How To Make Your Marriage Better: Marital Masters Versus Marital Disasters (The Value of Marriage)
Someone asked me if there was difference between couples who make it versus couples who don’t. My answer was as emphatic YES! They absolutely do marriage differently in many ways.
In fact, I was so excited that I generated a seven part blog series to highlight and explain key differences.
With divorce rates currently being 50% for first marriages, 65% for second marriages and 75% for three-plus marriages, this information is essential! I want marital success to be a choice not a statistic. I’ll release a new insight each week but here is the first one that immediately came to mind:
1) Marital masters value marriage more. They hold marriage sacred.
What does that mean?
Marital Masters value the sacredness and meaning of marriage to the highest degree. For instance, they indicate that a happy marriage is one of their top goals and intentions in life. They value marriage above personal success, fame, power, influence, etc. Quite simply, they put their primary energy on making sure their marriage is sound, fulfilling and being lovers and friends before anything else. Yes, they desire riches, power, influence, etc. too but not at the expense of their marriage.
Marital Disasters did not view marriage the same way. Usually one spouse really desires a quality marriage while the other spouse's time and is focus is on something else. Their top focus might be on gaining personal success, power, influence, and needing the marriage to look good to support their career. Sadly, I’ve found that many of these couples don’t agree on how much time should be invested in the actual marriage. One party often expects the other spouse to support their dreams without also investing into the marriage. They don't block off time to be lovers and friends but expect their partner's unconditional support while ignoring their need for quality time, fun and connection.
Marital Disasters rarely make enriching the marriage a priority and often only respond when there is a marital crisis or their spouse gets fed up and communicates it loudly. They may respond with a grand gesture (a vacation, one weekend of quality time, gifts. etc.) but they resort back to ignoring investing into the marriage as a culture to pursue "providing" for the material and/or basic needs of the house, finances, kids' education, status, etc.
Marital Disasters will focus on moving up the career ladder at any cost (excessive travel, long demanding days, ignoring date nights, limited quality time) and hope the marriage survives on fumes. Unfortunately, this does not work over time because marriages are built on relationship, love, friendship and time not success.
Marital Masters will refuse to take a job or build a business that could seriously impair their marriage. Why? They believe in a having a quality marriage and will not sacrifice its quality for mere material gain. Instead of pitting the quality of marriage versus success, they plan to have both.
Take Barack and Michelle Obama as a great example. Michelle told Barack that she disliked politics but would support his dream of being President of the United States but under the condition that it was only for a season. The next season would have to be focus on her dreams after his term was over. Since his presidency, except for recently campaigning for Biden/Harris, Barack has focused his energy on supporting Michelle’s book tour, spending time with the girls and staying away from the political limelight so that the marriage could be balanced. They are both wildly successful and so is their marriage.
Contrast that to Trump whose primary focus is on power and control versus building and maintaining happy marriages. The marriage appears to be a window dressing more than something sacred, loving and enriching.
Moral: When you honor marriage and work together to be successful, you can have it all. If, however, you value success over marriage you will likely achieve success but at the expense of your marriage. Wouldn’t you rather have both? Aim to be Barack not Trump.
How about you? What conversations do you and your spouse have about the value of marriage?