Right after we married, my wife and I moved 650 miles from home and I went to work in the oil fields of Oklahoma. Being young and inexperienced, they put me with an older man who could show me the ropes.
I would arrive at a job site and eagerly jump out of the truck to get started. But this man would make me slow down and say something like, “Here are some things you need to know about this job.” He didn’t tell me everything I needed to know about the job, but he told me the few big things I needed to know to make the job go better.
I wish someone would have come to me before I got married and said, “Here are some things you need to know about marriage. It’s not everything you need to know about marriage, but it’s the big things you need to know to make marriage better.”
I’ve been married for over thirty years now and I still can’t tell you everything you need to know about marriage. But I can tell you three big things you need to know to make your marriage better.
- There is a CORRELATION between you relationship and your behavior. The quality of your relationship will effect your behavior, and quality of your behavior will effect the your relationship. Both are important. You can’t cheat either one, because each feeds the other.
- True change requires CONTINUATION. It’s not enough to make a change. You must continue the change. Couples come to me and tell me they’ve tried to change, but when their spouse didn’t respond they quit trying. I tell them it’s not enough to make a temporary change. They need to continue in the change until that change becomes a life style. Otherwise, it’s just manipulation. (Remember, in order to reach a goal you must continue moving toward that goal.)
- COLLABORATION is not as necessary as you think. Collaboration is the icing on the cake. Marriage is a two person dance, and the dance certainly goes much better if the dancers are collaborating. Still, one person can bring about a lot of change by focusing their own behaviors and their own part of the relationship. You can’t control your spouse, but you can influence them with your life and actions.
These are things you need to know about marriage. It’s not everything you need to know, but it’s foundational to everything you need to know.
Maybe no one told you this ahead of time, but it’s never too late to learn. With only these three things, you can start now and build the marriage you both want.
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Copyright © 2015 Bret Legg