5 Ways to Make Marriages Work

So, a few weeks ago during the middle of the Millennials as Entrepreneurs series, there was a little article that made some waves in my Facebook News Feed. While many friends agreed with it, Maria and I kinda thought it was a little off center.

As we were reading it, it occurred to both of us that the problems that the author, Anthony D’Ambrosio, noticed were superficial problems. That said, I think in general that the problems that many Millennials have are due to much deeper problems. Problems that are going to take some actual time and possibly some self investigation to figure out.

So, here’s my tough love advice in how Millennials (well, really, anyone) can make marriages work. After reading this list, I hope you’ll have better luck in the marriage department!

Statement 1: Sex Becomes Almost Non-existent

My Response: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

First and foremost, let’s not confuse sex columnists with relationship columnists. They are not one in the same. Sex experts generally run in the same circles as pickup artists and porn stars, while you usually find relationship columnists in circles of people like John Maxwell, Les Brown, or a Gary Chapman. They’re typically not the same people.

Need an example of who you might listen to? Ok. Then let’s take an example that I’m sure you’re familiar with: Dr. Drew Pinsky of Loveline.

Now, Dr. Drew has been in many of our lives since we were growing up. (It’s still hard for me to not think of him AND Adam Carolla hosting the show.) However, he’s not just about sex, even though many of us would think he is. He’s actually a licensed Physician and Surgeon. On top of that he’s been married since 1991 and has a couple of kids. So obviously, you can listen to him as he does have experience.

In contrast, sex educators like Emily Morse and Sandra Daugherty, while they might actually have credentials to talk about sex, you can tell just by listening to their podcasts that they have issues with relationships.

Also, you’ll also notice that in the political spectrum, relationship experts are generally more conservative while sex experts are more liberal.

So make sure you’re getting advice from the right kind of expert here.

Now that we have that ironed out, here’s something else to consider. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages tells you all you need to know about filling up your partner’s love tank. In the article, Anthony says that sex is the “most important part” of a relationship. Well, there’s a type of person that’s like that in Gary’s book. There’s also 4 other types of people who think that the most important part are other things.  One guess is that Anthony and his spouse might not have had matching love languages.

My recommendation? Find a partner who shares the same love language you have so that you don’t have to think about what fuels their fire, so to speak. 

Statement 2: Finances Cripple Us

My Response: Learn How to Live Under Your Means

Having grown up as the only child of a single mom, I’ve kind of always known about the problems of the household. People need to vent at times and frankly who else was she going to tell? Of the many things that my mom could have talked about, the thing that she did talk about the most was finances. I think mainly because she didn’t understand them herself until she was in her late 40’s. Even then, she wasn’t a master. So she made sure that I was interested enough to study them myself. In the end, I learned how to be frugal. Lol, who am I kidding. I might suffer from being a tight wad… but I’d sooner be that than out on the streets.

One of the things that Anthony talks about is that he can’t live life because of all the debt he has.

Well. I don’t have debt. Not much, anyway. Hell, I didn’t even have a credit card until a couple of years ago. Why? Cause either a.) I worked my tail off to get what I wanted in college and bought with cash. or b.) mom helped.

NEEDS vs WANTS

However, her helping me didn’t come free. There was a trade off somewhere. Many times my WANTS were put aside for my NEEDS. For example, I’ve never owned a brand new car. Would I like one, sure. Who wouldn’t? But instead at college, I rolled around in my 1983 Oldsmobile Firenza and later my 1995 Chrysler Lebaron. I made the trade of getting a college degree vs having a sporty looking import. (A side note, it’s 2015 and I just scored an awesome 2007 Dodge Magnum. Pretty pimp if I do say so myself. Has the space for the future me but the engine of the now me!)

Another want? To go on vacation. Like, for it to be paid for and not worry about money. As far as vacations go, the last vacation I took was my honeymoon in 2013. Thanks to gifts from my wedding. Before that, the last vacation I had was in 2003 to Las Vegas… where I didn’t play anything more than $50 at the slots? All other trips I’ve taken have been road trips to visit family. Not really vacation.

Don’t judge your life based on other’s high points.

Another thing he mentions is that he sees others having awesome lives. That we’re “forced to see the life everyone else is living.”

I don’t know what kind of life he’s living, but the awesome pictures that I see others posting on Facebook and other social media are more than likely those people’s high points. To judge yourself based on an endless stream of those highs, is really not fair to yourself. So stop it. Seriously. The people who travel all the time? They probably aren’t in a steady relationship unless you see that person too. The person who posts pictures of their family? They probably desperately want some alone time. One thing that has helped me out quite a bit is learning how to curate my news feed. Now all I get are pictures of cats, memes, and political stuff. Totally ok by me!

That said, if you have no idea how finances work, then you’re going to be the victim of your circumstances. Unfortunately, that rarely ends up at an ideal destination. Want to start learning about finance? A great source would be Dave Ramsey’s show and/or podcast. He’ll give you all the tough love you want.

Statement 3:We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.

My Response: Put down the controller and go outside, kid.

People who can’t learn to put down their phone or tablet or put down their laptop, apparently were never told to go play outside as a kid. I admit that I am the definition of a gamer and even I know when I’ve had enough. But that’s because I’ve been around technology all my life. I was a geek before it was trendy. I have this clock inside of me that tells me when it’s time to do something productive.

So, first hand, I’ll tell you this: If you want to lose time quickly, stare and interact with a screen that has moving things on it. Time will fly by, I guarantee it. Likewise, as an adult, poking at social media all day isn’t any different. The same synapses are firing in your brain.

Going outside to play makes life slow down as a kid. As an adult, putting down your phone and just being present is what you should be striving towards. Stop worrying about things you can’t control. You’ll drive yourself insane if you do otherwise. Don’t let your social media and technology control you. Learn to control it. Learn to know when enough is enough.

Statement 4: Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved

My Response: There’s an empty hole inside you, dear serial selfie taker.

I have never taken a selfie. Not once. Have I had other take a picture of me? Yes, of course. There’s a difference. In my case, a big difference. I’ve never enjoyed having pictures of me taken – even when I was a kid. I know a part of it was that I didn’t like looking good in pictures – that kind of still lingers to this day. However, I think the biggest thing was that I didn’t like being the focus of attention. I’ve never been interested in being a celebrity.

However, there’s a difference in being a celebrity vs what celebrities have, don’t get me wrong. If I could be a part of the infamous 1%, I would. Even with the media hating on them and people constantly trying to assassinate them or the need of constantly having to worry about million dollar deals on a daily basis, I’d think that would be awesome. Why? Simply because with money does come options to help people in ways that no one person can do otherwise and frankly, who wouldn’t want the ability to have the finer things in life if it was desired?

But outside of being a teacher and speaker, I have no interest in being in front of people. If I am going to be in front of people, I better be adding value to them. 

Statement 5: Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.

My Response: This is actually a continuation of Statement 4…

Ok, so you don’t take selfies. I’ll give you points for that. But why would people feel it necessary to take pictures of their wardrobes? Or during their date? Why? What’s that going to get them? Again… you’re going for bragging rights or least some form of being a celebrity. The last I heard, true celebrities are made the old fashioned way. They’re selected by the powers that be. Just because some people Liked your last Instagram picture, doesn’t make you an insta-celebrity. If you want people to stick around in your life, leave them feeling better than when they came in it. They’ll never forget you.

So, that’s just my 2p…

What about you? Are you or anyone you know struggling with the above problems? Are you guilty of some of these? Is your significant other? How about a friend and their mate? Did you say anything similar to what I’ve said above? In the comments below, I’d like to hear about cases in your life… and if they were a friend, what you told them!

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