by Martin Novell LMFT and Daina Hulet
The real truth about marriage is that it’s romantic and imperfect. Choosing the right person helps create a good marriage, but it doesn’t guarantee a long one.  Relationships don’t just fall into place, run smoothly and work out happily ever after; just because we believe we have met the answer to our dreams or our soul mate. Marriages are not fated to be good or bad. They can be loving, satisfying and nurturing, or they can be disappointing, filled with anger or regret. The skills and openness you bring to the relationship will make all the difference.

Marriage is for the brave, not the faint of heart.
A marriage is no place to hide. If you’re the type who runs or slams the door on problems, you will be found out very, very soon. One of joys of marriage, can also work as a check and balance to your integrity – you will always have a witness to your life.

The question is, are you brave enough to be seen warts and idiosyncrasies and all? Will you look at the marriage as an opportunity for growth, as opposed to a source of anger when the marriage gets tough?  Are you brave enough to be on a team of two that can collaborate their way through tiny hassles and unimaginable pitfalls? Are you willing to look at yourself and change when you are wrong?

In a marriage that is good, both parties have to be willing to face discomfort and take pride in their ability to solve problems together!

It’s not enough to say “I love you.”
Show your love through your actions. It’s not a matter of constantly proving yourself… but demonstrating  love, rather than just talking about it, builds trust and intimacy.

Can you discuss your love, money and finances, your sex life, your good days and bad without shame?  Can you deal with your partner’s issues without dismissing them as silly or unimportant? Can you fight fair and focused, so you can learn from your disagreements, rather than harbor resentments that might eventually tear you apart?

If the words “I love you”  are not backed with energy and action, in good times and bad… they become an empty cliché!