I am now the father of two married sons.
Until last week, I was the father of one married son and one engaged son. Last weekend, the elder Marcus and his fiancée exchanged vows at a lovely ceremony filled with joy, laughter and happy tears (most of which were mine). Toasts were made. Shouts of “mazel tov” rang from the ceiling. Well wishes were abundant. I’m sure they’re going to do really well.
However, that’s not the case for so many. As I learned many years ago,
“Fifty percent of all marriages end in divorce. Of those that remain, 90 percent end in boredom. If you want to be the five percent that stay happy, it’s going to take some work.”
To that end, I’ve looked back on over two decades of being in a happy, supportive marriage with my lovely, talented, creative (very patient) wife and I pass along my own take on how to stay married – and happy – over the long term.
Rule #1: Love your partner for who she is today, not whom you think you can make her into “down the road.”
Assume she is as good a partner as she’ll ever be RIGHT NOW. Don’t believe that living together will make her “come around” to your thinking. If she has what you consider annoying traits, don’t make the blunder of thinking how you’ll change them after you’re married. Accept her as she is; not who you’ll think she’ll be. If she’s not who you desire now, she sure as heck won’t be later.