- How do you think your new job would go if you stopped working at it once you got it?
- Regarding your kids…do you stop trying to “be a parent” once you have the baby?
- Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if you worked and earned the right to citizenship in a new country, just to spend all your time overseas?
- Or if you qualified to be on a reality TV show (Shark Tank, Biggest Loser, or Survivor) and then decided you’d reach the pinnacle of your involvement in the subject matter.
Of course all of this is nonsense. If you try to accomplish some state of being, position or status, then typically it means the beginning of something good. In fact, the excitement really begins to churn because you are now finally able to get traction. It’s no longer just talk; it’s GAME DAY…the real thing. It’s your time to shine.
Yet so many people stop short of accomplishing their best efforts inside a marriage.
They bagged the cat, tied the knot, or “got hooked to the ball and chain.” Yikes! Many idioms referring to marriage imply lack of movement, or stagnation.
Too few people who enter marriage really see it as a starting point. Rather they look on the wedding as the pièce de la résistance. So much effort goes into that big day. They invite all their friends and family, plan the event for months, and take a honeymoon to celebrate; and yet, in the life of a couple it’s just a tiny on blip on the radar.
Wouldn’t it be cool if your friends gathered together for your anniversary? Just like they do for holidays or your birthday?
Wouldn’t it be awesome if women and men made Pinterest boards dedicated to “Great Marriages” at least half as often as they do “Romantic Weddings?”
Unfortunately, the way society views marriage is somewhat disengaged. It’s like, “Congratulations. You’re on your own.” If the couple celebrates anniversaries at all, they are usually done quietly. It’s rare if anyone else even remembers the date. Even though others are happy they are still married, most of us forget to notice, let alone uphold that sacred union after the rice is swept up. We take marriage for granted.
It’s a tough world in which marriages are not given the support most people need to enjoy them to their fullest. Sometimes it even feels like a primary relationship is a secret life. Because no one asks, we assume it’s no one’s business. The only reason someone inquires about a marriage is when there’s some indication that all is not perfect.
Well, of course it’s not perfect!
If you feel like you are going it alone, with barely any enthusiasm even from the one you’re married to; all the more reason to get some good coaching tips!
Although I’m not a cheerleader for all marriages, I still think most marriages are worth encouraging. Truth is, I’m actually pretty practical and realistic about what it takes to “make it.” Keeping it real is the saving grace of most marriages. If you can’t look a day in the life of a marriage straight in the eye, for all it’s thousands of average, lackluster, but oh-so-sweet moments, then you might need a little extra boost from a couples coach.
The work is ongoing. Realizing that your work as a couple is never done is what helps some couple dig in with the dedication of an athlete preparing for the Olympics. The event itself (the actual wedding day) doesn’t really even set the stage for your life together. It’s a party…a fun, important, meaningful celebration, yes — but it’s just ONE DAY. A marriage that ends at the wedding is doomed to failure.
Preparing for Marriage
Best bets for success include:
- Talking with other successful couples. You might sit down with a married couple you admire and ask them their secrets. They’ll be honored and happy to oblige, I guarantee it.
- Getting premarital counseling. A counselor can help you walk through some issues you may feel uneasy about, and help you root out any doubts. Make sure that this is REAL counseling, not just the minimum meetings to meet the”requirements”. If there are real problems under the surface, a good counselor will see them and help you solve them (if you want to). Remember, at this stage, it’s still easy to change your mind!
- Taking marriage classes. Yes, just as first-time parents do when they are expecting their fist child! Heck, you take driver’s education classes, why not relationship education?
The effort you put into dating is important, no doubt. You’ve gotten to know the right person, and you have hopefully done some soul searching about whether this is “Mr. or Miss Right” or just “Mr. or Miss Right NOW.”
Once you walk down the aisle, the whole world awaits your best efforts. Your future kids and your best self awaits. If you love this person, invest in your relationship. You’ll be two of the smartest and rarest people on the planet.
The best side effect? Genuine happiness and a partnership that gives back way more than you put into it.
Unlike a wedding, a marriage doesn’t have a finish line. I have a dream that couples will stay as attentive to their partnership as they do to their new job, or their children. If we hold marriage up as the important cultural and societal phenomenon it is, then we will all benefit from healthy marriages everywhere.
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