the ideal marriage

When I am at a wedding, I can’t help but wonder what the bride and groom are thinking their married life will be like at that point. For most, wedding day is like entering a fairy tale, leaving everyday reality behind. All the hard work and preparations pay off, and the ceremony is beautiful (although YouTube might tell us differently).

Then the reception… and the honeymoon… and then the reality. A new reality. Thoughts about what married life would be like quickly collide with this new reality.

For many folks, after the honeymoon glow fades, the ideal marriage they dreamed of is just that- a dream. That vanished. Okay, check that. For everyone at some point, the ideal marriage is gone. Now what?

I’d like you to consider a different kind of ideal marriage than you once envisioned.

I want you to consider an achievable ideal marriage. This is the marriage that makes it until “death do us part,” and that parting is not a relief but the deepest sorrow. It is the marriage that others look at with respect and admiration even though they know the tough times you endured. It is the marriage that gives the kids and grandkids a lifelong stability that provides them more than words can express.

The achievable ideal marriage is the one where joys and fulfillment far outweigh hurts and disappointments. Your spouse will never be perfect, and there is not a perfect future spouse waiting if you decide to divorce. There will be pain, and there will be joy.

The achievable ideal marriage happens when:

  • You lower the expectations you place on our spouse and raise those you place on yourself. Yes, you have a right to expect certain things from your spouse, because you made vows to each other. And, if you choose to move your mindset from what you’re going to get to what you’re going to give, you could very well raise the satisfaction level in your marriage.
  • You speak to the deepest needs of your spouse. Your spouse (and you) really wants to know two things: a) will you accept me? And b) will you care for me? Men need to be respected, and women need to be valued and cherished. We’re just wired that way. To speak to those needs, refer to the previous point.
  • You have a soft heart for your spouse. If you are willing to address your expectations and give your spouse what s/he needs, soft hearts are a natural outcome.

While this is simple stuff, I realize this is not easy stuff. This is also deep stuff. And the ideal achievable marriage is definitely worth the stuff.

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