Yesterday was our 24th wedding anniversary. Here are a few observations I have on marriage.
1. Marry for love, and marry for good conversation. Marriage is one long conversation, and if you don’t like who you’re talking to, it can be very painful.
2. Forgive your spouse. It’s hard to be perfect all the time, and a little forgiveness goes a long way.
3. Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy. Make yourself happy, bring 100% to the table, and then enjoy each other’s company. Only then can you reap the benefits of a mature relationship.
4. Develop your own interests and friends. Not everything needs to be a joint effort. Individuality is still important. It’s knowing when to let go of the “me” and become a “we” that leads to a succesful union. Marriage need not obliterate the true you. If done right, it will enhance each partner’s good qualities and diminish any negative ones.
5. Laugh at yourself, laugh at your partner, and above all else, laugh together.
6. Do not compete with your partner. You are a team – it’s you against the world. A true partnership is a merger that acknowledges a bond greater than the sum of its parts, yet inherently recognizes that there are individual players in the mix. You are an emotional, economic, and spiritual team. Cheer yourselves on, and always support your teammate.
7. Lastly, love your partner unconditionally. It is only with unconditional love that we can be secure in our relationship. Thank your spouse for the little things, and don’t question the bigger picture.
One of my favorite lines is from Sleepless in Seattle, when Annie’s brother Dennis says “Annie, when you’re attracted to someone, it just means that your subconscious is attracted to their subconscious, subconsciously. So what we think of as fate is just two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match.”
I found my perfect match.