I truly believe that marriage is as much of a mindset as it is a heart-felt emotion.
My theory on marriage, let me explain myself…
Donetta and I have forged this strange but very powerful ability within our marriage that is now absolutely key to how we’re able to manage many different situations.
I don’t have a name for this ability or strategy we’ve formulated but it’s around how we make decisions.
The first thing you need to do is make a decision on how you’re going to make all future decisions, in particular in the times when you don’t agree but a decision still needs to be made.
I shit you not this is so simple that you may even toss this off as a useless tip. But, having conjured this up and lived it for 6 years I can tell you I know of no-one else that can get on with life quite like we do. I understand that’s a huge statement to make but I stand by it.
Anyway back to that first big decision. You need to decide how to make decisions and then stick with that formula.
As cheesy as it sounds, the goal should ALWAYS be happiness, happiness for the whole family not just one person.
First example. We’ve decided that no matter how big or small a change is that one of us would like to make to our lives, we lay down our reasons and thought process and then listen to the other persons reasons and thought process with an open mind that your idea might not be the best one.
We’ve applied this to things as big as moving house or as small as which colour scheme to decorate the living room. We haven’t always agreed but often our reasons and thought processes result in a better joint idea that we go forward with keeping everyone happy. We’ve moved house 7 times in 6 years and every single time we’ve applied this simple rule. Sometimes it’s been Donetta that has said ‘I want to move house’ and other times it’s been me. We lay out our reasons and formulate the best plan for everyone. We’re finally where we envisioned we’d be after being very patient and getting here slowly.
A pretty big thing that causes many arguments between married couples is how you’re going to parent your children. I’ll admit that much of this one has been pure luck that we both have very similar beliefs in how to parent and that’s made it much easier but now and again we disagree.
So, again from day one, we made a decision that if one of us were ever to be in doubt about anything, it would be a no. For example, if I thought a particular activity or childminder or nursery was a good idea or OK but Donetta had a slight doubt, we decided it wouldn’t matter what put the doubt there we would decided against said activity etc.
We apply this so often and it works. There’s been times Donetta has been all for pushing Corben in a particular direction but I’ve had a bad feeling about it. It could be completely irrational but we stick to our blue print and it works.
One of the best things about applying this method is that the other one of us will never be annoyed at the one with doubts. Because we’ve both been on either side of it so we know how the other one is feeling and that on the next occasion it could be me. So we say no problem and move on.
Corben has a nut allergy and again this method is so simple yet massively effective. One of us can read a label, search online etc about a new food for Corben to have and deem it nut safe. If the other one isn’t sure or has any doubt then we leave it on the shelf. We could have subconsciously seen an article online about that supermarket not labelling correctly or anything it doesn’t matter, any doubt we decide against EVERY TIME.
When it comes to the daily niggle type arguments that I’ve seen in some marriages build and build and ultimately turning into something much more sinister, we apply a different method.
It’s all about evaluating every situation quickly and deciding whether it’s marriage threatening, then moving on and getting over it.
When you’re making the decision to spend the rest of your life with someone you have to be realistic about it. You have to be self-aware and apply that with logic and reason in your marriage.
Some days I’m just off. No reason, I’m just going to be a dick that day. We all have days like this for usually no reason whatsoever, they’re minimal but happen. When you’re living with someone 24/7/365 you have to be realistic and look at the numbers. There’s likely to be days when your partner is just being a douche. There’s also personality differences that will be magnified when you’re spending every day together.
I really think a lot of couples don’t acknowledge the enormity of how these little things can build becoming something that seems much more serious and ultimately give you the illusion you’re not happy in your marriage.
Actually it’s less of a method and more of an ability that Donetta and I both have in the fact that we can quickly suss out when these moments or days are happening, acknowledge them, evaluate quickly that they’re not marriage threatening, merely an off day and then delete the whole thing and move on.
I know I’m a very big character. I am full on almost every single day. What you see on social media and YouTube is quite literally what Donetta has in her face 24/7. Imagine that. I also know that Donetta is too, a very strong personality and takes ZERO SHIT.
As you can imagine we can clash quite fiercely when we’re both sure we’re right. This ability we have mastered though takes away any of the after-effects that I think ultimately ends many relationships. I can honestly say 99% of our ‘arguments’ are started, finished and forgotten about within 5 minutes. The best part of this method/ability we apply to our lives, is that they are then completely forgotten about and usual life resumes.
I hope I’ve explained this well, it’s so difficult because its something that has just evolved throughout our time together and it’s so second nature it isn’t until I’m trying to explain it that I realise how often these processes are in play.
If you take away one thing from this glimpse into the Psychology of our marriage, I hope it’s that more couples need to evaluate much quicker the severity of each disagreement/argument and learn to move on from it completely and immediately. Do not add all of these little things together each time they happen building an illusion that you’re in a broken relationship.
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