You wouldn't normally expect that a divorced man would give good advice on being a husband, but this man has been through enough hardship to know what is worth fighting for. After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here's the advice I wish I would have had… 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. 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.

But there's something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance.

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. If you focus on what you love, you can't help but be consumed by love.

Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife. 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.

6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It's not your wife's job to make you happy, and she CAN'T make you sad.

You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7) NEVER BLAME your wife If YOU get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make.

You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. 12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. You're not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid. The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself.

when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were. When she's sad or upset, it's not your job to fix it, it's your job to HOLD HER and let her know it's ok. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward.

Let her know that you hear her, and that she's important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… Stand present and strong and let her know you aren't going anywhere. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. In the end MARRIAGE isn't about Happily ever after. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love.

Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.) 15) BE VULNERABLE… Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don't know i she will like what she finds… One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.