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The Marriage Essentials


Always Pursue Her!

First things first: Why on Earth would you choose to read some random blog from some random dude you have never met before? Well for starters: Hi! I am Rusty. Now we aren't strangers anymore.

Second, I am currently on my second marriage, which has been 13 years of marital bliss . . . prior to that I was married to Satan. I say that in a joking fashion. I accept much of the blame for the failure of my first marriage simply because I failed to remember the 100-100 rule. What is that? Well, it is very simple. In any successful marriage, it is not a 50-50 input, but rather a 100-100 percent input.

As we all know when it comes to something that interests us or is something we enjoy, we often devote more time to that one specific subject. For an example, my father was a huge NASCAR fan, so naturally on Sundays he was always tuned into whatever channel was airing the races. A successful marriage also requires that kind of commitment. You must be interested in the marriage or relationship. You have to stay interested. I found through my first marriage that material things did not mean that I had a happy home life. I used to work very long hours as a correctional officer. I always made sure that my ex had money to go out and spend on whatever she wanted. I figured that as long as she was getting whatever she wanted that she would continue to stay happy. I am here to tell you money literally isn’t everything.

We rolled on for several months after being married. I was working all the overtime I could get my hands on and she was flirting with any man that looked her way. No let me stop you there. It isn’t all her fault for feeling lonely. Remember I was working every possible second so I began to neglect her basic needs in the marriage. Meaning that she was looking for someone to show her love and affection, not just slide her a twenty dollar bill and expect her to be satisfied.

Women often need to feel loved. They need something to remind them that they are special to you. You think about them throughout your day and that you miss them. It took me several years to fully understand this. I found out the hard way. I had a "best friend" that would come over to visit on the weekend and cook out. We enjoyed drinking a few beers, watching the local sports games, and just hanging out. What I did not know was that he and my ex were also seeing each other behind my back. I won't go into any further details other than the marriage did not work out and ended in a nasty divorce.

After spending some time being completely depressed and lonely, I dissected the situation to see if I had done something wrong. To enlist in this research I logged our first dates down, which dates were the best, what made her always seem the most happy, was there a point where I felt she was cheating, etc. You get the picture. I found that the dates she enjoyed the most were the dates I spent the least on! For an example, a simple picnic with some Winn-Dixie fried chicken and fixings. Or a walk in the local park just to enjoy the outside and togetherness. I started to put pieces of the puzzle together and found that the times I would leave little notes, or things to remind her that I loved her was when our marriage was the strongest.

We began to fight was when I mistakenly thought that monetary items would make her happier. I found myself no longer leaving love notes, never sending flowers, never saying I love you when hanging up the phone. Now this was a time before Myspace (old I know), Facebook, Twitter, or whatever new social media is out there. This was back when people actually talked on phones and spoke to each other over dinner instead of having your phone stuck in your face. I realized that I had failed to pursue her. I had instead assumed she was happy rather than asking if she was happy. In the end, I could only blame myself. In the end, the divorce was imminent.

Fast forward a few months and I started dating an old high school sweetheart. We bumped into each other and both of us were coming from long-term previous relationships. I was in the middle of a divorce and she was recouping from a broken engagement so neither of us wanting anything serious. Instead we found ourselves playing tennis, shopping, trying new restaurants, etc.

Slowly, but surely it grew from a mere friendship/companionship into a blossoming romance, the terrifying thing for me was trying to hide my growing feelings for her. I found myself scrambling for any fragment of information she was willing to give me about herself. This continued on for several months until I invited her to dinner at one of our favorite places to eat — Italian of course, could never go wrong with that, I told her that there was something I needed to tell her but I was horrified to tell her because of the fear of losing her as a friend.

She gave me a stunning smile. She looked at me and whispered that she had fallen in love with me and was wondering how long it was going to take me to realize it. I was frozen. Boom, mic drop, #shegotme! I could only laugh and nod my head. After a few short months of dating it occurred to me that I was always finding new ways to tell her I loved her and was thinking about her. Examples included leaving little Post-it notes on her steering wheel, running her a hot bath after she got home from work, making her home-cooked meals. Just simple, yet joyful ways to always show her the love I had for her.

I always found myself listening to how her day went, even when in reality my day might have been terrible. I always found that when I asked her and she would vent about whatever happened, she always looked more peaceful which in turn made me feel more peaceful. I noticed for a while I slacked off on the romantic things I was doing, honestly just because I had started college and was also working a full-time job.

At first I paid no attention until one day I walked her out to her car and she flipped the visor down. I could see a look of disappointment on her face. I asked her what was wrong and she simply said, you must have fallen out of love with me. You never leave me notes anymore. That is when it struck me. You have to always pursue that significant other. I again started the romantic small things and found myself being happier when I would do those things because I knew she enjoyed getting them. I even began to find notes in my truck, or in my pants pocket of the clothes I was wearing the next day. Still to this day I find little things to do to make her feel loved. That is the key element in the relationship: Don’t think it will work if you give 40% and she gives 60%. It has to be 100-100. Keep chasing her as if you’re terrified you will lose her, because if you aren’t chasing her, I can assure you someone else will be. Make her feel like she has already won the race and never set foot on the track. Kiss her deep, hold her close, embrace the desire to be with each other, and above all, keep the romance alive!!

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