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I was thinking on this tonight…

A couple years ago my oldest daughter’s boyfriend stood in my kitchen and asked me if I would give him permission to ask my daughter to get married. There’s a lot behind a question like that and it’s a helluva thing to come to the realization that your little girl just might leave you behind for a new man. I was touched that he would ask, it’s not something a new generation of kids always consider, but he’s a good man and I had no trouble at all giving him my permission. With that, he asked me for some advice, and I said some version of the following:

Whatever is important to her, has to be important to you, that the things we choose to care about define us and having a spouse who cares about those things with us is a way to show that they hear us, that they want to be active in our life and supportive. It is a way for them to show acceptance for the person we want to be. Of course, I asked him if my daughter was that sort of person to him as he should expect the same. He said he was certain she was. I believe that being engaged in the small things lays a part of a foundation in marriage, and from that foundation the relationship can be one built of trust and healthy interaction. I hope that was useful to him…

What is the best marriage advice you’ve given or received?
 

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This would come under the category of the best advice I did not get or receive.

Understand what boundaries and privacy are all about. Make sure, if you're a private person, you don't take advantage of someone who's very open, either intentionally or unintentionally. Similarly, if you're an open person, recognize your vulnerabilities and how easily manipulated you can be by someone whose notions of privacy are very different from your own.

You don't get used to someone's differing notions of privacy. Things get worse. You need to understand them and deal with them up-front.

Boundaries. What does that mean? Think about what you're giving up, marrying this person. What it means to your social life, his or her social life.

All of this ties directly into the more-obvious subjects of sex & money issues, but I believe in most cases those issues aren't the root. Privacy and boundaries are. But pastors don't talk about that, parents don't talk about that. But it's a very real thing.
 

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Two great pieces of advice from two different people.

‘marriage is not actually 50/50. Marriage is mostly 80/20, and the pendulum just swings between two people. Sometimes you’ll be 80, sometimes you’ll be the 20. the good marriages accept the 20 when it’s their turn. So work with that.’ I thought it was brilliant! And I remind myself of it all the time.

The other one was, ‘you don’t always have to be right. Most situations are not win/win situations, marriage is not a competition’.
 

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The best advice I have seen came from a book we used to go through during my time as a pre-marital counselor for a church. The book was called 'When sinners say I do'.

The advice is sort of a summary of the overall theme of the book, but it is that a good marriage has:
Grace - unmerited favor
Mercy - forgiveness over punishment
Forbearance - restraint, tolerance, forgiveness without request
 

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I'm hard-pressed to think about advice that I have received from those who know me, about marriage.
I saved a post written by another member years ago, who shared his view of successful marriage. He wrote about these elements:

Kindness and compassion
Liking each other as well as loving each other
Humor
Communication
Commitment
 
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Years ago speaking with a woman married nearly 70 years before her husband passed, she communicated with the utmost respect and admiration towards him and their marriage. She told me, 'I simply called him 'Love' .......and he called me 'Love' too. We never referred to each other by name, we simply called one another, 'Love'. She shared how they laughed nearly every morning together in bed. They had a certain skit by way of playful teasing, that never got old between them.

And not advice as such, but through observation growing up, was the beautiful dynamic between my grandparents.
 

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The advice my internal dialogue tells me is quite simple and quite crude. Basically, 'don't be a selfish ****'.

Then also, something I needed to grow into was accepting his love. Which is easier to do once sorting through your own crap.
Then, in a sense, getting really comfortable with free-falling.

I find it hard to convey, so I'm not sure if this will make sense to anyone else!
 
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Oh and here's just something I love...

"You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

~ the Skin Horse
 

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I'm hard-pressed to think about advice that I have received from those who know me, about marriage.
I saved a post written by another member years ago, who shared his view of successful marriage. He wrote about these elements:

Kindness and compassion
Liking each other as well as loving each other
Humor
Communication
Commitment
(MEM?) I agree with that list 100%. I do try to live it, just with more curse words.

My marriage "advice" is don't be an asshole, actually give a **** about your spouse (not just yourself), and if you're both not having fun you need to talk (at a minimum).
 

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(MEM?) I agree with that list 100%. I do try to live it, just with more curse words.

My marriage "advice" is don't be an asshole, actually give a **** about your spouse (not just yourself), and if you're both not having fun you need to talk (at a minimum).
It was GTdad.

I like your advice too :D ... curse words and all.
 
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And to expand on my internal dialogue of 'don't be a selfish ****', is also to have each others back, yet still have your own life going on. That interdependence stuff. I don't believe that one person can (or ought to) fulfill all of one's needs. Plus gives you something to share with each other!
 
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As for advice given to others... the only thing that comes to mind is when a married friend shared with me that her ex-husband was sniffing around and she was enjoying the attention. As her friend, I gave her a blunt reality-check and offered my view/suggestion. She then shared with her husband and instead refocused the attention to be between them. Can't really think what other advice I may have offered of value.
 

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I've been married almost 20 years, happily.

My advice on marriage is that for it to work long-term, you have to look at the other person as having the power to end your entire world. Think of the USA and the former Soviet Union. Leaders from those countries (for the most part) always had to treat each other with top respect, and like equals. Why? Because disrespect leads to war, and both sides have the ability to totally destroy the other --everything goes nuclear.

So you can never take the approach that you can walk all over the other person without consequences. You have to take a step back and realize what is at stake (especially if you have children)
 
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