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Been There, Done That
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“An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.” –Lydia M. Child

Some people have been married, divorced, and single, married again, divorced again, and single again. So as I said in the title, been there, done that, and I would do it again.

Why? Because we learn as we go. It’s unfortunate that it took a few of us 30, 40 or 50 years to figure out how to live the way we were meant live.

All little girls dream of silk wedding gowns, romantic honeymoons and living happily ever after in a cottage in the country surrounded by a white picket fence; a dog, a cat, and a few children giggling as they chase each other around the house.

What goes wrong? We’re human and often have unrealistic expectations when we’re young (and sometimes when we’re older too). We expect our mate to be perfect, to fulfill our every need, to care for us the way we fantasized it would be in our childish dreams.

Authentic love

I read somewhere that women marry men for who they can change them to be, and men marry women for who they are. Women out there, put aside your pride. It’s ok to learn from men sometimes. Having a healthy relationship starts with honesty and openness. Slip daily communication into the menu with loving your partner for who s/he is and not who you hope or expect them to become.

As Joan Crawford once said “Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”

Marriage, just like any good relationship requires a lot of compromise. It requires two people willing to listen for what the other person needs from them. A successful marriage isn’t about finding the right mate; it’s about being the right mate. Neither is marriage about being perfect or expecting the other person to be perfect; it’s all about recognizing and being aware of your differences and similarities, accepting them and matching those pieces together perfectly.

You can’t fail when you hold hands while disagreeing, agree to be friends, and mix in a hefty dose of humor. Traveling together hand in hand into the sunset is the way every good relationship movie ends. It’s the only way to travel with your partner.

So make the decision today from this day forward to put out the fires of destruction, and keep your hearth warm with the fire of love and acceptance.

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By Denise Taylor, pseudonym. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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