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Initially when I got married after meeting my wife and courting for six years, I thought that i knew so much about relationships and how to live with another person from another home and from a different upbringing.

The excitement and euphoria of being newly wed soon fade out as we needed to harmonize decisions and take decisive actions on so many crucial issues including where to live and what the future holds. Part of the resultant effects of the decisions we took then led to us living thousands of miles apart and not seeing each other for eight years.

It was rough, financially draining and emotionally a life changing course of action which looking in retrospect I may not agree to if I knew the things I know now. However, this shows that there are no marriage manuals anywhere but couples learn as they go in the journey of life. We learn from the experiences of others and chart a cause of action.

Issues of different nature will arise with some of them shaking the union to its roots but only a firm resolve and appropriate counselling will help.

I have also come to see that, in part, a good marriage depends on developing a clear picture of our own lives, a difficult and painful process for many of us.

A real marriage takes guts and honesty and patience and having tough conversations ALL. THE. TIME.

There are no perfect endings, but there are good, reasonable chances to make marriages work—as I said, the two words go together because they don't depend on magic, or inspiration, or outside forces. Strong relationships depend on a shared sense of responsibility, a shared sense of joy, a shared sense of what's important to both of you and to each of you. These might well be different.

You also need enough figurative (and sometimes literal) room to allow each of you to remain separate enough to offer love to one another. Two-in-one-flesh can be really suffocating if you spend thirty years in anything other than a potato sack race.

Good marriages are not about shutting out the world but enjoying it with an intimate partner.

You take a deep breath and then head for deep water, together, your destinies intertwined. You'll get in over your heads but you'll help each other rise up. Breathe, laugh, and, acknowledge the distance you've come, then head out even further.

So that brings me back to the question of who do you listen to or whose life experiences shape your journey in life? Proverbs 13:20,He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise, But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.

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