The Manual For a Perfect Marriage.

ever after

I could write a book about how to have a great marriage. I could take full credit for the fact I married my best friend. I could talk about it in some way that convinces others that I know and that I am an expert because, look at my success. I could do that and gather up all the focus on me and get involved in people’s lives and tell them how to do it. What would I care, really? After I get past the point where I have dozens of people in my workshops or thousands attending my speaking engagements and buying my book, I don’t even see the cause and effect anymore. I have my reward for being able to put myself out there and gain “fame.”

The truth is I lucked out. I could just of easily have ended up with a psychopath. I could have ended up with an addict or just a ho hum guy who was as bored with life as I sometimes get and so we sat through the years and bored each other to death … literally.  I say “literally” because I see so many older couples who occupy time and space together, but share nothing.  They endure to the end in that state of emptiness.

My marriage is not great because I had some plan and worked it. What I do or don’t do is intrinsic to who I am and who he is. The only thing that people need from me is to see it is possible. Then they need to focus on who they are, what they want and on communicating that with the other person. Then, together, they find the path that works for them. I might need to discuss everything immediately so it does not fester. You might need time to simmer down and think so you do not say or do something stupid. I. CANNOT. FIX. YOUR. LIFE.

There is no recipe.

There is only you and your life and whether you are willing to take responsibility for it and do the hard work. Learn who you are. Love who you are. Do not be afraid of the mistakes, the darkness, or the problems. Black is another shading of life, like white, like pink , or green.

Once you know yourself you can have an honest relationship with another person who also knows themselves. You continue to grow and work on yourselves, but you share the journey, encouraging one another and working together on problems that arise. Sometimes you are just company on a journey that has nothing to do with you.

That’s it.

No magic pill.

No formula.

Life does not come with a set of instructions that if you follow them step by step you end up with a bookcase.

Life is more like a peanut scramble where someone throws everything in the air.  Everyone jumps in and grabs what they can and goes home with what they got. We all go home with what we got. Some people are thrilled with their lot, some devastated.   We each decide the meaning of our lives.  We each decide how much power to give other people we include in our lives and we ultimately decide, in making those choices, whether we are happy, or not.   Sometimes what a marriage needs most, is not a how to book, but just a quiet ending.

You are the only expert on your life.  What others think or know about you, your partner, or the success of your relationship is irrelevant.  The best thing any couple can ever do when considering their marriage, to stay or go, is to find the honesty to ask for what they need from each other – especially when those needs have changed from what they might have once been – and then to admit whether they can, or want to, give it to the other.  If they do, get to work.  If they don’t love one another for the journey that has been, share that gratitude, and gracefully create a distance and a space for each other to find what you are looking for.

THAT is honouring marriage, honouring your partner, and most of all, honouring your own heart and integrity,

2 thoughts on “The Manual For a Perfect Marriage.

  1. Personalities, life, circumstances, cultures etc are complex and dynamic and personal/social interactions and results are unpredictable. But still I believe, there are personality traits and cultural aspects that are favorable for a successful marriage and better social coexistence.

    I believe and am planning to write a book to help rationally thinking people to find mutually compatible personalities for marital as well as friendly relations. I thought that identical twins will be and should be highly compatible. Therefore, recently I asked two identical twins, how will they manage if both of them came across something which both of them found to be liking very much and both wished to have that ‘unique’ thing! The reply was interesting and thought provoking. One of them said, that both of them will not go for or fight for that unique item, but will look for an alternative; the other of the twins silently agreed (I think). Even though, the question was about a theoretical situation, the answer seems interesting and proposes an amicable solution.

    My idea will be appealing mainly to rationally and logically thinking people; emotionally thinking and dogmatic personalities will most probably argue and disagree with the idea. I don’t know how many people know about the ‘Helicopter Qualities’ pointed out by the long time Prime Minister and architect of modern Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. He claimed one of his success formula to select his CEOs was four personality traits: 1. Analytical thinking, 2. Logical understanding of cause and effect, 3. Concentration to the point/target, and 4. Imagination. He revealed that he copied this standard set of ‘Helicopter Qualities’, from Shell Oil Company; he also confirmed that, as he tried many other standards and found these set of traits quite valuable and practical, he used it for a very long time.

    Mr. Lee became Singapore’s first PM in 1959; after repeatedly selected as PM he resigned the position in 1991, to make way for another person as PM. But being an exceptionally talented visionary and influential person, he was given positions as Senior Minister and Minister Mentor. The success of Singapore is the result of the meticulous planning, based on rational and logical thinking by the visionary Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (he passed away in April 2015). I hereby wish to state that Singapore is world’s most successful city for the last more than 35 years; it is a city of superlatives. As the details of Singapore’s achievements are not the subject of discussion here, I only wish to mention two points: 1. Singapore has practically no natural resources. They have to import a third of water they use, and do not have a drop of oil, but their second largest export is refined oil. 2. In the year 2012, total export of Singapore was for $410 billion. This was more than the $313 billion worth export of India which is 5000 times larger than the 716 (in 2013) Singapore (it was 685 and smaller; but is growing slowly by reclaiming some land from the sea!).

    With best wishes,


    • Lee Kuan Yew was a brilliant man, no doubt and good qualities serve people well in all aspects of life. I also consider that we all change and grow and as we learn about ourselves and the world around us, things change . . . we change. I would not be “proud” if one of my children stayed in a marriage for decades and were miserable and never knew what it is like to experience happiness and love. I want my children to embrace life, to always know they have choices and to contribute to the world around them. Our “beliefs and traditions” may have served us well in the past, they may be perfect for some people right now, but I don’t consider it anything but healthy to be willing to see where they are not working, and to be willing to open to new understandings. This is no longer the world I grew up in, as it was no longer my parents when they were my age. We can fight it or adapt.


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