What I learned from watching the UP Series
Just finished the “UP Series,” a documentary series about 14 British children who were first interviewed at age 7 and then every 7 years after. I finished with age 42, even though there are still ages 49 and 56 out, just because the library only had up to 42. It was a fascinating look into the very personal lives of these people. You hear about their hopes, their dreams, and their ideas, and as the time goes on, you hear about the relationships they enter, the relationships they leave, the dreams that came true, and the dreams that they gave up. You hear about Neil’s heartbreaking life and you think of homeless people differently. You realize that loneliness and not having purpose in life can bring you to the edge of sanity.
And you realize most importantly that life is short. And life can be hard. You hear of the death of their family members, their health scares, their failed business plans. And that is life. Short and sometimes very hard.
Protecting your bond
And that’s why I want to encourage any one reading this, whether you are single or coupled, to make it an aim, when you do become coupled, or if you are already in a relationship, to
PROTECT your bond. Let the world throw you the curve balls, let the storms come from outside.
But PROTECT your relationship. PROTECT your marriage. Don’t be like so many couples who, given a couple of decades, go from lovers to strangers.
One of the women in the series spoke about her divorce, how there was nobody to blame, they just both realized they would be happier apart. She said that it was too easy to get out.
And that shows me that they gave up without a fight. That the relationship was not guarded and protected and nurtured.
Marrying your best friend
You have to marry someone who is like your best friend. And if you don’t, then you have to make them your best friend.
Not saying that you can’t have an actual best friend who is not your spouse, but when push comes to shove, you have to always defend your spouse. Would you talk to your other friends about your best friend?
No, because they are your best friend. And that is how you have to treat your partner.
Even if it seems innocent, bashing your husband to your friends, even just to join in on the banter, is VERY VERY HARMFUL.
It’s like fighting a battle and having a traitor within your gates. It’s like throwing missiles in your own fort.
When you hurt your partner, you hurt yourself because you are now a part of that unit.
This is a great quote: (Thanks Salome!)
“When people get married because they think it’s a long-time love affair, they’ll be divorced very soon, because all love affairs end in disappointment. But marriage is a recognition of a spiritual identity.
Marriage is not a love affair. A love affair is a totally different thing. A marriage is a commitment to that which you are. That person is literally your other half. And you and the other are one. A love affair isn’t that.”
- So be kind.
- Be gentle.
- Don’t forget your manners.
- Don’t be quick to criticize.
- Even though the thing they do is now routine, don’t forget to be appreciative.
- Choose your words wisely if you have anything negative to say.
- Choose to see the best in them.
- Be slow to anger.
- Quick to forgive.
- Don’t be so focused on defending your point that you forget to be understanding.
- Don’t hold grudges.
- Protect their reputation.
- Let the world know of the GOOD you see in them.
- Share the negative things in private and focus on YOUR feelings.
- Give them the tact you would reserve for your boss.
- Shower them with praise and appreciation every chance you get.
- Always be respectful.
- Compliment them often.
- Give them your undivided attention.
- Don’t forget special days because they are an excuse to celebrate each other.
- Make affection a natural part of spending time together.
- Celebrate their accomplishments.
- Be silly together.
- Never stop telling her she’s beautiful.
- Never stop telling him you’re proud of him.
- NEVER NEVER NEVER stop flirting.
- AND do every thing in your power to spoil them and make them feel like they won the lottery when they chose you:)