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There are so many books about relationships, love, dating and of course, marriage. (Nowadays, there are also many online resources for marriage!) I personally love to read self-help / relationship / marriage books (see Realization #2), because I always feel that by the end of a book telling me how to improve my marriage or have a better marriage, I will be able to improve my marriage or have a better marriage! Fair enough, right?

But my aspirations can be short-lived. I last for about 1 week, or if I’m really persistent 1 month!…After about a month, I usually  forget what I read, or something happens that makes it extremely tough to apply what I read, and I end up back at square one!

Now, the authors of these books are well aware that what happens to me, probably happens to other couples too, so they stress that change will take time! They tell you not to expect results immediately. They also tell you not to give up if you don’t see immediate results. This is all great advice and worth remembering! But here’s what I also try to keep in mind:

If…

  • Marriage is until death do us part.
  • Marriage is a journey filled with both highs and lows.
  • Life is about learning from my mistakes.

Then…

  • I have a lifetime to figure out how to apply the principles /suggestions / advice I read in these books.
  • I have plenty of opportunities (both great and not-so-great) to apply these principles. I will either succeed or fail at these times. (This also means I need to recognize that there will be occasions where I fail!)
  • I can learn from my failures, so that I won’t make the same mistakes over and over again…or at least will make the same mistake less often!

So…if you are like me, and read relationship or marriage books, but have a difficult time applying what you have read, take heart, you are not alone. It happens even to the most motivated couples out there!

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