Marriage is a lot of work, but unfortunately, that's a lesson many of us don't fully grasp until it's too late.
In late July, newly divorced motivational speaker Gerald Rogers took to Facebook and admitted that there were a lot of things he could have done differently to save his marriage.
The heartfelt advice Rogers shared, posted as a public note, went on to garner over 3,760 "likes" and over 98,800 shares -- and that's just at last count. Meanwhile, a reshare of the note by another Facebook user has over 68,000 "likes."
The best part of the letter? The self-effacing, real guy approach Rogers takes in giving out the advice.
"Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert," Rogers begins the note. "But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different...After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had...."
Below, a few of the lessons from Rogers's note. Don't let the pronouns fool you -- this is advice both men and women in committed relationships need to hear.
1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3) 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 every day. 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.
Head over to Facebook to read the full list, then tell us what you think of the hard-won advice in the comments.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article attributed the list to David Mikus. The advice should be attributed to motivational speaker Gerald Rogers who posted the list on Facebook in late July.