My younger brother got married a few years ago. It was a typical church wedding, which meant that the minister who was marrying them inevitably gave a sermon.
And it was a good one.
By this, I mean I remember the outline of it three and a half years later. And I can't remember that much about any sermon I've heard since, frankly.
The title of the sermon was, "The Three Ingredients of a Successful Marriage". I remember my exact, admittedly cynical thoughts upon hearing that announcement.
My first impression:
Then I thought, "Yeah, yeah…'Love, Trust, and Commitment', right?
Or being friends with each other.
Or something else I've heard before."
How wrong I was. Going through a divorce at the time, what that minister proceeded to present was a gift beyond price.
The three "ingredients" turned out to be anything but the trite, usual drivel we've all heard before. In fact, they are all but secret to most of us
Today, it is my pleasure to take those three secrets and impart them to you-albeit with my own spin, of course.
1) Always Think The Best Of Each Other
Basically, the concept here is that both spouses should gravitate towards the positive options when considering each other's intentions, actions, whereabouts, etc.
If s/he says something that could have two meanings, assume the positive one. If s/he says s/he is "working late", believe it.
Yeah, I realize this is all about "trust", but it's much deeper. It's more like having the self-esteem to be confident in one's choice of a spouse…enough to believe that s/he has the best interests of both partners in mind. What an amazing gift this is.
And you know what, I would tend to believe this is an attitude that falls under the "self-fulfilling prophecy" department
2) Forgive Quickly
There is absolutely, positively zero chance that a long, successful marriage is going to be 100% free of mistakes having been made over the long haul. Hell…over the short haul, either, for that matter.
And when they happen, just let it go. This is disarmingly important. See, if this isn't done, there ends up being a "cumulative effect of all the small things". Don't ask me why that's in quotes-you don't want to know.
Let's just say it leads to divorce. Let me ask you this: Assuming you have a "significant other", has there ever been an argument where one or both partners brought up something that happened weeks, months or even YEARS ago?
Yeah, well… then that's what has to be addressed here.