The Marriage Manifesto: Couples Advice For The Rest of Us

Consider this required reading if you think you will ever get married. Follow This Advice And You Won't Just Be Lucky In Love, You'll Live A Life Being Loved.

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Sarah Allen of Delaware & Lars Hindsley in Central Park on the Mall

The Marriage Manifesto & Couples Advice

If you are thinking of marriage. Read this. Your Future Depends On It.

Marriage is a business contract few realize you sign without ever putting pen to paper. The moment you say “I do.” You both share every asset you both independently purchase from that moment forward. Imagine the implications. Few do.

Now take this advice anyone considering marriage should know. This advice comes from perspective. Years of understanding marriage from the inside.

Many consider divorce an option. Now that you know so much at stake, isn’t a better option to just marry the right person? After all, if you do marry the right person, love itself will be your grand prize.

The fact is when you marry someone they give up their life for you.

Do You Have a Plan For Your Life?

Before I was married I had a plan. I had a theory. Live a single life to its fullest without envying those who are married. Admire them, but don’t envy them.

I knew not to want marriage until I knew I wanted it for the rest of my life.

It was a great plan. It served me well. But I lacked so much more knowledge. If Only I had the following advice…

Two Lifestyles That Cannot Coexist

These were two different lifestyles that could never co-exist and the best way for me to live without regret was to live as a single man and then a married man without wanting to be the other. The day I married I never looked back and my mind was always in the right place about love and how I respected it.

The day I married, I had no fear, no hesitation. It was a wonderful day. It was the day I knew I’d never spend another day alone.

That is the optimism you must be mentally in tune with or you simply are not ready for marriage. You would think this is all the advice I would need. I could end there. This was  the end of marriage advice I gave to myself. Fortunately for you, it’s only the beginning.

Love and marriage should come along and wreck your selfish ways

Marriage Is An Astounding Gift

The person who you intend to marry has entered into the mental model, they now dedicate their life to you. This means they decide that the days they live and life time of moments they could be sharing with someone else — are in fact given only to you. This is a great gift. You can call it a great sacrifice, it is a gift.

Both of you should recognize this before you begin. You will certainly understand it later. It is rarely understood before a marriage begins.

You Have History No One Else Can Claim

Give this a lot of thought before you marry. When you marry, you create history with the person you are with.  The person you love will share that same history with you. It binds you eternally.  No one else can claim those moments, those memories and those sentiments you build together.

Divorce Is A Need Not A Want

In the end, you must never think of divorce as a solution to any marital problem. It should only come about because it has to, not because you want to.

So many consider divorce as equal act to marriage. They are not equal. Marriage is the dedication of a life, divorce cannot undo that commitment. It will create a hardship for everyone involved, from the two of you, to children, family, extended family, friends, co-worker, and acquaintances. Understand the value of the commitment you are making before you enter into it.

Don’t consider this a trite analogy. You are not taking your bat and ball and going home. Divorce requires digging up an entire stadium.

You Must Love You First Is A Requirement In Marriage

Are you at peace with yourself? Don’t you dare commit to someone because you need them to fix your internal problems. The first rule in psychology is learning to love thyself.  Before you can love anyone you must love yourself. Do not try and solve your problems through someone else.

Be sure you are at peace with your own life. In some way this is what love should do. Love and marriage should come along and wreck your selfish ways. You should want to give up your own desires to equally meet the needs of someone beyond you.

While standard convention communicates that this is primarily a man’s role, it’s not. This really is a two way street. But before you can get to the point of caring selflessly about others, you should be really happy with your own life.

Do you put someone else in the position of being your reason for happiness? Find your own path. Traveled down it first. Sure, if you are older, this becomes harder to accept because you feel flaws are part of everyone, but you still must find yourself and traveling that path first is no less true.

Couples Lie Answering Yes I’m Ready

The basics stand out — have you sown your wild oats?

Do you have family values? Do you have unfinished business in life in terms of career goals, do you have the maturity within yourself to answer to someone else full time? These are basic tenants for being ready to marry.

Yet can anyone be asked if they are ready and actually consider it without saying to themselves,  “Screw it, I love this person, I’m marrying them!” Love is a Dangerous language.

Harmony & Common Ground

Harmony is predicated on differences. Does this really need to be defined? It means, appreciating the differences between you two. You don’t work well together despite your differences, you work well together because of your differences.

Harmony is —  the differences between you which bind you together.

So it makes sense to have some differences to bind you.

You should have things in common. Not simply the same musical tastes, or sharing the same interests in books, or even some personal interest like yoga or skating.  With common ground, it is the vital things that matter.

Do you both want children? Do you both want to settle down in the same place or does one of you yearn to live in another state? Will one of you have a career that keeps you away from your spouse more hours of the day than other couples and does that work for you?  Get these wrong and you may find your marriage is broken before it has begun.

What if you both move to another state? Are you capable of making new friends or do you think you’ll miss your old friends? Do you both have the same sexual needs?  Sadly, this can be real serious. You can have sex drive, but what if she has sex overdrive? While these things don’t destroy marriages, they can if you don’t come to terms with them. Seeds grow into something unforeseen.

Sarah Allen of Delaware & Lars HindsleyThe Writing Is Often On The Wall

Look at your current relationship now. Read the handwriting on the wall. It shouldn’t take a marriage advice article to see what is before you. What if now when you are sick, she has no interest in caring for you? You could compartmentalize this, but take a step further. Does she also insists you always care for her when she is sick? Is this the person to grow old with? Sometimes it’s just maturity. Then there are those who are just what they are — always.

These things can be harmonious if you are accepting of these terms in advance. To establish harmony, you should get to know the person you are with.

Be Lucky In Love

If you are lucky you find a soul mate. If you find this person, done deal.

Not a bit of this advice will matter as everything you do and think will be in harmony.

May we all find a soul mate, a kindred. So many of us find this person but our immaturity in life allows that one perfect person to evade us early on. We can spend a lifetime looking back thinking,  “They were the one.”

Don’t let that be you.

If you find this person, everything you do from there foreword will fall into place. You’ll consider each other’s career goals and help each other achieve your dreams.  You’ll both know you want the same things, you’ll both know that in life it is you two against the world and you two can take on the world and win, flat out.

The Couple That Plays Together

Most of us don’t find our soulmate, but we do find someone we love. In real life, we don’t all get to be football players, rock stars, born into money or marry it.

In real life we find someone we care about, someone we can turn to when everyone else doesn’t understand or care. We have normal jobs that we may or may not wish we had but know the bills must be paid and we don’t get to do all the things some other person on TV does.

Real Life

The person we love or grow to love doesn’t have all the answers; they don’t always look perfect or live perfect. We get married and find over the years we change. What was important in year two of marriage is far different than what was important in year nine. Imagine what can happen by year twenty!

How many of us get that far?

This is why you receiving this advice. In the end, all that binds us is our friendship and respect for each other. Our history binds us, and if you are fortunate, your children bind you.

Outside of intimacy the one thing that can bind you for life is to do things together. Perhaps you can’t always be taking dance lessons (not for life), but you can continue to consciously know if you two are to be lovers for life — do things together.

Never Stop Dating. Even after children, take each other out. There has to be time where you are completely out of the elements and able to tune in to each other.

Take trips without the children, and of course take trips with the children. Find interests you can share, if you can team up great, but that is not key. Some couples play tennis together, others go hiking, you may only wish to read side by side in bed — something can be enough but make a conscious effort to do so.

You will only grow apart if you both neglect your friendship or if only one of you is fostering that friendship between you. Either way, you can only maintain or restore love by doing things together.

Touch

This one is so simple. Just touch each other. Imagine how crazy in love you are this person now, do you think it is possible you could not want to be touched later in life by this person? It happens to people. But if you just never stop, you’ll always be close. You have to want it. Remember how important your touch is. From holding hands when walking into a store to simply sitting next to each other on the couch and putting your arms around each other. Don’t stop touching.

Will They Be There For You?

You must have the confidence that when the chips are down and not a soul on this planet will be there for you, that your husband or wife will be there for you. Envision this now, as if it really has happened.

You’ve lost your job and means of income. Maybe you’ve been injured, maybe anything. But whatever happened you just wound up face down in the dirt. Will they stand by you and for how long?

Do you think they are the sort that will replace you with someone just like you but currently on their feet, or will they opt to stay right by your side because that on the inside, they value you. They know there is nowhere else they’d rather be than with you as you embark on the journey back up the hill to the top. Perhaps there is no journey back to the top, only a journey where you to stand back to back looking out for each other from there on out. You need to test this concept in your mind and know that the person you are with truly cares about you.

Suffer The Children

If you want children, and I can highly recommend them, there is a time to have children and it is not when you can financially afford them. I expect one day my own son’s to read this and you should know — you were my reason I pushed myself and picked myself up when life was not fair. Your existence alone is the best motivator to never give up and I thank you for it.

Children bind you as wife and husband together. Children alone can give you both a common interest, let alone great times as a family which offers you history to reflect warmly on.

You should not have children if you or your partner is not in harmony. If there is jealousy, contempt or any form of negative energy you must know that after your child is born, they will be subject to it. Do you want that for them?

Better not to bring a life into this world that will not know or understand love. Life is never this easy, many of us just want a child for the sake of having one, if you are with someone like that, think of your future and the child’s future. Imagine what is to come and seriously consider the consequences.

In short, only bring a child into this world that you absolutely know will be entering a world of loving parents — that love each other.

Advice Which Can Only Serve As Warning Of What Is To Come

Be prepared that children will change your relationship — knowing this ahead will help you deal with it when it happens. Once you have a child your priorities change, both as an individual and as a couple. It’s inevitable…what once was a 1 to 1 ratio is now a 2 to 1 relationship.

Learning to balance your priorities, your wants, and your needs with that of your partners is difficult enough, add a child who is completely dependent upon you into the mix and you’ve got your work set out for you.

They key to making it work, to keeping your relationship strong once kids are in the picture is to realize the dynamics of your relationship have changed and that a child should enrich this relationship.

Never look at your child as a roadblock to what you want to do as an individual or as a couple, but realize you made a conscious decision to care for this person as part of your life and part of your relationship.

Be careful balance the needs of your child with those of your partner.  It is important that your husband/wife know that he/she is just as important to you as your child.  It is a difficult task to NOT create a pecking order of responsibilities where your significant other always falls to the bottom.

Yes, children will change your life and your relationship, but it is like entering phase two of that life together. This stage should be valued and cherished and never resented.  How many parents do you know that have said — well, once the kids are gone we’ll get our lives back? Hopefully, it’s said in jest, but ultimately, if you don’t have a strong relationship your children can contribute to the rift that can divide you as a couple.

Own Your Actions

So many couples find themselves in disagreements where a conversation turns accusatory.  If you’ve been an avid reader of my blog, you know I reference looking in the mirror and asking yourself if you like what you see. Apply this logic to the problems or differences you may eventually find yourself in.

Take responsibility means look at you. Don’t blame your partner for your unhappiness. Don’t blame the person you love for you not feeling loved IF they are obviously in the relationship!  See the broader picture here; they are with you because you are loved.  If you decide one day they are not enough and you need more, don’t blame them.  You obviously were unfulfilled in the first place and you put your partner in a position they can’t win.

A good example would be something I call “blame shifting”.  It is when the person you are with is incapable of accepting responsibility for their actions and instinctively makes you the reason for their mistake.

Remember this is someone having an affair then blaming their unhappiness on you. This is a worst case example. Let’s consider a small daily occurrence. For instance your partner leaves the lights on in the closet all day.

You say to them, “You left the lights on in the closet all day.” 

They answer, “I was leaving them for you. I expected you to use the closet next. What is your problem? Can’t you change your clothes?” 

You answer, “I put my clothes out last night. You can see I’m not wearing the same clothes from yesterday.” 

In the end, they refused to take responsibility. Another example is if you say to your spouse…

”I have a headache”. 

They reply, “Oh yeah, well I have a headache and you gave it to me!”

Yes, the latter has happened to me.

When someone wants to blame shift, you can’t win the discussion or make a point. You need counseling to fix this should you find yourself in this cycle. Because it is a cycle that must be broken in order to return to a positive spiral in your relationship. If this is you, you must break that cycle in your life or you will breed contempt in the person you intend to marry or are married to.

Blame shifting is something you cannot do if you want the ongoing respect of your partner.  If you don’t take responsibility for your own words, actions and behaviors, your partner will understand this and most likely know not to confront you.

Sadly this will enable you to continue to blame shift and NOT take responsibility for your own words, actions and behaviors.

This “enabling” will actually be fulfilled by your partner who doesn’t want to “fight” with you and in an effort to avoid trouble or arguments make it so you learn to continue to blame shift or not take responsibility putting you in a negative spiral in your relationship.

If you are the receiving end of a blame shifter, understand that on a whole this type person never takes responsibility for their own actions. To a blame shifter it is always someone else’s fault. A blame shifter will begin a relationship with statements such as “you make me happy”, consequently they will later make you the cause of their unhappiness. There is a term for such a person, abusive.

You need counseling and if you are not married, move on.  Don’t attempt to fix this person as you will spend a lifetime doing so. I don’t know of anyone that is satisfied with that type existence. I don’t want to come off as negative about relationships. My intention is to help you in advance. These warning signs a real.

Know Why You Are Loved

Have you ever asked someone when first dating them this question, “Why did you ask me out?” Or “What did you see in me?” or even, “What attracted you to me?”  We ask these questions with good reason. It’s not affirmation or validation. It’s bigger than that.

As I have no daughters but I may have grandchildren that are girls one day, here is some vital advice. Know why you are loved.

If you are beautiful, that is a big draw for a man.  There is a saying I’ve come to know… It’s not how you get the job it’s how you keep the job.  Well the same goes for you with catching a guy that may not be best suited for you all because he was drawn to your outward beauty.

I could ask a simple question of you. Is he drawn to your inner beauty too? But that is way too easy an answer. The reality is you must know that what he loves about you is well beyond your looks or image.

I’ve spoken about how important friendship is and that bonds you, but that friendship must be based on something of substance. His draw to you must be based on much much more than looks.  If even for only one other reason, there has to be at least something more than your beauty.

You must know in your heart why he loves you. And yes to the men, my children whomever is male… you too should know why she loves you. The cosmic answer of chemistry is a great start.  It can’t carry you for a lifetime. I know, I lived it. That chemistry was my undoing, at least the chemistry I felt I had for someone that ultimately was using me.  So while love is a wonderful thing in marriage, make sure your love has a foundation.  Know why the person you are with loves you …and let it more than looks. They will fade and you can ask yourself now… what will they love me for when my looks have faded?

Do You Respond Or React?

To react or respond makes all the difference in how your relationship can turn. In simplest of terms, to react is to take a negative approach to a situation (an action you had no choice in), to respond is to take a positive approach (an action you choose).

To react means you give up control, you are not ready with the right answer where as to respond means you knew in advance what to do when a situation arises.

Marriage is an emotionally driven relationship. In order to keep the one emotion you covet the most (love) from being eroded, you have to respond to situations. To respond means to not get emotional in your answers with your spouse or partner (husband, wife, fiancée).

To maintain a loving marriage you cannot allow yourself to react; not now not ever. It is a wasted, negative energy. Reacting makes you look bad too.

We can’t always have all the answers. To respond doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. In some terms a reaction is to do the same back — like a reflection of what occurred. If your spouse begins to yell at you, should you yell back? If you do, you are reacting.

If you disconnect the emotional element in your action, you will have subscribed to this higher order of thinking and respond. You will make good on your action, you will bear a responsibility for your action and do what is right.  You won’t yell, you’ll ask a question in your mind as to what the right action is to apply and you will…respond.  “Why are you yelling?”

Sometimes responding simple means not making an emotional decision or choice. In fact, sometimes responding is asking a question of a question. It doesn’t mean giving an immediate answer.

A Couple In Action Who Never Got Marriage Advice

For instance, your wife works late and your family eats before she arrives. She comes home and finds the kitchen is a mess. She insists it always be clean every night otherwise she considers un-wiped counters an insult. On this one night she comes home and the kitchen counters are not yet wiped down and some dishes are still on the table.

Instead of reacting incredulously over an unclean kitchen, she should respond to what she sees and ask, “Why?”

This allows the husband to answer or respond. The husband would explain. “We had to stop at the grocery store for food items for dinner and we got behind schedule and a business call interrupted us during clean-up.”

The wife now understands and keeps her emotions from driving her to a reaction. To respond and not react comes in many forms. It is not just an immediate conversation where you don’t know the answer. Not all people are capable of this higher order of thinking and this can ultimately lead to divorce.

Marriage Is Acceptance

We discussed that you should share similar interests, values and views in order to succeed in marriage. You’ll learn you can’t change the person you are with in order to have a marriage of harmony. But remember this, harmony is predicated on differences. Learn that your differences are what make each of you unique and that those differences give you both values to each other in that you broaden each other’s perspectives on life. What will make your marriage last is how you learn to accept the differences between you.

Be ready to accept the future.

Ultimately you must accept each other’s differences. While you may not go “Wow!  You learned to ride horses, let me learn too!” You should develop a respect for your spouse for taking up such an activity.

You must be willing to accept things that have not yet happened in your relationship before it’s begun or you are just not ready for marriage. You must learn to compromise in order to be happy with the person you are with. You may need to change your own viewpoints, but don’t try and change the person you profess to love. Another form of compromise is simply letting your husband or wife feel they’ve won and argument.  For them to save face means you both can get some sleep.

Similar Values

It stands to reason that if you both believe in god, or both put family before work, you will have a great family life. Be sure you both share the same core values; otherwise you will find that over time your difference in values will drive you apart.  Heaven forbid you have children and this comes to pass. Values are what make people worth being around period.

Don’t Marry Someone You Don’t Know

It can take some time to get to know the person you love, it could take hardly any time to get to know the person you love but the reality is you must to get to know the person you are with.

Having great sex, or feeling giddy is a great thing, but it doesn’t carry you through tough times. You must understand if they will stand by you in the worst of times.You must know if they have the same priorities in life as you.

Why marry someone that wants to move to another state when all your family lives near you and your family values dictate to your heart that you have no interest in moving? There could be so many things that make you alike or different. It takes time to know the heart of a person. You need time to allow their core personality to come out. If they don’t handle stress well, or if they are suicidal. They could be manipulative, or abusive.

Take time to learn if the person you are with really is all they seem to be in the beginning. Think about their history, are they divorced? Is the reason for it legitimate? Where there is smoke there’s fire.

Do they have love for their own family? If they have a strained relationship with their parents or want nothing to do with them, find out why.  Imagine your future with someone that can turn their back on their own family. If they can do that to blood, they can do it to you.

True Love Forgives

Now you can discount this point, but it is a big big deal in a marriage. You will have to learn to forgive the person you are with daily.  From leaving the juice out on the counter to having to pick up their towel that never made it to the hamper, or leaving you to make the bed when they got up last. It could be as unusual as forgiving them for not making you breakfast in bed when you were sick after you made them breakfast in bed when they were sick.

You will have to forgive them for attitudes such as not wanting to take care of you when you are sick, or when they don’t listen to friend and take only one of your children to a party when the friend specifically invited both.

You could deal with so many things that you can’t foresee now.  But you need to be mentally prepared. Be prepared to forgive. If you are unable to forgive, then you will hold the person you once loved so dearly in contempt. Your relationship will begin a negative spiral. Not good. Learn to forgive. Learn to truly forgive.

Inside the context of marriage forgiveness is a powerful thing. It proves how much you are capable of loving. If however both of you cannot forgive equally, this unbalance does enable the one person whom is cheating the other.

Here is classic case of needing marriage counseling. Without this balance you need an outside source to help one of you understand, accept and apply the equal forgiveness needed for respect and more. Some things may be unforgivable; I suppose those things lead to divorce. So again it is important to know just how powerful the act of forgiveness is inside the context of marriage.

Room To Live

There is no room for jealousy and there should be space. If your love is real, it doesn’t have to be “strong enough” it just needs to be real. If it is real — you should both accept that without room to be yourselves, there is nothing to come back and share with each other.

You are not joined at the hip; although some couples work better that way  —  it’s not for everyone. Realistically few can spend that much time together.

Do you honestly think a woman cares that much about football? If she loves the sport, great — but you don’t want her to have unrealistic expectations from you either, not all men love the opera. In the end, she should be able to hit the opera with her girlfriends while you are given the same room to see a football game.  And while you should both find harmony in these differences — you should both try each other’s interests out in respect for each other.

You may even like the opera, she may even like football. But whatever happens, just trust each other to be faithful in your own interests. Give each other some space.

Say You’re Sorry

Couples make the fatal mistake of not being able to say they are sorry. Modern men and women are more prideful than ever. The story of Pride and Prejudice has nothing on modern couples. If you can’t say you are sorry and mean it, then your spouse will have to learn to, otherwise neither of you will get past a single argument.

Worse is if you don’t both learn to say you are sorry, one of you will take control emotionally and use that as a weapon against the other creating an atmosphere of oppression and abuse.

Acceptance Not Change

Don’t be with someone you think you can modify or change to suit your needs. If they are not all you want now, then you will hold them in contempt later for not being just what you want.  If the man or woman you are with doesn’t like children, then you better damn well not want children otherwise that is a landmine waiting to be tripped over.

If they are a morning person and you are a night person, don’t think you can get them to sleep in. They may want you to wake up!

If you both can’t accept each other’s ways from the outset, you are going to hold them in contempt one day.

The concept was used with humor in the film Raising Arizona (1987). The husband named Hi, pleads to his wife, “H.I. junior accepts me as I am, I think ya just better had too!” 

The humor is H.I. junior is an infant.

The point here is this simple sentiment is really an ominous truth about relationships. If you can’t accept someone exactly for what they are, then why kid yourself about a future with them? If you are with someone that feel an inkling of interest in changing, you are the one with the problem. Don’t try to change your lovers dress habits beyond one attempt or voicing your opinion. If they don’t want to do something on their own.. you can’t make them. Acceptance is the moral here.

Gifts

Small things add up. Small things have meaning. From flowers to gifts given without expectation, to care for someone is to always be thinking of them, not just on birthdays or holidays. Imagine how he or she must feel to simply come home from work one day, three years into your marriage and there is a gift for no other reason but love.

Imagine the goodwill that will carry through the years. Life is long, this is the one person you have promised to love for a lifetime. Make sure they know they are worth it.

Friendship

Oh my dear friends —  to my grown children, life is long… This marriage manifesto’s bedrock is friendship.

Imagine who you are today and what it is you enjoy doing?  Now think of yourself twenty years from now. Will that still be you? Now think of who you will be years from now. Will the person you are with want you then? Will you both be alike so far into the future?

The romance of love. Some of us aim for a wedding in the woodlands

You are not just marrying for love, you are marrying for friendship. That is the key to true love.  You may hear this in circles, but it is true beyond the stars.

One day your looks will fade, there won’t be the need for sex, at least not in the way you feel it now. What will be left? A friend.

Make sure the person you marry and love is your friend. They will be the one friend you have for all your life. Consider that divorce is so easy. Do you want to lose that friend twenty years from now only to then be alone with wonder.

“How do I start again?”

Your friend should be a true friend. Feel it or know it — make sure they are a true friend in every sense of the word.

Compatibility

This is so hard to face. You have to face it. Look at the person you are in love with. Love is not always enough. Chemistry is not compatibility. You may love them, they may love you, but you need to really consider this hard truth. Are you compatible?

Thinking they are “your type” is not being compatible.

Of course you believe you are compatible with youth, or drop dead gorgeous looks, who wouldn’t think they can be compatible with a beautiful woman? You may even find you are willing to compromise your own values just to be with a beautiful person.

Here is one area I admit to be guilty of. And that is where my experience is your benefactor.  When I say I’m guilty of this, I mean I put up with things so I would be compatible with the person I was with. That is not true compatibility.

Don’t look at your needs as cause to claim compatibility. Instead understand what compatibility is on a greater level as it is the cornerstone of a truly successful marriage.

Compatibility is when two things can mix together with no negative reaction.

The key word. Two.

There are two of you, not just you. Give yourself this cursory examination. Is there a considerable age gap?  This can cause many difficulties as simple as musical tastes to complex social outlets.

You can snag on physical drawbacks to more trivial concerns like connecting on emotional needs. Even this pales to the real compatibility concerns such as social level or cultural divides. In my own experience I found that I was satisfied with the family values that kept me socially in the middle class whereas my partner wanted to elevate herself to another social class.  This bred contempt for me by no fault of my own.

There were multiple differences that made us incompatible which in the beginning I would never have thought could create a rift in our love later. There were yet other issues that made us incompatible.

While I’ve preached harmony is predicated on differences, some are beyond simple differences. They are traits and needs that make you both impractical for a lifetime together. Cultural differences come to mind. While being exposed to a new style of cooking such as Italian cuisine is a great cultural connector for you both, perhaps the oppressed nature of a Russian citizen may be impossible to overcome in a relationship.

You have to decide which type of cultural personality is compatible with your own. Use this logic on the many characteristics you both will have together. And really — five minutes with person can be all the time you ever need to get a genuine feel for if you are compatible. When in doubt, follow your instinct. There are people who have done that and wound up with the wrong person for many years.

Sex Is No Reason For Marriage

I’ve often said that sex is only two percent of a relationship, but it is a powerful two percent! This should be simple to understand. It can really impact your thinking. You find yourself forgiving a person for things way flaws. However don’t allow your sexual needs to overcome your long term needs.

Never Use The D Word

If your spouse is using the word divorce early on in marriage, they intend to divorce you sooner or later. You may as well get it over with now. You can remain as positive as light itself, but if they use this word, it means that divorce is in their head. Accepting this won’t be easy, but you’ll save yourself years lost on someone that ultimately doesn’t love you as you may think they do.  At best get yourself into counseling fast.  That may help, but speaking from experience…. You got an uphill battle. I’m not being negative, I’m being honest and telling you like it is. If they use this term before marriage, they’ve done you a favor, move on. Be with someone that thinks positive

Love Positive Energy

It’s been leading to this. Did you know that happy people make happy marriages? Positive energy is a great thing. Did you know that people can actually die of a broken heart? That is how powerful love is.

Don’t start out in a relationship or marriage were negative energy saps you of your life. If the person is not positive in nature it will be your burden to carry in the relationship. Being with someone and loving someone that is positive has countless positive effects.

You yourself should be focusing on positives too. If you look for negatives, you’ll find them. Don’t do that! Look for the positives in your lover, and be positive yourself!  If you’ve found someone dark and brooding, that can only take you so far. For what it is worth, a guy or girl can be shy or dark, yet be positive. It should show. You shouldn’t have to draw it out. You don’t need someone bubbly, just someone positive.

Settle And You Get What You Deserve

This should be basic logic that we can all act upon but oh so many of us think we can’t do better or feel we are unable to start again or whatever reason, we lack the courage to start again when we have something we just know in our hearts is not right.

The World and Marriage Has Changed For Better

Relationships Work In Spirals

Relationships spiral in two directions. They don’t lay idle. They spiral in a positive direction or they spiral in negative direction. You must be conscious of this. If your relationship is beginning a negative spiral, then you must stop that negative spiral.

You have to find something good to halt the bad and then begin the process of a loving positive spiral. The key here is to acknowledge that spirals exist and that you must be conscious of them. Don’t criticize your spouse, compliment them. Don’t criticize, compromise.

Something significant must be done to the negative to stop that forward momentum in that negative direction. It could be a time-out of sorts, it could be time away where you both reconnect, it could a number of things but it does require both of you saying,  “I want this.”

You Are Vulnerable

So now you are married. You are now one of the most vulnerable of creatures on earth. You’ve dedicated yourself to one person for life. You are counting on them to be as true in their commitment to you as you are to them. You better know the person you are with is really invested emotionally in you. Your bond better be real.

Communication Is Vital

This is a basic tenant of being in real loving marriage. You must communicate. Never expect your spouse to know what you want, or know what you meant. It’s great if you are with someone that has this ability to know what you want before you ask for it, or know what you meant despite your disjointed babble. If they don’t, then don’t blame them.

Look towards yourself to understand the solution. It is simple. If you want less butter on your toast, you have to say so. You can’t merely complain, “I want more butter on my toast.”

Consider this advice in this marriage manifesto as fair warning. You can face truths and make your life full of happiness, or go down a road that will torture you for not having followed sound advice every couple needs.

You Are Now On Your Own

With that, I set you off into that wide wide sea of eternity. It’s shorelines are your destiny. Be lucky in love.