My dear Jack and Jil, I present a few nuggets from my letters to you this year. Here they are:
Marriage is not supposed to be difficult. Marry someone you can get along with.
Don’t marry someone with the hope of changing the person. That’s rather presumptuous.
A large chunk of marriage is consumed by responsibility. When there’s no sense of responsibility in marriage romance suffers.
That you start small doesn’t mean you’ll end small. You have to find your way to the top. No one will find it for you.
You can’t see the future from where you are. No young person can see that far. How you think you’ll advance in life is not going to be as you imagine.
An abusive marriage produces damaged characters. Both the abused and abuser are damaged.
Marriage is not “I do.” That’s matrimonial concession. The marriage is the relationship. The quality of relationship matters in marriage.
Love is essential to marriage and the primary channel of love is your spouse.
The ultimate act of trust is marriage. We never realise it but when you marry you’re essentially committing your life to someone. You’re committing your heart. That’s a lot of trust.
You will hardly know who your friends are until your troubles come.
In a relationship, you can’t assume there’s no alternative to you. Even death has an options menu.
Don’t ever assume you have a monopoly of the channel of affection in marriage. There are always competing channels, even if inferior.
Expressing affection to someone is not always about feelings. Sometimes it’s a duty. There’s a dutiful dimension.
Don’t take care for granted in marriage. Not all spouses are caring. When you have a caring spouse go out of your way to show care when it’s needed.
Faithfulness is your commitment to yourself, your commitment to your values. It’s about what you believe in, it’s not about eye service.
Don’t do evil to someone who has done you good in life. Never forget the good people do to you.
You must necessarily question your values if you insist on dating a guy with questionable means.
Everyone starts somewhere. Don’t despise days of small beginnings.
Understanding is a heart thing, not a head thing. It’s about identifying with each other, wanting to be identified with one another in a relationship.
The love that sustains marriage requires effort.
Kindness makes a man attractive.
You can’t have a relationship without agreeability. Two can’t walk together except they agree.
A marriage doesn’t make sense without love. You’ll be locked up in a mechanical contraption with someone you have no affection for.
Commitment is not just ‘Oh, we’re starting an exclusive relationship.’ It’s commitment to somebody’s life, somebody’s dream, someone’s wellbeing. It’s a unity of spirit.
Personality can’t sustain a wholesome relationship. Neither can looks. It is values and character that do.
A marriage can’t accommodate third parties. The space is just enough for two.
People are not what they say they are to you, they are the condition of their heart towards you.
Without a sense of responsibility your life will hardly have direction. You’ll waste your youth.
Don’t pretend you don’t want a relationship when you really want one.
Sometimes despair comes from the information we ingest. It’s why you have to be careful about what you read, what you hear… These things affect your outlook to life.
You’re not supposed to trade marriage for happiness. You’re supposed to have both, they’re not exclusive.
Marriage is not just about romance, sensuality and sexuality. A large chunk of marriage is consumed by responsibility.
Loveless sex can’t resolve the question of loneliness.
Desperation will get you into a wrong union. And desperation only addresses short term issues.
We must be willing to give what we want in a relationship. Relationship is the perfect laboratory for the law of sowing and reaping.
Communication matters in creating a relationship.
You need to be wise in life. You can’t bare intimate details of your life to someone you just met even though you hope to marry him.
A good relationship is easy. It’s not manipulated, it’s not contrived, it’s just easy. It’s giving – materially and emotionally.
Relationships demand sacrifice. In a relationship both parties must be willing to sacrifice for each other.
You have to be able to manage both lack and prosperity. Lack separates spouses as much as prosperity separates spouses.
Marriage requires wisdom. The wisdom of “us” not “I, me and myself”.
You can’t go through life impervious to correction and counsel. You’ll lose opportunities in life.
Many times in life we’re looking for that one break. But that one break is hardly ever about money. What makes the break valuable is the fact it shows us our life potential – what our life can become.
Marriage is so potent that when it goes wrong it can blight your health – mental, emotional and physical.
The race is not to the swift, it’s to the prepared.
Develop brain muscles. If you don’t develop mental processing capacity you’ll be limited in life.
If you don’t have drive you won’t succeed in life. That means pushing yourself. You’ve got to be self-driven. You must have inner motivation. Don’t rely on external stimuli. You’ll be reactionary and almost never do anything unless compelled.
“Working smart” can’t replace hard work. Smartness speaks to efficiencies it does not speak to industry. Work hard and smart. Hard work involves being thorough, being rigorous, perfecting the output, refining it with relentless dedication.
As you aim for the top appreciate your intermediate successes. They may seem small but they represent progress. They give encouragement.
This is my last #Letr2Jil #Letr2Jack for 2019. I’m going on hols. I hope you have a memorable holiday. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance! See you in 2020!