After observing a lot of happy marriages, struggling marriages and failed marriages, I think I've figured out how to make a marriage work. It comes down to three simple rules.
- Choose wisely. Like the knight said in the Indiana Jones movie: "You must choose. Choose wisely." Make sure you pick the right person to marry.
- Marry for keeps. Too many people, when they get married, are already planning their escape. They enter into the union thinking, "Oh well, if it doesn't work out, I can always get divorced." When a marriage starts with that premise, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don't plan on getting divorced. Marry for keeps.
- Hang on tight. There are a lot of forces in the world today, trying to tear marriages apart. They're very strong, and they're very effective. To make a marriage work, you have to hang on tightly to each other, making your spouse your top priority in life, abandoning everybody and everything else in the world, if necessary, in order to stay together. Don't let go — hang on tight.
Most marriages that fail, fail because one or both spouses overlooked or ignored at least one of these rules.