While you are dating, engaged or in the first year of marriage it’s important to have a vision of what you want in your family life. If you set a foundation, to begin with, then the marriage is much more solid. It’s important to talk with your mate and collaborate about what you both want. Here are some tools for setting that foundation.
People tend to unconsciously repeat the patterns they grew up with. If your parents yelled and screamed, you’re more likely to do so within your own family. If they gave each other the silent treatment, then you’re much more likely to sulk and pull away to deal with issues in life. Learn to discuss things calmly. Men are more likely retreat from a situation when they are mad because they’re afraid their anger will overtake them. Women tend to talk too much. So, practice listening for understanding. Attend a communication workshop where you can practice these skills and receive feedback.
Fair Fight Rules
Many marriages end because people become verbally abusive when they are angry. It’s essential to set ground rules about arguing.
- Commit to NEVER name call or put down your partner during an argument.
- Commit never to say anything that is so hurtful your partner won’t be able to forget. It destroys trust and safety in the relationship.
- Commit to leaving the past in the past. If you argue about something, do not bring up past grievances.
- Focus on the problem and solutions not on attacking your partner.Even if you need a cool down period to talk rationally, agree not to go to bed angry.
- Focus on What’s Right.
- Focus on what you love about your partner.
- Let your partner know daily how you appreciate him or her.
Often the same things that attract you to your partner are also what can drive you crazy. You may have been attracted to your partner’s ability to work and take care of you. You’re frustrated when he works too much. You may have liked the spontaneous side of your partner, yet it drives you crazy when she can’t plan or follow through. Remember the good side of your partner’s strengths and appreciate your beloved for his or her strengths.
Be sure to say “I love you” several times a day. Compliment your partner on how they look. Teach your partner to say things like, “You look great! You’re beautiful.”
Sex is important in marriage. Every couple finds what’s best for them and it changes throughout the marriage. For men, we know one thing: The absence of sex makes them unhappy. For women, it is not as problematic. So, it’s essential to know this and find ways to please both partners. Don’t become just roommates. Find ways to make sex exciting. Reinvent your romantic and sensual self.
These simple steps will help to build a powerful foundation in your family life. You will find your marriage to be stronger, healthier and happier as you develop these tools and strengths.