The secrets to a blissful life lie deep in the world of literature.
Since the very idea of marriage came to be, supposedly sometime before recorded history, people have been searching for the secrets of how to make it work. How can two independent people, who have lived well enough alone, come together to co-exist? No, not just co-exist — come together to be one entity, having every aspect of their previous lives align as one. I’m certain you’ll agree that it sounds a rather demanding task, and yet it’s what many of us attempt every day of our lives. So, when wondering how to have a happy marriage, where do we begin? Since art is incessantly obsessed with love, it’s as good a place as any. After all, you may just find what you’re looking for between the pages of a book, like with these popular quotes about marriage.
1. “Oh, Lizzy! Do anything rather than marry without affection.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Can you honestly imagine a marriage free from any form of affection? The idea is almost laughably implausible yet, of course, it happens. But that’s wrong because love is not a cold emotion. It’s not something made up of logic, reason, or facts. Nor is it a tangible entity. Love is something quite inexplicable that we can’t see, hear, or write down on paper. It’s something that’s accompanied by its partner in crime, affection. Without it, you just have two people sitting in a room, trying desperately to think of something to say.
2. “A good marriage, like any partnership, meant subordinating one’s own needs to that of the other’s, in the expectation that the other will do the same.” ― Nicholas Sparks, True Believer
You’ve heard that tired, old notion that you ought to put others’ needs before your own. Well, it’s true, and it’s especially true for your life partner. Nicholas Sparks put it best in this straightforward and elegant quote. When you choose to earnestly dedicate your life to someone else, that means putting them first in everything you do. A selfish person will find it hard to have a happy marriage. They will always put their own niggling needs before that of any other person.
3. “They may part in one year or ten; they may live together until death. But if she thinks he is a fool, she will not love him again.” ― Philippa Gregory, The Other Queen
Respect is one of the hardest things to earn, and yet one of the easiest to lose. Once your spouse has lost it, they may never regain it from you. If you’re honest with yourself, you know that to have a truly happy marriage, you have to hold your partner in high regard. There are many reasons that a person might lose your respect; maybe they don’t prove to be the partner you thought, perhaps they cheat on you, or maybe they let you down in some way and you just can’t look at them as you once did. Whatever the reason, when you’ve lost all respect, you’ve also lost the marriage.
4. “If I have to ‘catch’ a man to get a husband, I don’t want one.” ― Tamora Pierce, Shatterglass
Read all the dating columns you wish, but that simply will not change the facts. Although many like to believe that it’s so, love is not a game. You do not need to “catch” a spouse or somehow trick them into falling quite madly in love with you. In fact, you can enlist the help of all the self-help-esque romance tips in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will meet a partner who’s just the right match for you. Deciding to take someone as a husband or, indeed, wife, is much grander than you imagine. Only when the games are over can you truly see that.
5. “Marriage is like a well-built porch. If one of the two posts leans too much, the porch collapses. So each must be strong enough to stand on its own.” ― Deb Caletti, The Secret Life of Prince Charming
Finally, to make things really work, you have to be equally strong alone. Sure, in your darkest hours, there’s no doubt that your partner ought to be there to support you. That should be a rarity, though, rather than the status quo. If either of you becomes fully reliant on the other, it won’t be long before the cracks start to show. It’s just far too much pressure for one party to shoulder. Put simply, a marriage is a partnership. That means that neither one of you should do all the work. Instead, you should both be somewhat independent and yet, stand together with nothing but sheer strength.