. Black is another shading of life, like white, like pink , or green.
Once you know yourself you can have an honest relationship with another person who also knows themselves. You continue to grow and work on yourselves, but you share the journey, encouraging one another and working together on problems that arise. Sometimes you are just company on a journey that has nothing to do with you.
No magic pill.
Life does not come with a set of instructions that if you follow them step by step you end up with a bookcase.
Life is more like a peanut scramble where someone throws everything in the air. Everyone jumps in and grabs what they can and goes home with what they got. We all go home with what we got. Some people are thrilled with their lot, some devastated. We each decide the meaning of our lives. We each decide how much power to give other people we include in our lives and we ultimately decide, in making those choices, whether we are happy, or not. Sometimes what a marriage needs most, is not a how to book, but just a quiet ending.
You are the only expert on your life. What others think or know about you, your partner, or the success of your relationship is irrelevant. The best thing any couple can ever do when considering their marriage, to stay or go, is to find the honesty to ask for what they need from each other – especially when those needs have changed from what they might have once been – and then to admit whether they can, or want to, give it to the other. If they do, get to work. If they don’t love one another for the journey that has been, share that gratitude, and gracefully create a distance and a space for each other to find what you are looking for.
THAT is honouring marriage, honouring your partner, and most of all, honouring your own heart and integrity,