You Don’t Need to Fail in Order to Succeed
A lot of people think that having a few failed relationships is helpful in preparing them for marriage. Some even go as so far as seeing the first marriage itself as a ‘training ground’ for the grand love that is expected to follow. They reason: now I know what NOT to do in a relationship.
Experience often does produce wisdom, and wisdom is surely a help in any relationship. However, for many, experience breeds not wisdom, but cynicism and bitterness. Too many people learn the wrong things from their negative experiences; they learn not to trust, not have high expectations about a relationship lasting, not to invest too much of themselves.
Marriage Means Business
These are excellent self-protective strategies if your goal is to avoid the pain of rejection and failure, but they are exactly the wrong behaviors for building a vibrant marriage. No marriage can flourish without trust, hope and total commitment. But there is something else that is faulty with this thinking. There is an underlying assumption that the only way to learn about relationship is through mistakes; that we have to have failure and disaster in order to learn and mature.
In truth we learn from both failing and succeeding. In business no one would consider successive failures as providing any confidence of success next time round. Just like in business, being in a successful relationship is the best learning opportunity. All relationships have difficulties. The challenge for us all is to learn wisdom rather than cynicism in order to overcome the difficulties rather than walk away from them. Like anything in life, success breeds success… especially in marriage.