5 Secrets to a truly successful marriage
According to acclaimed author Alain de Botton, these are 5 of the secrets to a truly successful marriage
British philosopher, author, and award winning television presenter Alain de Botton recently released his newest book, Challenges of Marriage.
His newest book takes on the task of describing the labor of love, and (as the name would imply) the challenges of marriage. While marriage is a day in, day out commitment that takes a lot of hard work and dedication, Botton admits that there are few secret tips and tricks that help make craft a successful marriage.
Here's what the acclaimed author suggests are the secrets to having a truly successful marriage:
1. Abandon the idea of perfection
The first step to a successful marriage is abandoning any preconceived notions that perfection is attainable. You aren't perfect when you get married, no is your spouse. So there should be no expectation implying that the marriage you two share will be perfect. Expect that there will be hiccups, blemished, and road bumps along the way.
Never expect your marriage to be perfect, as Botton puts it, "there can only be a good enough marriage".
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2. Develop understanding but don't expect omniscience
True love develops from being truly understood. Conversely, you must be able to truly understand your partner. If you and your spouse are able to connect on the deepest levels imaginable, then you can understand their needs and desires.
Although the two of you may be able to understand each other in way that no one else can, it;s important to keep in mind that no one knows and understand you quite like yourself. It's impossible for them to know everything that goes through your head, and you shouldn't expect them to. A truly successful marriage is one that has reasonable expectations in certain regards. Don't expect, or blame your spouse for not knowing the nuances and internal workings of your mind.
3. Love. Don't be loved
Loving someone and being loved are two wildly different things. It's one thing to be loved and accept someone's love, but you must reciprocate that love and express it in equal amounts. If you want your marriage to thrive, you must be equally willing to love as you are willing to be loved.
4. Elbow grease
As with all things that are worth it in life, elbow grease is required. Marriage isn't any different. If you want to have a successful marriage, you'll have to be willing to put in work. Not necessarily restricted to emotional work either. This also means you'll have to put in work with the more laborious tasks involved with marriage (e.g. cleaning, cooking, fixing things, grocery shopping).
It might not seem overly romantic, but hard work is the foundation of any successful marriage and you can't afford to overlook it.
5. Willing to lean from each other
This means you have to serve as a teacher and a student to your partner. You'll always learn something new about your spouse, but you have to apply that knowledge. Not only that, but you must also be willing and able to teach your partner new things about yourself. This will help you to grow together and become more wise and knowledgable of each other. As Botton describes it, "Marriage should be recognized as a process of mutual education".
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