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Monday, April 23, 2012

Marriage Advice From a Divorcee? You Bet!

It may seem I am the absolute wrong person to be dispensing marital advice, but actually, I may be one of the best! There's nothing like failing to teach you. And while technically, my marriage did fail, it also lasted 20 years and produced three amazing children. Not exactly an epic fail.

The thing is, having had it not work out in the happily-ever-after way, has taught me a lot.I think we often learn more from the things that don't work out than do.

As a singleton I watch the interaction of couples all the time. Of course, just like being the perfect parent when you don't have kids, the fact that I'm not married, and not currently co-habitating with a guy it's probably a bit easy to think I've got some insights. But I think I really do!

Yesterday I woke up and jotted down the following list on my iPhone. Take what you like, ignore or mock the rest, but maybe, just maybe it will get you thinking about what's important and what's not.

Don't be anyone but yourself
Don't try to control anyone else
Do have your own life and passion
Do treat your partner with the same kindness and respect you do your other close friends
Do listen
Do talk - but listen!
Do show up - literally and metaphorically
Don't take everything personally -  it's not always all about you
Do have a sense of humor
Don't shame or scold

Do be thoughtful
Do allow yourself to need someone
Do have sex - the more you have the more you want and the closer you are.
Do catch your partner doing something right - and tell them!
Don't expect someone else to make you complete or happy
Do come from a place of gratitude
Do be clear about what you need - no "oh, never mind..." talk
Don't shut down or freeze out
Do give each other space
Do be each others' champion
Don't let yourself go- fit, healthy people are happier and have more sex which equals happiness!
Don't hold grudges. Let things go.
Do choose to be happy yourself. Unhappy people have unhappy relationships.

That's all I got. The rest is up to you. I don't necessarily believe all relationships are supposed to last forever, but as long as you're together, be kind and remember this is someone you love. Or once loved. So be nice.

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