Mark Twain once said, “No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.”
Although my love feels pretty doggone close to perfect, I have to agree with Twain.
Once you’ve been married that long, you know how you will respond to nearly every challenge life throws your way. You’ve been tested and come through the fire like pure gold.
This is why when I was recently asked by a newlywed for advice, I offered this: Only listen to marital advice from couples whose marriages you’d like to emulate.
I told her, just as she would never consider taking financial advice from a person in the middle of their second bankruptcy, she should reject advice from those in the midst of a miserable marriage.
In one ear…out the other.
This is not to say there isn’t great wisdom gained through failure. But that should always be put in perspective and held in lesser regard than wisdom gained through proven success.
What I have discovered over the years is couples successful in marriage, are oftentimes those who’ve modeled their relationship after thriving ones. They disregard the negative comments and choose to believe they can create their own happiness.
Those who surround themselves with couples who never tear down their spouse, only build up their marriage, and challenge the notion that happily ever isn’t possible, end up with a relationship filled with genuine happiness.
A marriage mentor need not be one married for ages. There is one couple Keith and I love to be around who are the same age as us. The difference is they’ve been together since college; roughly twice as long as we have. What is most important is their relationship is tried and true and thus we’ve gained a much higher marriage IQ from being around them.
So here are the 5 reasons we’ve surrounded ourselves with marriage mentors and why you should too:
1. They help keep you on track. Just being in their presence will remind you how wonderful life can be when you have a loving partner by our side.
2. They will not allow you to sweat the small stuff. Try complaining about your spouse to a long-standing couple who are genuinely happy. They will put a mirror in your face so fast. Speaking of which…
3. They will put a mirror in your face. Rarely, is a spouse always at fault. It takes two to tango, baby.
4. They provide a positive perspective in a world headed in the opposite direction. Let’s face it, marriage has been getting a bad rap these days. ”Happily married” has become an oxymoron. Marriage mentors help you see your relationship through the prism of time and love.
5. They are living proof that real love can and should last a lifetime. This constant reminder will help you ward off any negative thoughts and encourage you to keep fighting for the relationship you most desire. It will help you to design your happily ever after.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book. I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way. It’s a marriage book like none other. Guaranteed.