Marital bliss, we’d all like to be there. But can it be a reality? Can we really get there? I suppose that depends on how you define marital paradise, bliss, nirvana etc…

The truth is paradise in marriage is not a destination constantly lit by a warm glow and filled with tummy tingles. While those things do exist they are not what most happily married couples would say keep them together after ten or more years of marriage. Once the hormones of the honeymoon are gone we have to actually work hard not to lose that loving feeling. Now that may seem obvious to many, but then why is our divorce rate so high? People really believe and say that they have fallen out of love! They actually expect to have the feelings of love forever. Sorry to be a killjoy, but in practice love is more of a verb than a noun.

So where is paradise found in marriage? Here is a short list-

  • When disagreements and simple conflicts don’t escalate to verbal warfare.
  • When we say or do something hurtful to our spouse and wish to apologize immediately.
  • When we’re genuinely interested in what our spouse has to say.
  • When being with our spouse is fun regardless of the activity.
  • When the things that once bugged us about them become meaningless.
  • When there seems to be a warm glow everywhere, and our tummy tingles… oops! I got carried away.

How do we get there as couples? I like to keep this list short, just two items-

  • Be a forgiver. If we believe that our spouse’s faults are bigger than our own; it is likely that we are not a good forgiver.
  • Be happily incompatible. Realize that the vast list of differences that we have actually benefits us. If we don’t embrace our differences as individuals we’re being self-centered.

My wife Tracy says that marriage is like a home improvement project that never ends. I like that for two reasons; the words improvement and never ends. Marriage is not the money pit home improvement project that sucks the life out of us. Like a good wine or investment it is something that improves over time. With the right attitude and some genuine effort we can have paradise in marriage. So bring on the tummy tingles ‘cause I’m all in!

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