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Not everyday is Valentine’s Day. Top secret love advice from J.D. Murphy.

You probably heard of the 80/20 rule. Applied to a business, you might expect 80% of your sales to come from 20% of your customers. In your love life, the 80/20 rule may well hold true as well. You may find that most of the time, your marriage is really good. But, for some smaller portion of the time, you and your spouse have troubles. And, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Marriage brings happiness. And, it also brings a portion of challenges. Learning how to balance the 80/20 is part of our secret love advice.

But those who marry will have trouble in this life.

— 1 Corinthians 7:28

Writing in Faith Gateway, here is how Dr. Emerson Eggerichs puts it:

If we do not accept the inevitability of some trouble as part of God’s design (that we will have moments when we feel unloved or disrespected), we may fall for the idea that a marriage should always be the perfect Hollywood romance. And then when troubles do come, we may conclude that we are not receiving what we deserve. If we expect 100 percent fulfillment, we will be ill prepared to deal with the moments when we feel unfulfilled or worse. We will grow discontented and resentful, and if we let these feelings dwell in our minds, it is not much of a jump to wondering if we made a mistake by marrying in the first place.

My point is simple: it is all too easy to focus on the 20 percent (the irritations and annoyances) and forget that 80 percent of the time things go quite well or even better than that. That pesky 20 percent of trouble turns out to be the leaven that leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:9).

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