There seems to be the belief that the longer a couple is married, the more they “get it” in terms of what it takes to have a good relationship and successful marriage. For instance, a couple married for 25 years “gets it” more than a couple married for 10 years. A couple married 10 years “gets it” more than a couple married 2 years. Sometimes it may seem that a couple married 1 year “gets it” more than a couple married 6 months! This kind of belief could be held by the more experienced couple themselves, but sometimes it can also stem from an assumption that an unexperienced couple may hold about a more experienced couple.
But here’s something I am starting to realize from the married couples I see around me. While it can be true that the longer a couple has been married, the more they may know about what it takes to have a good marriage, this doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to apply these principles better than a couple who has been married for a much shorter time! Yes, these couples may be more experienced when it comes to certain things in their relationship (such as children), but in terms of their relationship dynamic having had children for instance, does not necessarily imply that they have a better marriage.
Yet, there’s nothing wrong with this reality either…
If you are married, have children (even grandchildren) or are hitting a milestone year in your marriage, but have yet to “get it” when it comes to having a “successful marriage”, rest assured you are not alone. There is no shame in being a slower learner. (Some of us need to be hit with a bolt of lightning before the lightbulb goes off!) There is no shame in not being successful the first time around in your attempts to strengthen or improve your marriage. (It can be an eternal struggle to apply marriage advice!)
Don’t get discouraged! And don’t fall into the habit of comparing your marriage to other marriages either–see Realization #14: Don’t Compare Yourself With Other Couples! Remember that marriage is a journey in which learning never ceases. Some couples (regardless of how long they are married) are fast learners. Other couples (regardless of how they long are married) are slower learners. Irrespective of which kind of learner you are, as long you keep on trying, you will always be on the right track for your marriage!