If Your Marriage Was A Business Would Your Mentor Help You Through

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In sports the most successful athletes have coaches and mentors. Coaches know how and when to motivate, train, inspire and bring out the best in others. Mentors have been there and done that. While both are important, let’s focus our attention on mentors because they are widely available and most often free of charge and anxious to be of service.

Everybody feels good when someone asks them for advice. Older & wiser people have a wealth of information to share. Business leaders are anxious to share the lessons they’ve learned with people on their way to the top. Sure you can read a book about a person’s success story, but imagine having dinner every month or so with someone able and willing to share their expertise and wisdom. How could a business improve with that practice in place? How could your marriage?

Those who have made it through tough times with a strong successful marriage have something to say about how it can be accomplished. Seek these couples out in your families, neighborhoods, places of worship & work. Examples of unsuccessful partnerships are all over daytime TV. For examples of healthy, fulfilling and long lasting relationships, take a look at the people in your real life.

When you meet people who’ve been married to each other many years how they have made it work for so long. Not only is the question a great conversation starter, but you’ll learn something that you may be able to quickly incorporate into your own relationship that could make a difference and you will make them feel good about themselves at the same time!

At a dinner party thrown by my husband’s business partner, we found ourselves at a table with four couples; all were our parent’s age. Conversation was somewhat ordinary until I asked the question, “What’s your secret to being married more than 25 years?” We talked all night. They each went around the table with their special blend of advice for us “young folks”. Then they went around again with more marriage tips! We all left the party feeling great. They got to be experts on the topic of marriage. They got to feel acknowledged for their successful relationship. They got to appreciate each other all over again by sharing their personal stories. They got to pass along their advice to interested people. They got to feel good by having something to say about an important topic. Everyone was engaged in the conversation. We got to learn from their wisdom and experience.

The evening was a win-win for everyone. You are welcome to go through the experience of marriage on your own, without the wisdom of those who have done it well, but just as I wouldn’t advise a young person to make a career choice without talking to someone in the field, I don’t recommend trying to create a marriage without advise from those who are “in the field”. Successful people who have something to share on the topic of business or marriage will want to save you from the hassle and heartache of learning what they had to learn the hard way. You can do it yourself or take their advice and perhaps save your marriage.

One warning I would be remiss if I didn’t mention here… choose your mentors carefully. Any advisor, paid or volunteer, is only valuable to you if their expertise has integrity. By that I mean that I wouldn’t want a nutritionist who was 100 pounds overweight- that would lack integrity. If, at any point, you believe your mentor relationship is not supporting your goal of a happy, life-long marriage, end your mentor partnership and shop for a new one.

Creating mentors may mean seeking out specific couples and asking them formally to be your “marriage mentors”. You may meet regularly as a couple for a meal with your marriage mentors, or you may meet or talk occasionally as a need arises. There are no rules to mentor relationships, though the best plan is to structure time to connect with marriage mentors to keep that relationship strong.

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