How I learned to love better

Being married this young, in this country and in these times is quite challenging. We see and hear of people breaking off their marriages left and right starting with couples in the public eye. A lot of people our age grew up with one parent or step parents and a few lucky ones with both biological parents but saw the challenges that maintaining a marriage comes with and decided that maybe marriage isn’t for them.

It exhausting to think about working hard to make someone happy, if its meant to be they’ll  just be happy either way right? Mmm, nope.

One thing that media and people don’t tell us when talking about lasting relationships is the cultivation that takes place. We see people only at their best. Posting pictures on social media, looking like the happiest couple at family events or just hearing them talk about all the wonderful things they have done and accomplished together.

This is what has created this false idea that we find our better half and we automatically bring out the best in each other without having to change a thing about ourselves.

When we initially find someone and fall in love its all paradise and all we do is think about that person. We think about them at work, school, gym, home, we can’t even watch our favorite shows without thinking about them. Then we date them, notice how happy we are and decide this is the person for me. Then all of a sudden BOOM, all that lovey dovey stuff disappears, we see the ugly sides and we think we made a mistake.

This is something that I think happens to EVERYBODY.

Lots of people have their own theories about why their relationships may not have worked. It always usually has to do with the amount of time they dated or that the other person wasn’t who they originally thought they were.

Because I got married at 22 and I was always a person who said If I ever did get married it wouldn’t be until I was 27 or so, I had a hard time in the first few years of my marriage. Don’t get me wrong I love my husband so much and I knew he was the one for me when we decided to get married. But we did it the old fashion way and didn’t live together until we married. So thats when the real stuff starts.

For the first three years of my marriage I was so focused on changing him to make him who I wanted him to be because I felt like I was already my best self. I learned the hard way that any relationship, especially the one with your spouse, does not work that way.

Thankfully he loved me enough to not give up on me and I felt the same way. So we decided to look for resources to help us. There are two books we read on our own time. One was called Personality Plus and the other The 5 Languages of Love. To say the least, these books saved my marriage and my relationship with everyone who was close to me.

From reading The 5 love languages I learned that if we stay in the “in love” phase we’d become zombies and never get anything done. It would be pointless to be with someone and not prosper with them. So this is why we all need to fall out of that phase and into the “real love” phase where we learn of each others strengths and weaknesses and of course our love languages to help each other grow into the best we can be and put away our own selfish needs and ways of thinking. Of course marriage is and always will be a two person job.

If you feel like you’re the one doing all the work and your spouse just doesn’t seem to want to make it work, and you’ve tried absolutely everything, then in that case maybe it is time to think about whether or not you can live the rest of your life that way. But when both people are willing and have tried hard enough, I think those marriages are worth saving. Abusive relationships in my opinion are an automatic no. Its ironic because people fear leaving these relationships more than one that just lost its fire and the people involved are too lazy or selfish to try to ignite it again.

No one gets married to get a divorce. So why not work to reach that goal? Learn to love each other in the way you each receive love. For some it may be gifts for others quality time and if you didn’t know maybe your spouse likes an act of service as a demonstration of love and appreciation. So if you truly love someone, anyone, not just your spouse, but your other family relationships as well. Then get to work and learn. there are many resources out there. These two books along with great mentors and people are what have made me be the best wife, daughter, sister and friend I can be. No one is destined to be alone or miserable, so change yourself to be better and then you can help others do the same.

“Love is putting someone else’s needs before yours.” – Olaf (Frozen)

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