By Candice Davie
Honestly, that "once upon a time, they lived happily ever after" story line is what we are all after in some way. It sounds great and simple enough, but many couples are surprised and disappointed when what they see does not line up with the picture-perfect romance they had in mind.
Sometimes all the prep that goes into having a fairy tale wedding day, it's almost expected that love alone should be enough to take care of the rest of the marriage. However, thinking that marriage can run on autopilot is a huge and costly mistake.
Two people with two different backgrounds and perspectives, with no clue on how to make a life together, can quickly turn any sweet dream of a blissful marriage into a nightmare. Like anything else you want a big return on, marriage needs to be invested into with consistency.
Communication must be intentional and occasionally may need some outside help. If you are thinking about getting married, are engaged, or already hitched here are five people who can help you find and keep your happily ever after.
Devon Franklin and Meagan Good
Devon Franklin is the motivational speaker, best-selling author and Hollywood producer who has been taking the world by storm with his more traditional views and tips on faith, dating and marriage. His book, The Wait, co-written with his wife, Meagan Good, shares their own love story and their decision to practice celibacy while dating.
They also give advice on how the delayed gratification that comes with waiting can lead to success in not only your personal life but your spiritual and professional life as well. In his most recent book, The Truth About Men, Franklin talks candidly about why men do the things they do and how men and women can use this information to have fulfilling, committed relationships.
Dr. Alduan and Mecca Tartt
During a time when forty to fifty percent of marriages end up in divorce, according to Apa.org, Alduan and Mecca Tartt are an Atlanta-based husband and wife power team who have made it their mission to see that marriages succeed. Separately and together, they can be seen online giving encouraging tips and advice on their YouTube channel, and on Instagram.
Dr. Alduan Tartt is a clinical psychologist who has hosted several workshops on healthy marriages and relationships while also offering counseling sessions at his private practice in Decatur, Georgia. Most recently this couple put together Body Talk, a sold-out date night experience that was an open conversation about the best ways to increase intimacy and create a real connection with your spouse.
When asked about the one piece of advice for married couples, Mecca said, "My advice to women is to learn how to maintain a sense of self. Don't lose sight of what you like to do and are working towards." She also emphasizes that communication is especially important along with being open about each other's expectations because ignoring an issue does not make it go away, and could create other problems later down the road that could have been preventable.
Dr. Pia Holec
Let's face it, sex and intimacy can help to set the stage for a successful marriage or a tumultuous breakup. Too many learn the hard way that although the two are related, they are not the same thing. With two people from different upbringings, beliefs, experiences, and needs, it can become easy to let life take over.
Dr. Pia Holec is a sex therapist who specializes in helping individuals and couples get to the root of their sexual and intimacy issues. Dr. Holec's hashtagged Just The Tip Tuesday videos on Instagram shows her down-to-earth style and ability to shed light on issues that many people may be silently struggling with in their relationships.
Marriage should and can be the beautiful, long-lasting journey it was created to be. While it is best to seek out tools that will set you up for success beforehand, it is never too late to do what it takes to make your marriage everything you envisioned it to be.
There is no such thing as a perfect marriage but, there is a master plan that is perfect for the two of you. This might involve doing some soul searching, genuine effort, and pushing your ego to the side, but what could result from it all is definitely worth it!
Who is your go-to expert for relationship advice? Let us know in the comments below!