My husband and I wrote this book together, it is our first foray into writing together and it is a book about Marriage. What we have learned from failed marriages and our intention is to encourage others to learn and grow as a couple.
One of our friends recently got married and on visiting him started me thinking why we are so very happily married? What had we as a couple done right? So I started writing a few notes which kept expanding which became a booklet then after a few days asked my wife to co-write it so we would have a balanced view, by this time she had already written her first couple of pages of thoughts.
I once heard a minister say he would not marry anyone until they had first gone through marriage counselling; I thought this was tough and intrusive but in hindsight marriage is so different from being single, few people are prepared for the change and this is reflected in the divorce rates.
I now realise the minister just wanted the best for the couples because being married and being engaged has little to do with the wedding day. It is so easy while engaged for a couple to be side tracked and put all their effort into planning the wedding but not the marriage. Planning for a marriage has everything to do with the changes you have to make to accommodate the other person in your life.
The reality of life is sometimes hard to accept, having been responsible in part for a failed and also very happy marriage I do not want to go through another failure and I want my friends to have a successful marriage as well, while I will keep working to ensure my marriage thrives.
As a couple we hope with a positive expectation that this workbook will help your ensure your marriage thrives.
What is Love?
Love may start off as a feeling but regardless how wonderful or sad feelings are they do not last forever. So while married love may have started as a feeling it changes into series of decisions to love the other person and the actions we take.
In the same way love with works will die and the relationship will not last very long. The similarity is the same – we do not do works to prove our faith, works are an expression of our faith. In marriage we do not do works to prove our love, works are an expression of our love and a extension of this is if you do have to do works to prove your love, your love dies as instead of a spouse you become a slave.
Feelings are like a compass they give us direction and sometimes we can use them as guide hover you never follow a compass.
Showing love is easy when you are in the mood or you feel like it, commitment requires you to love when you do not feel like and you choose to love the other person, to give and serve them as this is the commitment you have made. It is putting the other person first instead of you.
Why people get married?
Often along this magical journey that is love, we get focused on the immediate things and forget that there is a future. Marriage, in particular is prone to this, we spend so much time and energy planning the dream wedding but the practicalities of how you’re going to make this thing called life work after that event. Often having children is the same, the plan is to make it through the first year and the rest is never discussed and there is no opportunity to hear what your partner thinks.
If you don’t have a plan, you are likely to stumble along and while this is fine and works for a bit eventually the differences and the lack of communication lead to misunderstanding or a disparity in goals. This is can lead to mixed purposes and arguments over things that could have been avoided. For example if you and your partner work, one of you is working towards a holiday and the other is working towards a new car, when it comes time to spend the money, someone will be disappointed. One of you will have hurt feelings and feel that you have been working for nothing, if you have been working towards a common goal, there is a reward at the end and everyone is has agreed. While there may be wrong or right reason for getting married doing and saying the right things will build our marriage while doing and saying the wrong things ends a marriage.