Love is not enough.
The average length of courtship prior to making this lifelong commitment is approximately three years. Most would agree that during those years, the relationship is blissful and filled with beautiful moments of discovering each other and more importantly, coming to the belief that we were so suited to each other and we could easily live out the rest of our lives together.
In hindsight, despite believing I married the love of my life, I was completely naïve. Basing my promised vows with only love as a premise was simply inadequate. We didn’t look into the future and think about the big picture. We didn’t pre-empt the possible obstacles that could come our way or the what-ifs should our relationship start to dwindle. As a result of that, we were not prepared when things went awry. Divorce ensued and while I am wiser about relationships, I inherited a new title: Divorcee.
So newlyweds, should you wish to not only survive a marriage that lasts a lifetime but also enjoy the journey, here is some marital advice - painstakingly earned from a failed partnership:
1. Combating the tough times.
Until you have experienced some challenging times, it is a very difficult thing to imagine or empathise with. But if the marriage were to last the average life expectancy, that could potentially be a 50- to 60-year relationship. In that time, anything could happen and it is important to be prepared for those tough scenarios. Ask these questions of each other by using some examples such as business failures, illness or financial hardship:
- How would you react?
- Are you prepared to support those situations?
- How would your partner react? Do your perceptions of how he/she would react is what they believe they will do?
- Are your thoughts aligned?
- What are your expectations of each other?