10 Steps to Happily Ever After

by: Slade Hartwell

Do you know what all happy and healthy marriages have in common? In every one of them you will find two people committed to making each other happy. You will find a man who cherishes his wife and puts her needs above his own, and you will find a wife who respects and trusts her man. We live in very selfish times. Pop-psychology messages are everywhere in the media encouraging us to love ourselves, do right by ourselves, and generally please ourselves first. If you really want a happy marriage, don’t buy into that type of self-centered thinking. Instead, try these 10 time-tested techniques and experience the happiness, peace, and tranquility of a healthy marriage.

1. Make time for each other. It’s so easy in our hyper-busy modern lifestyles to forget to set aside a little time to enjoy each other’s company. Start a weekly tradition of setting a date for the two of you to be together doing something you both enjoy. Keep it simple. Take a nice walk together. Sip coffee together in a cozy coffeehouse. Talk to each other, reminisce, and get to know each other again.

2. Take time off from each other. Give each other space and time to work on hobbies and personal interests. When you have an interesting project to work on, you will feel more fulfilled and you will be a more interesting person.

3. Make little romantic gestures. Remember to compliment your spouse. Leave a little love note for them to find once in awhile. Celebrate the day you first met.Send flowers for no particular reason. You should continuously make little deposits in your spouse’s emotional bank account. The return on your investment will be incredible.

4. Fight fair. Don’t argue in front of other people. Don’t insult each other or each other’s families. Never threaten divorce, and never go to bed angry. Let the little things go, and don’t make a big deal out of every disagreement. Before arguing, think; is this really going to matter in the long run?

5. Take interest in what interests your spouse. Watch their favorite shows with them. Read their favorite book, so you can talk about it with them. Encourage them to develop their talents.

6. Listen to your spouse. Husbands, remember that women need to express their feelings. Be a good sport and just listen. Don’t interrupt, or get distracted. Empathize with her. Let her know that you can relate to what she’s feeling. Ladies, please remember that the kind of talk you might like to have with your husband does not come naturally to most men. Just be patient. It’s not a good idea to “unload” on him right when he comes home from work.

7. Accept your spouse for who they are. Practice total acceptance. Don’t hold your spouse to your expectations; you will only succeed at building resentment.

8. Express your commitment. In little ways, you can, and should, renew your vows to each other over and over. Your spouse will feel comfortable and secure knowing that you are truly committed to the marriage. True closeness will only happen when all doubt and insecurity is replaced by confidence in the relationship. Let your spouse know that you really are in it “till death do us part.”

9. Trust in each other. Don’t be suspicious. Don’t snoop through each other’s belongings. To help ensure the trust, be honest with your spouse in all things. Never keep secrets from each other, not even little ones.

10. Make it your aim to be your spouse’s best friend. Appreciate your spouse for who they are. Loosen up and have fun with each other. If you are practicing the steps above, you are on your way to being your spouse’s best friend the ultimate relationship in marriage.

About the Author

Slade Hartwell, Webmaster at www.ezromantic.com

Romance Relationship Resources We offer tons of romance and relationship help such as: great articles, advice, love poems, book reviews, gift ideas, romantic travel guides, a relationships forum, and more.

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You CAN Improve Your Relationship

by: Kim Olver

It seems as if creating successful relationships with our significant others and parenting children are two of the most difficult jobs we face and yet we get no formal training in either. It’s as if people believe that we are born with an inherent ability to do these two things. Yet, look around us. In the US, the divorce rate is slightly over 50%! I don’t know anywhere but baseball where a 50% average is a good thing.

Couples go through life getting along when times are good; and fighting with, ignoring, or leaving each other when things get tough. Most people believe that to seek help with their relationships means to admit a certain kind of defeat that says something about who they are as a person. Or possibly, they believe that relationships are something we are just supposed to be able to manage on our own. Or, finally, some people believe that those out there helping couples can’t know any more than they do. After all, what’s to know about keeping relationships together?

Well, the truth is that there is a whole lot to learn when it comes to relationships. Unfortunately, the only training most of us ever receive is the passive learning we get through the modeling of the adults who live in our house with us and the media. Now, I don’t know about you, but my parents had only received the informal training they got from their parents, and they from my great grandparents and so on back through the generations. There is so much more to know about relationships than that!

For Two Bits Tuesday: B A L A N C E
For Two Bits Tuesday: B A L A N C E (Photo credit: EraPhernalia Vintage . . . (playin’ hook-y ;o))

Also, my parents have helped support that 50% statistic cited earlier in that they divorced sometime around their 25th wedding anniversary. What I learned about relationships from watching them is that couples never argue, especially in front of the children. On the surface, my parents had a very happy marriage but my father experienced a stereotypical mid-life crisis and suddenly questioned the meaning of “life” and decided marriage was holding him back somehow.

In some ways, this type of training may have been as bad as those who have parents who argue all the time. Disagreements are a natural by-product of relationships. It is virtually impossible for two people to come together and create a life without some of their ideals, values, opinions or day-to-day activities coming into conflict with each other. The question becomes how the couple manages this conflict.

There are many things to consider when speaking about couples and their challenges and areas for growth and development. The first is compatibility. I know there is an expression that says opposites attract and I believe there is some accuracy in that statement when you think of attraction as that chemical interaction that occurs when two people meet and are attracted. This chemical attraction doesn’t care what the other person’s values are, what is important to him or her, the personality characteristics involved, or what either of you likes to do in your spare time. Compatibility is a key for a successful, healthy relationship. Go to www.therelationshipcenter.biz and take the free Assessment to determine your compatibility with your partner.

A second consideration is simply that there are major differences in how men are in relationships compared to how women are. Women generally don’t understand men because the men don’t act like women and similarly, men don’t understand women because they don’t act like men. And since a woman has never been a man and a man has never been a woman, how does each learn about these important differences? John Gray researched and wrote about these issues in his book, Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus. But I would say that the majority of people in relationships don’t take the time to learn about these gender differences. It is easier to point a finger and blame the other person for his or her “irrational” behavior.

As mentioned earlier, a third area of growth is learning how to manage conflict. There are time proven methods for resolving conflict that we don’t learn in school or from a book. There are ways to actually hear each other in relationships. By placing the relationship FIRST in importance, these methods can be implemented by couples to greatly improve their satisfaction.

There is so much to learn about satisfying relationships that your parents never showed you. Please don’t become one of the statistics of divorce or perhaps worse, stay in a miserable relationship to honor your marriage vows while having so many regrets about your life as the time ticks away.

Take charge and take control of your life. Learn some new ways to improve the relationship you are already in or to prepare yourself for being a better, improved partner for the next person in your life. Contact Kim at 708-957-6047 or email at Kim@TheRelationshipCenter.biz about relationship coaching or take one the many Teleclasses scheduled on the Events Calendar at www.TheRelationshipCenter.biz.  Don’t wait until it is too late.

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