“Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert”, the post begins. “But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different [sic].”
What follows is a 1600-word list of of relationship advice, called MARRIAGE ADVICE I WISH I WOULD HAVE HAD. And on Facebook, it has gone viral: at the time of writing, the post has had more than 18,000 likes, 123,000 shares and hundreds of comments from around the world.
The author is Gerald Rogers, an American motivational coach. The post features a large photo of the author and his former wife on their wedding day (above).
“After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had”, he writes, before going on to list his 20 top items of advice.
They include the following:
“FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
“IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
“NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.”
Commentators have pointed out that the advice is as applicable to wives as it is to husbands. The advice can be read in full here.
Gerald Rogers has described the response to his hard-won wisdom as “super-humbling”.
“I feel incredibly grateful for all those who have listened and chosen to work a little harder on their relationships,” he said. “I just hope all of us can be a little wiser as we learn how to love a little better.”