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Marriage As Discipline: How To Embrace The Work Part

Karl Pillemer, author of the book 30 Lessons for Loving, recently stopped by Huffington Post and shared some helpful advice that was given to him by elderly people he interviewed for the new book. Their advice covered living and loving, and on the topic of marriage, one thing became clear: approach it as a discipline.

Pillemer said that elders “viewed marriage as an unbreakable bond; they simply had to work within those parameters. That means, for example, you live through rough patches and don’t just try to get out of the relationship. You come to accommodations and acceptances of the other person. You see this unit as something that is bigger than two people and their immediate individual satisfaction.”

More from HuffPo:

“When they got married, they were making a commitment to the concept of marriage as a worthwhile institution, rather than the partnership based on immediate satisfaction of the individuals involved.

“I got from them the idea of marriage as a discipline — not a punishment kind of discipline but the way it’s used if you’re learning music or a martial art. Marriage is a lifelong path, one that you never perfect and that you continually work to get better at. You’re continually working to improve communication and overcome problems and establish more interest.

“This worldview — that once you were in marriage, you were in it for good — shaped people’s day-to-day experience and view of it. It’s one of the things which those who do articulate it recommend to younger people. They say, even if the reality is that you may not stay married, you ought to have this attitude, because it will make you work harder to get through difficult times. And there are such benefits to doing that that you ought to do it.”

As an online divorce review site, we know this isn’t an approach that everyone can, or even should, take because so much depends on the other party. But it is invaluable advice for anyone hoping to bridge the gap of differences that can exist in a ¬†marriage. It’s definitely worth considering the next time that you have issues in a relationship. But what do you think, readers? Are the elders right or is this advice an oversimplification?

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