Here are a few tips that I have found to be true when working with couples:
1. Before you get married just know that couples who are “best friends” first have a better chance of staying together.
2. Couples who have longer engagements – 1 year or longer – have a better chance of staying together.
3. Couples who don’t rush into marriage, but take their time “really” getting to know each other have a better chance of staying together.
4. Couples who have “FUN” together, who play together have a better chance of staying together.
5. Couples who have disagreements and who work together to find mutually beneficial solutions have a better chance of staying together. They never take each other or marriage for granted.
6. Couples who wait a year or two or three before having children have a better chance of staying together.
7. Couples who have a mutual respect for one another have a better chance of staying together.
8. Compromise should be taken very seriously. Needing to have the last word and turning every argument into a full-blown fight can really wear on the relationship. Compromise means coming to a mutually agreeable solution – something you can both live with. Couples who continue to improve and strengthen your relationship have a better chance of staying together.
9. If you want your marriage to work, acceptance is one of the keys. If you married him/her, you need to love him/her for who they are “now” – not who you hope they will become. Bad habits and annoying comments before marriage rarely ever change after marriage.
10. Couples who communicate often – even when they don’t want to – have a better chance of staying together. A lack of effective communication is the #1 problem in relationships. You must promise to talk about anything and everything all the time that is relevant to your relationship.
BONUS #11. The seven deadly habits in a relationship are criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing. Couples committed to staying together replace these deadly habits with supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating your differences. (Source: “Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage” by William Glasser, MD, a Los Angeles psychiatrist, and his wife, Carleen Glasser, MA)
BONUS #12. Aways do what you need to do to take care of you! Self-care is not selfish, it is required. Do that and the rest becomes much easier! Nourishing yourself in every way possible will help you blossom and grow into the person you are meant to be. We all have our purpose of being here and special paths to follow. Using healthy self-care to maintain your internal emotional tune-up is a gift worth giving yourself now. Putting yourself in the spotlight will give you the energy and enthusiasm you need to be at your very best… for yourself and for your partner.
“There comes a time when our self awareness and needs become our primary goal. Realizing that when we care for our needs first, we can show up in our life in our most powerful form.” ~Mary Adams
I could go on but I won’t because most everyone knows that in order to have a great relationship you cannot have any undelivered communication that is relevant to your relationship.
Copyright © 2013 – Larry James.