“These Are The 4 Most Important Lessons I Learned From My Second Marriage”
Photograph by Travis Rathbone
Whether you’re planning your big day or still searching for the perfect partner, pay attention before heading down the aisle: these nuggets of advice could save you…and your marriage (you can thank us later).
With 24 689 being the total number of divorces in SA for 2014 alone. SA-born, Sydney raised journalist David Smiedt was happily married for four years until he came home and his wife said the words: “I don’t love you anymore.” Now, happily remarried, he shares what he’s learnt to help future-proof your marriage.
– You are never blameless. My second marriage taught me to ask myself ‘How could I have handled this better?
– Being heard is more important than being right. Let go of winning arguments.
– Obligation in the bedroom is poison to a marriage. As soon as you catch yourself thinking ‘I should’ and not ‘I want to’, your priorities need to be reassessed.
– While grand gestures have their place, it’s the kind little mundane things that matter, like recording her fav TV series, or emptying the dishwasher even though it’s her turn.
– For vows to hold true, both people still need to believe in them.
Fight for It
Some things are worth fighting for-and some fights can actually improve a relationship, if handled with care. Here verbal skills from Catherine Blyth, author of The Art of Marriage.
Get Off Your High Horse
To argue productively, you must first diagnose what is at issue, then air your views without interruption and then clarify and summarise each other’s positions to ensure that points are understood.
If your inner voice is saying, “He’s not listening to me” or “I really can’t stand your mother”, take a break. When you’re upset, you can sulk, slam doors, bang pots…But you probably can’t solve the actual issue at hand.
Play the role of the other person. Mentally stand in their shoes to keep things in perspective. The wisest argument is the one we have with ourselves before opening our month, when we ask “Does it matter?”