I’ve suggested you can have a significantly better marriage – much deeper, much more loving – if only you and your bride both make it a priority. I think there are a few questions to ask before you go for this: can it happen, what will it cost, am I willing to do what it takes, and is my bride willing?
Can it happen? As I said, I’ve seen it happen. I know a number of couples married 15 plus years who would say the last few years are better than all but the first months of their marriage, and it’s just getting better and better.
What will it cost? This is the real issue, in my opinion. Folks who’ve successfully done this have been willing to give up almost anything. Some have had to give up a great deal, others just a bit, but all were willing to put their marriage first when something else got in the way. You might have to change where you live, the size of your home, your job, your hobby, and so on. If advancement in your job is more important than your marriage, a great marriage isn’t going to happen. If a big home, or a lot of stuff, is more important than deep love, the love’s not going to happen. If what others think of you is more important than what your spouse thinks of you, don’t even try this.
Are you willing to do what it takes? There’s no set plan on this, it’s open ended. If you can commit to the goal, rather than what you think the process will be, you have a good shot. Are you willing to give up your “right” to feel certain ways? Are you willing to do things you don’t think you should have to do, and not make a big deal about it?
Is she willing to do what it takes? All of the above applies to her as well, and she needs to be doing this of her free will. By the way, she’s more likely to have to deal with feelings of being cheated out of these things by you in the past – odds are she tried more than you in the past.
What about sex? Couples who fall madly in love develop wonderful, active sex lives. Not because they force it, or one of them demands it, but because they both want it. This is a natural part of being deeply in love, and I suspect great sex is a necessary part of keeping the cycle going. If she has deep issues with sex, it’s likely she can’t do what’s required for a fantastic marriage. She may back off to avoid the physical intimacy that starts to grow as your love gets deeper. If you have ongoing porn or lust issues, those are going to become a limitation on the depth of your sex life, and thus your love. Minor sexual issues and differences in desire level shouldn’t be a problem, but deeper issue will be. Working for a great marriage is still a good plan, as it will expose these problems.
Tomorrow: My stuff, your stuff, my stuff, your stuff.