Have you ever noticed that we are not schooled on how to have a successful marriage or how to be a good partner? On what qualities, we ourselves, must possess to be a good companion? What qualities our chosen mate should possess?
We fumble around from relationship to relationship… trying to find out what works for us and hopefully self-reflect to see what area’s we need to grow in.
Among the top of my arsenal of relationship books sits Project Everlasting
(see The Secrets of Successful Marriages – Part One, Part Two and Part Three for details on the previous marriage secrets and an over of the book written by Mathew Boggs and Jason Miller).
There is so much useful information in this book that I could not discuss it with one article and do it justice. I am using this fourth and final article about the book to pull the most important keys of a successful marriage together.
Respect is the main ingredient to any successful marriage. Now if that is not a surprise to you then what respect looks might require your attention.
Do not criticize your partner in front of others. You are not their parent so don’t act like it. If your partner does something that embarrasses you, talk to them about it in private.
Do not use others opinions to try to win battles with your significant other. Use your OWN intellect to get your partner to see your side of the issue and possibly persuade them to change their minds.
Respect your partner for who they are. Don’t try to change them or mold them into what you want. Their individuality might just be the thing that gives the two of you something interesting to talk about.
If your partner does something you don’t like, TELL THEM! Do not bottle it up inside and let it fester. How can your partner improve upon things if they don’t even know about it?
Own your side of the problem (put down your ego), you don’t always have to be right or have to wait for the other person to submit first – take the first step yourself.
Marriage is commitment. I think it is summed up best by this quote from the book.
Let there be no confusion: Behind every successful, lifelong marriage is a massive amount of hard work and difficult moments, when each spouse wanted out but instead reconfirmed a resolution to stick to it, for better or worse.
This isn’t to say that the Marriage Masters simply swept their garbage under the rug and lived forty-plus years in quiet misery. On the contrary, their definition of commitment meant getting through the trouble spots to rediscover what had made them happy together in the first place. It meant apologies. It meant forgiveness. It meant humility. It meant dedication and rededication a hundred times over.
I cannot say enough great things about this book. It has fantastic usable information as well as real life marriage stories.
I leave you with this last quote from this very informative book. If your marriage is in trouble, I suggest you give Project Everlasting a read. At the very least, I believe it will inspire you.
They were brave enough and determined enough to work through those failures and, for the most part, fix them. The true beauty of lifelong marriage isn’t expressed in the measure of gushy-gushy affection these senior citizens were able to emit for us on the couch, but rather in the history of their courage. As they showed time and time again, lifelong love is not for the faint of heart.