Despite all the millions of articles, studies, advice, and other “stuff”, it is not rocket science; staying happily married is much easier when you are true to the 7 vows I will share with you. And I warn you: if you see yourself failing in any of these 7 vows, you either have intensive work to do, or you should not be married! I will add that the success of the traditional vows we take on the day we marry – each of those vows – are made possible by these 7 vows.
Much in life is about honesty. I must be honest with me, and you must be honest with you. In general, when we begin right there, we are off to a solid start. In fact, the chances are good that when we start from being entirely honest, we will be “in alignment” with our motives, our goals, and building abundance. Most of our religions are based in honesty; without honesty, where is love?
Is it not true that as a species of life on this planet, humans tend to make things too complicated? Well, we tend to carry this over into our personal worlds and our relationships! Once again, it’s not rocket science! We must do what makes sense (as opposed to ‘common sense’).
So aside from starting out with honesty, what are the 7 vows to a happy marriage?
Step 1: Start by being sure you are truly in love.
Marriage is not about great sex or how another person makes us feel physically. These are byproducts of being truly in love. I believe that people have a tendency to make the mistake of not being sure that they are really in love, before moving forward towards marriage. Perhaps this factor more than any other is why marriages fail.
Step 2: Make an honest commitment to a healthy marriage.
Does either person do drugs or drink too much alcohol? Is there the possibility of a serious mental disorder? Are both people in the relationship committed to reasonable health and stability? Now I’m not saying that an addiction to McDonald’s food will condemn a marriage. I am saying that each person must know the other one well enough to share a healthy compatibility. Further, I am saying that it is best when both people in the relationship openly discuss building on a healthy foundation and a commitment to keeping the relationship on healthy ground.
Step 3: Realize you are both on the same side. What more need I say on this point?
Step 4: Communicate incessantly, using a language of love from the energy of passion.
Arguably (excuse the pun), communication is the most challenging responsibility we have to our fellow humans on a long-term basis. Let’s face it: it’s incredibly hard to communicate consistently, day after day, with the same people, and with strong effectiveness! Even so, it is clear that the best relationships have communication in common. This is probably the second highest reason that marriages fail. When communication fails, barriers go up, relationships become weakened.
But marriages require a unique language, a special form of communication, a language of love. This means so much more than simply making it a point to talk about things and work things out. A language of love from the energy of passion means paying attention not only to the words we say and the actual content, but also how we share our thoughts and feelings. Our body language says a lot, as do our eyes and facial expressions. A language of love from the energy of passion means paying careful attention to always speak with respect, dignity, and concern for the other person. We must think carefully and be proactive in our language, as opposed to reactive.
Step 5: Be attentive: all the little things count.
Gents, do you open the door for her? Do you let her go first? Do you listen when she has a complaint about you leaving your smelly socks on the floor? Do you say, “Excuse me” when you belch? Are you attentive to her needs? Do you ask her how she feels? Do you tease her affectionately and in healthy ways? Do you stop yourself from reacting badly (in any given situation) and remain calm, forcing your self to listen or communicate or do the right thing? Okay, I think I made my point.
Ladies, do you assume he understands you (in any situation)? Do you get frustrated and stop communicating? Do you make allowances for the fact that men come from a different planet? Do you ask him to help you out more, instead of just wishing he would? Do you make a conscious effort to include him in your personal world (like painting your toenails, for example)?
Although I have split this into the historically traditional roles of men and women – just for the sake of literary convenience and artistic license – please understand that these points apply to all people in all love relationships; these questions apply to men and women equally, and individuals in same sex relationships too! My intent is simply to illustrate some points. I considered placing this comment at the opening of this article, and then decided it fit better at this point.
Step 6: Tell her/him you love her/him at least twice each day.
This is another point that needs no further discussion. Just do it.
Step 7: Treat each other like absolute gold.
Cherish the other person above all else and be sure that you tell them and demonstrate it to them continually and consistently…till death do you part.
The one last item that keeps popping up in the back of my mind is about the implementation and application of all of these vows. It is difficult – if not entirely impossible – to ‘go back and fix it’. In our relationships, we cannot drop the proverbial ball. When you fall out of love, there is a definite reason. I believe that where there is true love and commitment, it is our individual and mutual responsibility – to that testament of love – to make these 7 vows our daily and hourly natural practice. I wish you the best of lifelong love.
I will close by adding one of my favorite quotes from the awesome, Mr. Zig Ziglar: “If you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag.“