May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer– may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.
Proverbs 5:18-19 (NIV)
I’ve found that men usually hesitate to talk, willingly or otherwise, preferring to steer away from intense communication. It was the case in most of my relationships and it was definitely the case in my marriage. Things would lie dormant, then fester and fester, like mold silently but consistently growing on old cheese. When we finally discussed the issue, it would have grown from a dust ball into a mountain that could not be climbed far less surmounted. And then over time, it became too late; too late to recover from the everything that had led to nothing.
As they say, looking back is 20/20 vision and I believe we both could have behaved differently … but we didn’t. So I look to the future now, and my gaze embraces our 16 year old son, who must be taught the lessons I learnt – the hard way. That’s why I’ll be sharing this message below written by Gerald Rogers, a man divorced after 16 years of marriage. I have to let Nathan know that as Gerald says:
“In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.”
Then I’m going to share these 20 tips from Gerald, and hope that my son takes them to heart. And maybe, just maybe, he and his wife will have a better chance of living happily ever after … instead of becoming another divorce statistic.
MARRIAGE ADVICE I WISH I WOULD HAVE HAD: by Gerald Rogers
Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had…
- Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted.
- Protect your own heart.
- Fall in love over and over again.
- Always see the best in her.
- It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing.
- Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad.
- Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU.
- Allow your woman to just be.
- Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh.
- Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED.
- Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul.
- Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul.
- Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she.
- Give her space.
- Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together.
- Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share.
- Never stop growing together.
- Don’t worry about money.
- Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage.
- Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE.
But what’s your take on this? Are you divorced? If you could turn back the clock and do things differently, would you? Did you feel as though you were ‘clapping with one hand’ in your relationship i.e. it just wasn’t working? And what have you learnt? Tell us … because your story could just as easily be our story.