Soulclipse

The Best Relationship Advice From a Divorced Man

For many, Gerald Rogers’ story could not ring any more true: Only after his divorce was finalized did he fully appreciate the mistakes he’d made in his marriage.

And with that hindsight, he realized he could help other men in their relationships. While my marriage remains quite strong, even I have realized I can take some of these tips to heart. Read on to learn what Rogers’ shared wisdom might mean for your relationship.

 


 

Clearly, I’m no expert in relationships. There’s something about a finalized divorce, though, that gives me perspective, an idea of things I wish I’d done differently. Here’s the advice I wish I’d had:

1) Never stop courting

I should’ve never taken her for granted. I promised I would own her heart and guard it fiercely. She chose me. Never forget what you’ve promised, and never get lazy with your love.

2) Protect your own heart

As you protect her heart, protect your own. Have a place in your heart reserved for her only, and don’t let anyone (or anything) else in.

3) Fall in love over and over again

She doesn’t have to stay with you. She will change. You will change. You have to make a conscious effort to choose each other, every single day, and make the effort to court each other, every single day.

4) See the best in her always

See the things you love about her and in her, not the things that bother you. Focus on what you love, and the rest will fall away.

5) Don’t try to change or fix her

Instead, love her as she is, and she’ll love you as you are. And as she does change? Embrace that growth, and learn who she is becoming with your whole heart.

6) Take full responsibility

For both your actions and especially your emotions. It isn’t your wife’s job to make you happy; only you can do that. Similarly, sadness isn’t anyone else’s responsibility: It’s yours, and yours alone. Instead…

7) Find your own joy

When you embrace your own joy, that spills over into your relationship.

7) Never blame your wife

If you’re upset with her, that’s your reaction, the result of something inside you. Again, your emotions are your responsibility. Own them.

8) Allow her to be herself

It isn’t your job to make her someone else. Let her be herself, and be there for her, through everything.

9) Stay present

And when she needs you, be there. Listen to her, really listen.

10) Be silly

Make her laugh, and let her make you laugh. Laughter makes everything better.

11) Fill her soul

Find her love languages, and use them. Make her feel validated and cherished. Make loving her wholly a priority.

12) Be invested

Give her your time, your focus, your soul. Clear your head when you are with her so you are fully present with her.

13) Give her yourself

Both sexually and emotionally. Give her what she needs from you.

14) Don’t be dumb

You’ll make mistakes. Accept that, learn from them, and move on. Perfection isn’t your goal; learning how to love her better is.

15) Offer her space

When she needs time to herself, give it to her. She may need to escape occasionally to feed her soul in ways you can’t; that’s okay! (This is especially true if you have kids together.)

16) Be vulnerable

Share your fears and hopes and dreams and anxieties. Be quick to acknowledge mistakes. She’ll repay that with the same.

17) Practice transparency

Share everything with her, and don’t try to hide anything or any part of yourself. Be fully yourself with her, and don’t try to be someone or something different.

18) Never stop growing

Stagnancy is death, just as atrophy results when you stop working a muscle. Think of your relationship as a muscle: You need to continue building it, or it will atrophy.

19) Let go of money

It isn’t the point, nor should it be. A means to an end, sure, but not the point.

20) Forgive immediately

Holding on to that pain helps neither of you and allows grudges to form. Don’t be a hostage to your anger. Instead, forgive immediately.

21) Choose love

Love is a choice, and you have to consciously make it. Don’t let other emotions crowd it out. Instead, choose each day to practice love. Do that, and your relationship will endure.

 

Marriage isn’t always a happily ever after. Instead, it’s a choice to commit and to continually commit each day.

Embrace that, and the lessons above I wish I’d had before, and you’ll be okay.
References:

Elephant Journal

Gerald Rogers

James Russell

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