Six Ways to Love from Six Years of Marriage

I got married six years ago today.

When we got married, we’d dated for less than a year.

I would have married him even sooner.

Marriage is a bit of a crapshoot, don’t you think? The success and failure of it remains a mystery to me. But I do know that a good marriage rewards us with something like a fairy tale. Minus the happily ever after, because honestly, that would prove too boring for us mere mortals.

In honor of my sixth anniversary, I am sharing six practices I have found essential to a happy marriage:

  1. Have compassion. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Sometimes a flash of another’s perspective can instantly heal what is hurting.
  2. Don’t be a critic. Don’t pass judgment. Marriage is not a court of law.
  3. Don’t try to change your partner. Even if you only want to help, trying to change your partner creates the subtle suggestion that your love is conditional. Besides, you can’t change anybody. They can only change themselves.
  4. Seek to understand, not to be understood. (Though being understood is often a by-product of understanding.)
  5. Ask questions. Be curious. Pay attention.
  6. Practice complete forgiveness. Not because you have to, but because you love your partner, and love does not keep score.

This is day 6 of 30 consecutive days of blogging. I’m glad you’re along for the ride. If you liked this post, please share using the buttons below. If you have something to add, feel free to comment openly or anonymously.

To read more of my thoughts on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow the blog or subscribe via feedburner.

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