We are celebrating thirty years of marriage soon, and many acquaintances and friends have asked, “What’s your secret?”
There are probably many that we never even think about, from being aware of each others’ Myers-Briggs personality profile from the beginning through recent decisions to live “an extraordinary life” together.
But I will share with you one piece of wisdom that my wonderful father-in-law shared with me on my wedding day.
He and Mom had been married for many decades even then, and when he passed away, they had been married for more than fifty years. They never lost the romance, fun, and regard for each other, and so as I danced with Dad on my wedding day dance floor, I asked him, “What is your secret to so many years of success in your relationship?”
He got very serious (which was unusual for this outgoing, incredibly charming, impish man) and said, “Don’t ever call each other names. You can’t ever take them back.”
That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? One straightforward action you can take to increase your odds of a long-lasting, wonderful marriage. Who wouldn’t take that advice?
I took it in and thought about it, and decided to build on it.
If you wouldn’t call your spouse names…that was a good start…but what if you actually flipped that and determined you would go further? What if you got in the habit of actively saying good things about your spouse, both internally and externally? What positive ripples could occur over time in your relationship?
No guarantees, mind you, but three decades later I am still discovering and talking about the wonderful facets of my husband. I am still appreciating and cherishing his love, romance, intellect, humor, sense of fun, and willingness to keep our life together exciting. And I know he talks about me the same way. We are each other’s greatest treasure.
I think that is something worth striving for, don’t you?
No matter whether you are contemplating marriage, are a newlywed or are decades into your wedded relationship, please remember you have this amazing power.
The power to look for and at the positive; the power to choose to speak about the positive; and most importantly the power to choose to build instead of tearing down that person you love.
Your choice. Your power.
Will this fix a relationship that is broken, lop-sided or abusive?
Most likely not, and that is something for a counselor to help with. But if you are in a fairly healthy, happy relationship already, this choice has the potential to pole vault you into a wonderful place where you cherish and are cherished. It isn’t a quick transformation, but it happens and when it happens, it becomes a part of your future and your happiness.
Hey, worth a try, right?
As for us, my friends, we are going for the GOLD!