Tell me the Secret to a Great Marriage

Tell me your secret.  How do you have a great marriage?  If this answer were to be given in a nutshell, many would not want to crack it open.  After carefully observing that nut, one may deduce that it is too simple.  Another may say that it is much more complex than what meets the eye.  It is a mystery!  Surely if it were straightforward, everyone would rise to the occasion and enjoy the bliss of marriage.  The philosophical mind may say it is indeed simply complex.

What do I say?

I say it is simple!

Why?  The components of a great marriage are not hidden and are not unreachable but rather available to all.

The truth we do not care to hear is that the marriage we want will cost us more than we are sometimes willing to pay. 

What will it cost, you say?

Let’s consider just one aspect of marriage…your right to be right.  Sometimes our ultimate goal in a fight is to prove that we were right.  Soaking in that victory still does not give you the feeling you want.  To be right at any cost will leave you making an enemy of your greatest ally.  So, what should your goal be in a fight?  Let’s face it! There will be fights, but you must learn to fight right.

Your goal in a fight must be for the marriage to win!! I can’t state this enough! It’s quite likely that we were not taught to do so at any point in our development.  We have instead learnt to justify our reason for being right and provide evidence, as if in a courtroom, as to why the other person is wrong.  We pull out every proof we can find to make it abundantly clear that we are right!  Then we gloat and enjoy a short-lived moment of victory.  While you’re winning, your marriage is losing.  There is now a wedge that slides in between the two.  The two who are supposed to become one, now have a greater challenge in operating as a unit.  Over the years this practice creates a major dividing force that can eventually end in divorce.

Fighting right requires having the right motive in the first place and being willing to lay down the trophy of being right in order to understand the other person, while carefully protecting his or her heart. This translates to choosing the right tone, the right words and the right place and time to have this discussion.

Do you see why obtaining a flourishing marriage is within reach but many refuse to reach for it because it requires sacrifice?

So back to the question.  How do you have a flourishing marriage? A flourishing marriage requires self-sacrifice on both sides.