The Best Piece of Marriage Advice He Ever Got

When Ronald Roache got married, his new father-in-law gave him and his new bride, Yoshiko, some marriage advice. “Marriage is a business,” he told them. “part love and part business. You can’t go into the store and say, ‘I love my husband, now give me groceries.’”

At the time, Ronald and Yoshiko did what most young couples would do, they didn’t pay a lot of attention. However, it didn’t take long to find the truth in the older man’s words. Today, sixty-four years later, he says was the best piece of relationship advice he ever got.

Like most couples, when the two started out, they loved each other. Though they were mixed race (he’s black and she’s Asian), they presumed love would somehow conquer all. It wasn’t that easy.

In addition to making all the usual adjustments and decisions about housing, children, budgets, etc, their union caused its own problems. Back in the 1950’s, mixed-race marriages were way less accepted than today (if at all – and, in some places, were illegal). So the couple faced lots of social challenges right from the start. Living their life together as a “part love, part business” partnership made the difference.

Can Lovers Be Partners?

Most couples getting married today could use the same advice. Like  Ronald and Yoshiko, they marry because they love each other. However, as soon as the ring is on her finger, the task of figuring out what their soon-to-be partnership means gets back-burnered. Instead, hours and hours are spent over many months planning the wedding – an event that’s over in a day. Little time is spent planning the marriage – which, on their wedding day, the couple vow will last a lifetime.

The thing is, once the party is over and the wedding dress is packed away, real life happens. Bills come due, jobs change, children are born, houses are bought, mortgages need to be paid, cars break down, someone gets sick – all normal life changes. Normal, but they create stress and tension in a relationship. Then, if it’s normal, how do you manage those normal stresses – and still keep the love alive?

That’s what Ronald’s father-in-law was talking about in his simple but powerful advice. He knew how hard marriage is in the best circumstances. He also knew, without the business side in place, keeping the love burning when there are piles of loveless crap heaped on top of it – that’s an almost-impossible dream.

Creating and managing a good partnership is key to dealing with the “stuff” of life, love, and marriage. That’s what makes it the cornerstone of The Five-Year Marriage®.

Is it Really Love?

When people first learn about the Five-Year Marriage®, a common reaction is “it seems more like business than love.” Not true.

In the first place, why would you be thinking about marriage without love? Even in platonic marriages, where there’s no romance or sex involved, the partners have some kind of love for each other. So the love part is a given.

Next, ask anyone who is divorced about the love. When a marriage ends, even when it ends amicably, all that love is overshadowed by the business of who gets what. Many divorced men and women have admitted that, if they had worked together in their marriage the way they worked to get divorced, they might still be married. In fact, studies show that 6% of couples get back together and, when they do, 72% of the remarriages work. That’s likely because the couple learned (1) that love isn’t enough and (2) there’s value to being partners. Partners articulate their shared values and goals, talk about problems and work out solutions, make written agreements, share responsibilities equitably, and get outside help when they need it.

For most couples, the Five-Year Marriage® model has them doing more business upfront, with regular check-ins, and periodic (five-year) resets. That work doesn’t only build the partnership, it also fosters more trust, respect, and emotional safety – all the stuff real love is.

Marriage Tips for a Healthy Marriage with Partnership

I’m Annmarie Kelly. Over my career as an author, empowerment speaker, radio host, and victory strategist, I’ve had the pleasure of being able to help empower many women to live their best life. Now, I’m offering much-needed advice to singles, engaged, and married couples who are looking for an alternative to traditional marriage – help and tips that empower both partners to live their best marriage..and best life together. If you want to learn more about how The Five-Year Marriage® can offer you the advice you and your partner have been looking for, click through to read more about The Five-Year Marriage® or contact me today.

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What is the Five-Year Marriage®?

Created by Annmarie Kelly, the Five-Year Marriage® is a concept of restructuring marriage agreements every five years to take into consideration external and internal changes happening to each person in the relationship. This periodic assessment of each person’s happiness, fulfillment, obligations and goals creates a safe space for each person to grow and change, together. The result is a relationship that grows stronger and more intimate over time. This collection of articles is a dep dive into the  different concepts proposed in the book, The Five-Year Marriage® and deserve a space for additional exploration and discussion.

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