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Have An Easy Peasy Marriage By . . .

Day at the Seaside by libertygrace0, on Flickr

I am a huge fan of common sense. I don’t really know why. This might be because common sense is just so pragmatic. Possibly I adore it because I am just naïve and need to adopt a more ‘critical spirit.’ But I suppose the reason I subscribe to common sense is because it’s just kind of easy to accept the obvious.

So here is an obvious truth: The more selfish you’re in your marriage, the more your marriage is going to suck.

Likewise, the more unselfish you’re in your marriage, the more you marriage is not going to suck.

Unfortunately, many of us simply don’t act upon this common sense truth.  We prefer to live in a perpetual state of suckiness because the thought of actually not being selfish seems unjust. The natural law of fairness seems to teach us that the more selfish our spouses are, the more selfish we are allowed to be.

And now justified, we take full advantage of the opportunity. We begin to act like children screaming ‘MINE!’ We tattle tale on our spouses to our family and friends. We scratch and bit back (hopefully only figuratively) because we were scratched and bitten. And just like children, we self-righteously assert, ‘Billy did it first.’

Congratulations! We have successfully justified acting like children.

This is just nonsense—not common sense. Common sense compels parents to teach their children how to rise above the occasion. I am sure some children psychologist would object, but most of us say to our children, ‘you know better,’ ‘you’re older then that,’ ‘stop complaining,’ ‘act your age,’ ‘it’s never O.K. to hit back’, or something of that sort.

Here is my suggestion for you today: If you want an ‘easy peasy marriage,’ then take your own advice to your children and knock it off.

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Brandon Wall is a counselor in Cedar Rapids, Iowa: http://www.cedarrapidscounselingcenter.com/

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