Gerald Rogers is a courageous and humble man. How do I know this? Because very few people could’ve done what he did – talk about his marriage and divorce so candidly – and for the benefit of so many. I’ll let the man himself tell you:
“Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different … After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had…”
A couple of things to take away from Rogers’ introduction. First, his divorce was settled the week that he wrote the article, “Marriage Advice I Wish I Would Have Had.” Second, genuine humility is required to admit personal shortcomings contributing to the end of a marriage – and to do so in such a public manner.
This article focuses on the 20 pieces of marriage advice Rogers gives. The article was so successful that Rogers ended up writing the 2014 book called Marriage Advice I Wish I Would’ve Had: What Divorce Taught Me about Love and Life.
Before getting into the marriage advice, here’s a short section about Gerald Rogers.
Who is Gerald Rogers?
“What?! I can control my world? I can control my results? It lit my soul up…” – Gerald Rogers, upon listening to Earl Nightingale (source)
In his own words, Rogers is a “breakthrough mentor” who aims to transform those who seek transformation. (Yes, that’s it.) Rogers uses phrases like “conscious creators,” “divine power,” “soul purpose,” and “live big.” From his public talks, it is apparent that he is an unabashed proponent of manifestation. Rogers makes a living as a life coach, author, mentor, and guest speaker.
To listen to Gerald Rogers talk is to hear a charismatic and obviously intelligent person. He doesn’t bring the over-the-top energy like Tony Robbins or the smooth tongue of a Les Brown, but his subtle approach connects with people who dig that kind of intellectual, softer, “professor-like” demeanor. (Personally, this writer found Roger’s style warm and genuine.)
He attributes much of his success and direction in love to Earl Nightingale’s The Strangest Secret, a 1957 personal-success and self-help book that sold over one million copies. The book is credited with helping to “launch [the] fields of business of motivation and audio publishing.”
Now that you know who Gerald Rogers is, let us get to the heart of the article.
20 Pieces of Marriage Advice to Never Ignore
#1 – “Never Stop Courting”
The gist here is that she chose you. There’s a tendency for both men and women to take one another for granted once the knot is tied – kind of like a subliminal, “Well, she’s mine, and I’m hers.” Make sure to step back and appreciate just how much trust is involved. Don’t get lazy in your love or devotion.
#2 – “Protect Your Own Heart”
Protecting your own heart is about not leaving room for someone else to come and reside there. Be vigilant about who you allow into your life, particularly those of the opposite sex.
#3 – “Fall In Love Over and Over Again”
It’s so easy to allow love to stagnate. Being comfortable with each other’s presence is one thing; living as if you’re dorm buddies at college is another. Actively keep your attention on your loved one. Doing so will cause you to fall in love over and over again.
#4 – “Always See the Best in Her”
What you focus on expands, so focus on what you love about each other. If you focus only on those things that are annoying or frustrating, you’ll have a marriage filled with tension and unease. Have you ever had someone mention just how wonderful your spouse is and why? Concentrate on those things.
#5 – “It’s Not Your Job to Change or Fix Her”
Pretty straightforward here, isn’t it? Indeed, it isn’t your duty to fix what’s wrong with your spouse. Support them? Yes. Point the way? Yes. But they must be an adult and initiate the change required.
#6 – “Take Full Accountability”
Be responsible for your own emotions. It’s not your spouse’s job to act as an emotional circus clown in some vain attempt to make you happy. If you have personal issues that are impeding your marriage, fix them. Ask your spouse for help.
#7 – “Never Blame Your Wife If You…”
Notice the “you” in that sentence. Why are you shifting blame for something that you did? Yes, this includes getting angry or upset at her for something that you did or did not do. Get yourself under control and get back to your wife when you’re in the right state of mind.
#8 – “Allow Your Woman to Just Be…”
Again, this one is about not trying to “fix” her (or your) emotions. Be there. Be present. Hold each other. Tell her things will be okay. Be the rock.
#9 – “Be Silly…”
Yes, be silly. Act like a damned goofball. Have you ever stepped back and observed someone that you know who takes life too seriously? Do you want to be that person?
#10 – “Fill Her Soul Every Day”
Know what makes her feel loved and do those things. What makes her feel important? Validated? Make a mental note of those things and commit it to memory. Execute.
#11 – “Be Present”
Few things are more pitiful than the man or woman unable to be present with their loved ones. The perfect archetype is the workaholic husband too wrapped up in their inner world to share themselves with their family. Don’t be that person. Put your attention on there here and now – and on your spouse and family.
#12 – “Love Strong”
The title says it all, doesn’t it? It means exactly as it says. You’re the man. You’re physically stronger and more aggressive. There are times to leverage these differences, and romance is one of them.
#13 – “Don’t Be An Idiot”
Message, received. This one isn’t about never making mistakes. It’s about taking ownership of your screwups instead of compounding them. Act with common sense; own your mistakes.
#14 – “Give Her Space”
Personal space – while more limited during marriage than singlehood – is nonetheless important for relationship happiness. Give each other the space they need. If you have children together, it’s even more critical that you grace her with the magic words, “Take some time for yourself, honey.”
#15 – “Be Vulnerable”
A marriage covenant includes the sharing of thoughts and feelings, whether or not you like them. Fear, insecurity, sadness, regret, all of these and more should be out in the open and up for discussion with few exceptions.
#16 – “Be Fully Transparent”
One of the biggest mistakes made when getting married is failing to disclose parts of their lives that will affect the other person. This lack of accountability and transparency may carry far into the relationship and, depending on the degree and nature of the offense, may lead to a culture of mistrust. Have the courage to be fully transparent – and then allow him or her to make the call.
#17 – “Never Stop Growing Together”
Just as a person must continue seeking growth to reach their full potential, they must do the same in a marriage. But this time, the growth must be shared and reciprocated. Have dreams and goals – and resolve to work on them together.
#18 – “Don’t Worry About Money”
This is an awesome quote: “Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.”
#19 – “Forgive Immediately”
Let your focus be on the present and future, but never on the past. Forgiveness is a powerful antidote to emotional pain and something that must be a priority in marriage. If you can’t forgive right away, take the time that you need to heal and revisit the issue at a later time. Just remember: forgiveness is freedom.
#20 – “Always Choose Love”
Have you ever just sat back and observed just how emotional we humans are? Not only are we emotional, but we can be incredibly short-sighted in the midst of emotions, especially negative ones. In the throes of an emotional whirlwind, it is a tremendous blessing to bear in mind the potent nature of love. Love can overcome anger, irritation, hurt, jealousy, lust, malice, pettiness, and even hate.
Be unceasing in your love for each other. May you have an extraordinarily blessed and loving marriage.