Relationships take work. If you don’t like the job requirements, then don’t even bother applying for a position.

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Not sure where I found this article, but I am sharing here because it sums up perfectly:

ARE YOU WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER?

During a seminar, a woman asked,” How do I know if I am with the right person?

The author then noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so he said, “It depends. Is that your partner?” In all seriousness, she answered “How do you know?” Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind replied the author.

Here’s the answer.

Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called “falling” in love.  People in love sometimes say, “I was swept of my feet.”Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown.

The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the person you found. People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later.

Because (listen carefully to this):

The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it’s learning to love the Person you found.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know

WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.

Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws Of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.

Love is therefore a “decision”. Not just a feeling.

Remember this always: God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO!

 

Marital Advice:

#1 Marry your best friend, and for the right reasons. If you marry in puppy love, you’ll lead a dog’s life. There WILL be a time when you think “What the heck have I done?”. That is when you learn true commitment, and that lust, convenience or ‘social obligations’ won’t necessarily last.
God, family, career — in that order! ~ Mary Kay Ash
Romance needs to be rekindled constantly. Always remember the reasons you fell in love in the first place.
Honesty, Trust, Acceptance, Compromise, Respect, Honor, BALANCE… you need them all!! Money can be fleeting and undependable, you will need the basic virtues, not money, to get you through the low times.
Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty. You marry each other, not your families. You have each other to live out your fantasies with, within reason, but that is your business LOL! 🙂
Say “I love you” at least once a day, and mean it when you say it. You both need to hear it, always. But you also need to love yourself first before expecting someone else to.
Back in the Victorian era, people courted for at least a year before marriage. There were good reasons for that. Iron out the quirks a bit first. You will have the rest of your lives together, no need to rush anything 🙂 Love is not gazing at each other, but looking outward in the same direction.
Dont go to bed mad. If you are mad and must speak, holds hands, look each other in the eye, THEN speak. Take a time out when possible, but set a time to reconnect.
FORGIVE yourself, and your partner. Forgetting is hard to do, but at least deal with it and let it go. Blaming bitterness serve no one.
Take responsibility for YOUR OWN mistakes. Let go of guilt for anything else.
Communication!!! The most common reason for marital failure is lack of communication.
You may be married, but keep your individuality as well. Molding into each other too much only makes you take each other for granted. Opposites attract, but can also repel. Differences can be what keeps the spark alive.
Hugs and flowers fix most things. When you want to run, that is probably when she needs hugs the most. Respect each others space as well though. Hugs and flowers also make nice random surprises for no reason at all 🙂
You still need time with your guy friends. Keep a regular date with them as well as dates with your wife. Let her have girl time too 🙂
When kids come into the picture, try Mr Mom for a FULL day once in a while.
Everyone will want to give you advice. Take what works for YOU, keep some for later reference. TOSS THE REST! Judgemental and bitter people do not give good advice 🙁

I read a book in 2009 called “Sacred Marriage”. Quite interesting. These are my notes:

Why do people get married? What is the purpose for marriage? What makes a happy relationship?

The exclusive intimate relations is number one for many. What happens when physical ailments or old age come into play?
Kids? They grow up and move away. What is left then? Having someone special in your life all the time? Ya… but does that last? What happens on one of your grumpy mornings when he/she has left the toothpaste cap off for the millionth time? Or that fateful morning when you wake up and roll over and think.. what the hell have I done??

Hollywood seems to have really changed that whole ‘soul mate’ thing… everyone is now searching for that someone special to send them head over heels in love. But is that really what it is all about? Makes for good movies anyway.

Before emotions get in the way and your head gets in a tizzy, there should be more to it. Marriage is a contract to be kept forever.. til death doth part us. So.. how do you go into a contract like that and make it last when you are putting your entire life on the line. Your future happiness and everything?

The secret behind finding someone special is to find someone in line with your life’s purpose first and let the emotions come later… and they will when it is RIGHT 🙂

I started contemplating some thoughts on marriage in a note back on July 16th 2009. Why do people have the desire to spend their lives with someone when quite honestly, no two people are really compatible and this puts people in the vulnerable position of having their heart ripped out by a chainsaw when things go wrong????? I have since started reading a book called Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.
Book reports were never my strong point, but I am really enjoying this book and would like to share some points from my reading so far. I highly recommend reading this one.

-What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?
-By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher. ~Socrates
-Like everything which is not the involuntary result of fleeting emotion but the creation of time and will, any marriage, happy or unhappy, is infinitely more interesting than any romance, however passionate. ~W.H. Auden
-Hollywood has distorted the idea of love to the point that we now think love should always be passionate and romantic. People give up too easily now and bail out when things get rough… but that is where true love and commitment flourish and grow. Many don’t take the time to get that far.
-Romantic love has no elasticity to it. It can never be stretched; it simply shatters.
-If the purpose of marriage was simply to enjoy an infatuation and make me ‘happy’, then I’d have to get a ‘new’ marriage every 2-3 years.
-Much of the dissatisfaction of marriage comes from expecting too much from it. (We expect our spouse to fill a place where we were designed for only God to fill).
-(Marriage) is the merciless revealer, the great white searchlight turned on the darkest places of human nature. ~Katherine Anne Porter
-Augustine (A.D. 354-430) suggested there are 3 benefits of marriage: offspring, Faith (fidelity), and sacrament. Of the 3 benefits he clearly points to the latter (sacrament) as the greatest. This is because it is possible to be married without offspring or faith, but it is not possible to be (still) married without indissolubility, which is what a sacrament points toward. Sticking it out becomes vitally important.
-In a man centered view, we will maintain our marriage as long as our earthly comforts, desires and expectations are met. In a God centered view, we preserve our marriage because it brings glory to God and points a sinful world to a reconciling creator.
-There are exceptions for divorce. Marital unfaithfulness, when one spouse isn’t a believer, or when there is a danger of staying together (violence). It serves no one to become fixated on the mistakes of the past. (good for me to let go of the guilt of 2 failed marriages?)
-If married only for happiness, and happiness wanes for whatever reason, one little spark will burn the entire forest of the relationship.
-Marriage creates a climate where love is put to the greatest test. Love must be ACQUIRED. Katherine Anne Porter writes: Love must be learned and learned again and again; there is no end to it. Hate needs no instruction, but waits only to be provoked.
-Contempt is born when we fixate on our spouses weaknesses. Every spouse has these sore points. if you want to find them, without a doubt you will. if you want to obsess about them, they’ll grow, but YOU WON’T.
-Marriage virtually forces us into the intense act of reconciliation.
-Dissension is a major prayer killer. The institution of marriage is designed to force us to become reconcilers. Thats the only way we’ll survive spiritually.
-Marriage is the operation by which a womans vanity and a mans egotism are extracted without anesthetic. ~Helen Rowland
-Behind every case of marital dissatisfaction lies unrepented sin. Couples don’t fall out of love so much as they fall out of repentance. Sin, wrong attitudes, and personal failures that are not dealt with slowly erode the relationship, assaulting and eventually erasing the once lofty promises made in the throes of an earlier (and less polluted) passion. many marriages end in divorce largely because one or both partners are running from their own revealed weakness as much as they are running from something they cant tolerate in their spouse.
-The mature response is not to leave; its to change… ourselves!
-German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche suggested that marriage is a long conversation, urging us therefore to marry a friend.
-Marriage is a journey that never really ends but takes at least the span of a decade for the sense of intimacy to really display itself.
-The secret is that regardless of what others do to us, even if they betray us in the most intimate sense, God can use the occasion to draw us closer into his heart and others to him as well.
-It makes no difference if you married the ‘right’ person. you made the vows and over time they do become the right person. Create a history together that is enriching, meaningful and laden with passion.
-Because marriage, more than any other relationship, reflects Gods involvement with us and bears more potential to draw our hearts to heaven, it can more readily give us a taste of hell. ~Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III
-Beauty is often birthed in struggle. Struggle makes us stronger; it builds us up and deepens our faith. But this result is achieved only when we face the struggle head on, not when we run from it.
God doesn’t protect Christians from their problems- He helps them walk victoriously THROUGH their problems.
-A good marriage is not something you find, its something you work for. It takes struggle. You must crucify your selfishness. You must at times confront and at times confess. The practice of forgiveness is essential. This is undeniably hard work, but eventually pays off. It creates a relationship of beauty, trust and mutual support.
-A difficult marriage may not cause us to grow. We have to apply ourselves to understanding, love, patience and a pursuit of virtue. We cant control how our spouse will act, but we can control how we will act and respond. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
-When a girl marries, she exchanges the attentions of all the other men of her acquaintance for the inattention of just one. ~Helen Rowland.
-One researcher found that the average married couple actively communicates on average just 27 minutes per week, and that they exchange the most words on their 3rd date and the year before the divorce.
-The opposite of biblical love isn’t hate, its apathy.
-Sorrow can set us free if we let it. (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)
-Abe Lincolns difficult marriage prepared him for greatness.
-Struggling successfully and profitably brings about a deeper joy than even trouble free living.
-God created us in such a way that we need struggle to stay alive. Challenge is what keeps us seasoned. But to be profitable, our struggle must have purpose and it must be productive.


A response received after I posted this topic:

I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your little posts and thoughts – especially the ones on religion. I have found it very difficult to find other religious people – especially ones who like to post lovely little insightful quotes and bible passages.

I really enjoyed your post today on marriage.. .I think that one of the biggest problems with society today is that we have lost one of the main reasons for marriage- the sacramental part of it. Because so many people are no longer religious, they have lost that part of their marriage… and so that when all you have left is sex and children… and many people do not want to have children.

So, what are you left with then? Sex, and when it becomes less interesting there ends up being no reason to really stay together.

Of course, I am very thankful that I do not think that way… marriage is very important to me and to my partner. 🙂

So, really, all this rambling and I just want to say thank you! 😀 ~ From A. T. August 10, 2009


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