No Training Required for Marriage?

Compassion for others —and ourselves —is key

This is the third post of advice from Opening to Love 365 Days a Year by Judith Sherven, PhD, and James Sniechowski, PhD.

The ability to disagree with somebody but still respect them . . . that’s not something we’re taught anymore.

— James Finn Garner

You took math and reading when you were in school. But you didn’t have to take Communication Skills, Conflict Resolution, Respect for Personal Differences or Positive Parenting. And yet, you’re allowed to get a marriage license and have children—with no preparation for the two most challenging and difficult experiences in life.

It’s no wonder that most everyone hates to date, feels threatened by intimacy and fights in the most brutal and destructive ways. Where would we have learned otherwise? We copy our parents, we mimic the movies, we get advice from friends—hoping to be more successful.

The fact is, every one of us deserves compassion for our struggle to love well. With no training in even the basic skills, we need to feel more compassion for ourselves (and for everyone else). Today, be kind to yourself and your partner by remaining aware that you never got a class in even Relationship Basics and that you are learning as you go.

Reinforce today’s ideas by saying this to yourself:

I deserve compassion for all I don’t know.

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