As I sit on my balcony in Park City with the beautiful aspen trees blowing in the wind, as the cold fall chill approaches with the midnight sky with its array of stars blanketing the universe, I am reminded that each of us has a journey to climb and a purpose to fulfill. That our life lessons are part of our journey and experience to refine us and make us a better human being.
That as humans we have the innate ability to be God like, to create and improve from one day to the next. Knowing we all have this inner creation ability we can transform our lives and create a blissful journey. God gives us another chance to learn our lessons in life. Only by learning these lessons can we go forward on our path.
As I have quietly reflected on knowing what I know now, what could I have done to save my marriage and make our family as one if I could go back in time.
I don’t proclaim to be a relationship or marriage professional, but a simple man trying to reach his potential and learn from my past. Hoping that one day I might be able to have another chance on this amazing journey of life. And that one day a beautiful person will take a chance on this simple man.
Marriage in general is tough, its even tougher when blending two different families. Can they work I hope so! I do believe that by following these 25 lessons you will have a foundation for a successful blended family that will last forever.
1. TREAT EACH CHILD LIKE THEY ARE YOUR OWN. You must love your partners kids as much as you love yours. You must be involved with their daily actives, you must take each child out on individual dates. You must be fair with each child and not favor one over the other. If you bring something home as a surprise you must do it for everyone, regardless of the age of your children.
2. SET THE EXPECTATIONS BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED. You must agree on what the financial responsibilities will be. Are both spouses willing to pay for college expenses, recreational actives, or do you expect their EX-Spouse to be paying for these responsibilities.
3. DO FAMILY ACTIVITIES THAT EVERYONE WILL ENJOY. In most circumstances blending families will be of different ages. You need to find actives that everyone will enjoy and not separate activities based on their ages. The purpose of being a family is just that, being a family. You must do things together.
4. TAKE TURNS VISITING EACH OTHERS INLAWS AND FAMILIES – To bring families together you must do activities with each spouses family and friends. If the parents are out of state, then every month you should call your spouses parents and say hello and communicate with them. Let them know how amazing your spouse is and thank them for raising such a beautiful person. Invite their friends and loved ones over each month.
5. GET AWAY EACH MONTH. Having the same parents is hard enough, blending families can be a real challenge as the kids going to the EX can be on different weekends. Make sure to get away and go out of town for a weekend make sure to plan this and make it happen. You cannot use younger kids as an excuse to not go. This will fuel your marriage and give the embers needed to catch you love on fire. Alway go out on weekly dates and take turns on what is planned each week. Let each spouse surprise the other every other week.
6. MEN, WOMEN LIKE TO TALK. As men we are driven to kill the food and drag it home.. We are instinctually wired to achieve, provide and have the resources to make a comfortable living. Women need 17 hours of 1 on 1 time per week. If your not giving your spouse this individual attention you will have challenges in your marriage. Although providing for your family is important creating a lasting marriage and a family unit takes all precedence over anything else.
7. AS FOR OUR HOUSE WE WILL SERVE GOD. Family life is hard enough, its much easier to have God on your side helping you on your path and giving your family the guidance it needs. Above all things you should have God as your central focus. Family prayer is essential and must be planned around dinner.
8. DON’T EVER LET YOUR CHILD BE DISRESPECTFUL TO YOUR SPOUSE. As much as you love your spouse and your child, you must show your spouse they come first. Do not let this build up but take immediate and decisive action. Discipline any child immediately that offends, or refuses to follow your spouses wishes.
9. MEET YOUR PARTNERS EMOTIONAL NEEDS. Each spouse generally has 5 emotional needs that must be met in order to have a successful marriage, by knowing what these needs are and working on them every day your marriage will be successful. Affection, Sexual Fulfillment, Intimate Conversation, Recreational Companionship, Honesty and Integrity, Physical Attractiveness, Financial Support, Domestic Support, Family Commitment, Admiration.
10. IT IS BETTER TO SPEND THAN TO SAVE. I have been raised to save all my money and be ready for a rainy day. That by saving one day you would be ready. This fear mentality produces just that a Rainy Day, if your marriage ends you will have rainy and dark days ahead. Spend money on your spouse today, let them get what they want, let them buy the nice furniture or expensive handbag, its ok.. Let it go and let your spouse bloom into even a more beautiful person.
11. KICK YOUR WIFE OUR OF THE HOUSE. Women in general enjoy the communication and friendship of other women, men we cannot give them this. Let them go out with their friends once a week and you clean and take care of the house. Your wife will come back more engaged, refueled and will reward you in ways that I cannot post;)
12. SET GOALS AND DREAMS BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED. In order to have a successful marriage you both must be on the same path and have the same vision. If one of you does not share your passion for life or your goals you will have challenges as its difficult to be on a different path than your spouse. Although it is healthy to have different hobbies and interests, your big goals and visions should be the same.
13. HAVE THE SAME SPIRITUAL EXPECTATIONS. We all come from different backgrounds, beliefs and experiences, what is wrong or right to one is not always the case with another. If your spiritual journey is not aligned with your spouse you will have difficulty on your path to a successful marriage.
14. ITS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. At the end of the day, life is about relationships and memories. At times as men we can get focused in our jobs and neglect what is really of the upmost importance. It’s our spouse, children, friends and neighbors that bring the ultimate happiness and satisfaction.
15. LUCY I’M HOME. When you come home from work, whoever is the spouse at home, when your lover walks in the door run over and give them a hug and a kiss and ask them how their day went. Do this before hugging or saying hi to any of the kids. Let your children know your spouse comes first and for most above all else.
16. LEARN TO VALIDATE. As men we think we have all the answers and life lessons to give our wives. When in all actuality we don’t, all they want is a hug and to say that I am here for you and everything will be all right. Listen to their feelings and validate what they are saying and feeling.
17. SEXTING ITS JUST NOT FOR TEENS. Send your spouse flirting texts and reminders why your still in love with them, let them know you miss them and can’t wait to see them later that evening. Make it fun and playful and keep the passion going all the time.
18. ITS ONLY DISHES. Most men when we come home we have had a stressful day. We want to turn on ESPN or go on the computer, not realizing that your wife has been through hell with demon kids all day. Come home and do something nice for your spouse. Let her get a short break from her hectic day even if your day was worse than hers.
19. WHAT DO YOU VALUE. Your spouse is not a possession, not an object, they are a person with feelings, passions and desires. They need to be treated like they are the most important person alive. You must give them your attention and value them and appreciate them for all they do for you. When they talk to their friends your name should come up as the best thing that ever happened to them. Your spouse should take precedence over all other things, business, work, even your own hobbies.
20. SHARE THE SAME INTERESTS. I have seen too many people that one spouse has one hobby and the other spouse as another. Find something that you both enjoy what a brilliant idea. If you both have something your passionate about your marriage will get closer and you both can help each other as your talents are growing together.
21. MAKE SURE YOUR KIDS LIKE EACH OTHER BEFORE MARRIAGE. Make sure you do activities prior to being married. Each child should know about the spouses children and have experienced recreational activities with each other.
22. GO TO MARRIAGE COUNSELING BEFORE YOU MARRY. Make sure that if any child has a problem with the marriage that it is resolved prior to being married.
23. YES HAVE A WEDDING …A NOVAL CONCEPT. The majority of couples with blended families have already had a previous wedding, Its easy to just run to the courthouse and get married. This will actually downplay your marriage as not important and will not give those that love you the opportunity to celebrate with your joyful experience. Make sure all family members, friends and loved ones are at this joyful occasion.
24. DON’T BRING YOUR EX’S INTO YOUR NEW MARRIAGE. Its easy to bring old problems or have your EX try and sabotage your marriage and cause emotional abuse and disharmony. Obviously at times you will have to meet your old flame and exchange kids or be at events, but do not let them disrupt your marriage and cause harm.
25. LOVE YOUR SPOUSE, MORE THAN YOURSELF. If you really want to have a successful marriage you must love your spouse more than you love yourself. At the end of the day to have a marriage that will bring you happiness and bliss. You must show and demonstrate love. Love is action, love is kind, love is wanting your spouse to experience all that life has to offer. Love is willing to lay down your life for them as that would be the ultimate sacrifice. But love is really all about the simple things in life, its taking a walk and holding hands, its playing with the spouses children, its rubbing their feet after a long tough day, love is giving more to your spouse than you give to yourself.
The sky is dark the wind is blowing and the trees rustling in the cool breeze, the dawn now slowly approaches as the glorious beams of sunlight start to glimpse behind the magnificent mountain peaks.
Reminding me that with God all things are possible that sunshine and beautiful skies await and that my journey is not yet complete. What I have learned was for my benefit my learning and understanding. That everything happens for a reason and that people change so that you can learn to let them go.
People come into our lives to teach us and remind us of who we really are, they teach us valuable lessons and then they leave us after they have taught us all we needed to know.
I believe we had a spiritual contract agreement sometime in our eternal past. That we knew we had the agency to chose and the wisdom to teach each other. That with these life lessons some of them would cause pain and remorse. But by doing so these lessons would ultimately bring even greater happiness and joy in our lives.
The question to ask yourself is this? Did you love, Did you listen, Did you succeed on your life journey, did you learn the lessons and did they make you grow. Did you change your course of action to achieve better results and actions. Each of us has the God Like qualities to create Joy, Happiness and Abundance. A Blissful marriage awaits those that do…
By Lane Olsen
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