I recently came across a thoughtful article written by psychotherapist Winifred M. Reilly.  While she discussed the naïve optimism that most of us enter marriage with, she went on to list 35 lessons that she had learned in her 35 years of marriage.  I have selected my top ten favorites to share with you here.  I truly believe that if we would simply embrace these ten, we could dramatically impact our most important relationships for the better.  See what you think.

  1. Don’t complain about the cooking when your spouse is the cook.
  2. There’s no end to how much you can love someone if you let yourself.
  3. Express gratitude often.
  4. Admit your shortcomings. They’re obvious anyway.
  5. “In love” pales in comparison with love.
  6. When you think you’ve tried everything, know that you haven’t.
  7. Pay more attention to what you’re doing to make things go badly, and less attention to what your spouse is doing.
  8. When your spouse’s behavior is open to interpretation, ascribe the higher motive.
  9. If you’re going to complain about something, come to the table with a suggested alternative.
  10. There are no guaranteed divorce-proofing moves. All any of us can do is be a husband or a wife our spouse would be foolish to leave.

In your marital journey, you may have learned some valuable lessons of your own.  I would love to hear what you would add to the list, and I might even post those at a later date.  Thanks.

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