Nicholas Alexander began writing a diary when he started his divorce. This month, Nicholas talks frankly to Wikizine readers about what he's learned...
If I could offer you only one piece of advice for your future, to keep on kissing and being affectionate, would be it. Donít stop the kissing and affection.
Never underestimate the power of a kiss and the cuddle that goes with it, the way it heals and repairs; the way it brings you together, the way it joins you publically and privately, the intimacy it shows, the loving gesture it communicates and the affection that results. Dance together and touch all the time, you will not believe how amazingly important touch is until it stops or it is gone. Many marriage councillors would agree with this but the rest of my advice is nothing more than references from my own lifeís journey and experience and I would like to share this advice with you now.
Don't be reckless with your spouses heart, don't put up with them if they are reckless with yours. Remember all the wonderful reasons you fell in love, the chemistry and unbelievable feeling you felt when you first got together. Be careful with one anotherís love, being in love is the most amazing feeling in our lives, it can stop us eating, it can make us ill, it can make us cry and do silly things, it can make us go against our better judgment, love is the most powerful emotion we have, it brings a sense of happiness and well being that is hard to touch, the endorphins it creates are astounding. Donít forget this; youíll not realise how important the love is until the day you can no longer see it.
Keep writing love letters and notes; make an effort for special occasions, especially your anniversary and respective birthdays. If you succeed in doing this, you will already be a success together.
Keep making love, be impulsive, be considerate, be interesting and be energetic. Make love with your minds, bodies and senses, the experiences will be amazing. Don't use making love as a weapon; donít withhold it for any reasons that are emotional or related to punishment, it just builds up resentment. Donít do it!
Remember how you were when you fell in love, try and keep the attraction alive by staying on top of your well being, what you eat, how much you drink and how much you exercise. Don't forget how much effort you put into the way you looked and smelled at the beginning of your relationship. Trim your nose hairs, wax (if thatís what you do), try and make an effort. Appreciate your body, donít just let go. Be grateful for your mutual health; itís the health that will really blindside you at the most unexpected time and the thing you will miss the most when it is gone.
According to Baz Luhrmann your body it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own...
The real focuses of your life should be about keeping up conversation, being yourself, being interested in your spouseís happiness and not controlling them. Listen well, be prepared to accept their point of view and opinion and know that you will not always be right. Staying in the game, takes communication with respect, donít use harsh words and raise your voice or shout, being calm is important. Learn the ability to say sorry, say sorry when you should, and mean it.
Trust. (Until you have a reason not to.)
The person you choose in life is half chance, enjoy them. Don't worry about infidelity; or worry about losing love, know that temptation and the risk of losing one another will always be there, worrying about it as effective eating chocolate everyday when youíre on a weight loss plan. Do new things, go out alone with friends, but never be vulnerable to flattering advances. Keep the passion alive, your friendship is very important, romance is hard work so donít stop giving one another compliments, try and avoid any insults and reassure one another all the time.
Talk about your feelings; be honest and truthful about the things that matter, be self aware when you live together, be considerate and respectful. Remember when you share your life with someone else you cannot be selfish like you were when you lived alone or when you were single. Malcolm Gladwell (the famous research writer) believes that mutual respect is the single biggest factor influencing marriage and its success.
Get plenty of sleep, go to bed together. (Most of the time) Too much TV will kill your communication, your lovemaking and your marriage. Sleep depravation is a monster, ask any Mothers and they will agree. A well rested mind is invaluable when there are difficult times. And it will get difficult; there will be many hard times as you worry about your children, education, mortgages, cash flow, security and most importantly your mutual happiness and health. Your mutual happiness and health are essential.
>h4>Donít control or be controlled.
Remember, people come with a past, (donít dwell in the past or past relationships) you are with that person in the present and for the future, if you look after them, you will never be a past relationship. You are both individuals; donít steal one anotherís freedom.
Be good parents.
Bringing a child into the world is a huge responsibility. Be nice, kind and loving to your children; they are a gift so precious and enormous they should never be taken for granted. Get used to worrying about them as that will never stop for as long as you are alive.
Be friends but have your own friends too.
Understand that marital friends come and go, keep the friendships mutual and balanced because you will need them when your relationship is in a lull. Be good friends to others, work hard to keep the relationships solid and respectful.
Men: do DIY!
Never under estimate the power of being able to put up a shelf or a curtain pole without striking an electric wire or it falling down on your wifeís head the first time it is used. Women: be supportive if they canít.
Respect your families.
You come from different backgrounds and influences, try and see the good in that and donít become a victim to the IN-Law factor. Watch Meet the Fokkers at least once a year. Make time for your extended families they are the only people that will be there unconditionally for you if you lose everything.
Don't surround yourself with material things, spending and debt, stuff will not keep or make you happy. Live on the purity of your love and happiness.
Love is such an amazing gift, you will find happiness if you try every day, take the ups and downs, the thrills and spills, they are in fact all a part of lifeís crooked way. Be good to one another, be true, and donít prejudice your love with material idols, with being red, green or blue.
Trust me on the kissing and affection.
A little something on 'True Love' (taken from the movie Stardust):
Yvaine: You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn't true. I know a lot about love. I've seen it, centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate... It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves... You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and... What I'm trying to say, Tristan is... I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I'd know it for myself. My heart... It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it's trying to escape because it doesn't belong to me anymore. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I'd wish for nothing in exchange - no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine.