Below is a short discussion inspired by the episode "They Do: Talking Marriage with Conan O’Brien" from The Michelle Obama Podcast.
Marriage comes with multiple challenges. Personal differences and changes that come throughout the marriage can lead to disagreements that can damage or end the relationship entirely. We can change our perspective to manage the challenges of marriage. When we align our priorities, manage our expectations, and practice our empathy, we can build a marriage that lasts.
In this episode of the Michelle Obama Podcast, Conan O’Brien talks about how he’s kept his marriage strong amidst conflicts and changes in the relationship.
Here’s how we can build a marriage that lasts:
- Make sure you’re compatible. Before we enter a relationship, we should see first if they possess the qualities we think are conducive to married life. We can do this by observing our partner throughout difficult times in the relationship.
- Cultivate empathy in the marriage. We can make a conscious effort to understand our partner’s emotions. When they see that we understand what they’re going through, we can reconcile without saying hurtful words and without anyone feeling unheard.
- Expect changes when starting a family. We should never lose focus on our marriage even if we’re caught up with child rearing. This entails keeping communication open and offering to help whenever we can. This prevents any resentment from building up and any conflict that may come with it.
When we take the time to think, listen, and understand, we can build a marriage that lasts a lifetime.
the distilld lessons
Here are the distilld lessons inspired by The Michelle Obama Podcast episode, "They Do: Talking Marriage with Conan O’Brien" featuring Conan O'Brien.
There’s no shortage of challenges in marriage. Differences in perspectives and expectations can lead to disappointments and disagreements.
Choosing a partner is like choosing a player for a sports team: we pick those that are determined to win.
A marriage built like a team is a marriage built for success. When we take the time to make sure that we’re compatible with our partner, we can build a strong foundation for the commitment of a lifetime.
Before we enter a relationship, we should see first if our partner has the qualities that lead to a satisfying marriage.
Observe your partner during times of conflict. How they handle fights and how they process their emotions show us if they’re someone we can see ourselves marrying.
Cultivate empathy in the marriage. We can resolve conflicts in the marriage healthily when we make a conscious effort to understand our partner’s emotions.
Conan believes that when someone is losing their temper, they’re feeling fear deep down. Our job as a partner is to ease those fears.
When they see that we empathize with what they’re going through and that we see through the hurtful words they say, we can reconcile without anyone feeling unheard.
Having a baby can tilt the balance in a marriage. Michelle says it’s because the division of labor in child rearing is unequal – the mother bearing the heavier burden.
Open communication and cooperation prevent resentment in a marriage. To understand what our significant other is going through, we should take the time to observe and ask.
- Prepare for marriage. Don’t rush into it or play it by ear. Marriage is a lifetime commitment, and it entails a lifetime of preparation. Make sure that you have the commitment, mindset, and resources to share a life with someone else.
- Assess your romantic relationships. Observe your partner throughout the relationship. The values that they have now are the values that they will carry into the marriage. This helps you assess whether you’re compatible with them or not.
- Be mindful when you’re angry with your partner. Remember that you don’t have to use hurtful words to get your point across. Be respectful or ask for space so you can take time to calm yourself down.
- Empathize with your partner during disagreements. Do the internal work to see where they’re coming from.
- Prepare your marriage for child rearing. This doesn’t just entail actual preparation for when the baby arrives, but emotional preparation as well. Keep communication open and keep tasks equally divided.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (extended) are here.