Steps to Preparing for a Healthy and Lasting Marriage

The institution of marriage has been traditionally considered a long term commitment. Identifying and working through issues prior to marriage can be predictive of a healthier relationship in the future. Carolin Lehmann, editorial fellow for The Huffington Post, has generated a summary of marriage experts’ “to do list” for couples getting ready to embark on the commitment of marriage. By following these steps, experts believe couples are more likely to experience a lasting union.

“Work together to become skilled communicators”. Being able to honestly and clearly communicate are valuable assets in a relationship. Furthermore, raising issues in a non attacking way is predictive of a long and happy marriage, according to psychiatrist Marcia Sirota.

“Discuss family planning”. It is valuable to clarify whether or not to have children, as well as how many, prior to marriage. By coming to an agreement beforehand, you are eliminating some potential problems down the road, according to Leslie Petruk.

“Acknowledge your shortcomings”. Kurt Smith encourages couples to express areas of needed improvement as a partner as well as a commitment to work on issues.

“Make peace with each other’s friends and families”. In an effort to maintain a healthy network of family and friends, it is important not only to make peace with those whom you find challenging, but to also actively support your partner’s relationships, according to Nari Jeter.

“Set weekly marriage meetings even before the wedding”. Relationship crises can be averted by couples who plan regular meetings to discuss concerns, plan fun events, or simply to express appreciation for one another. Having these meetings fosters closeness and a skill set to more effectively manage issues as a team, according to Marcia Naomi Berger.

“Address the hot-button topic that is finances”. Discussing and implementing a plan for money management, is great way to bypass a common problem among couples. Leslie Petruk further explains that “financial health is a reflection of the health of your relationship and how well you communicate and function as a team.” The couple’s relationship around finances must have a foundation of transparency and trust, rather than secrecy.

“Don’t ignore the difficult issues”. Rather than ignoring problems, Kurt Smith suggests that couples in happier marriages address their issues.

“Go to premarital counseling”. Nari Jeeter recommends couples attend premarital counseling in order to establish expectations and determine when the couple may need to seek external support. By meeting with a therapist, the couple is not only engaging in a preventative checkup, they also establish an easier path to seeking support in the future if needed.

In addition, our Start Right, Stay Connected Seminar is a great opportunity for you to receive the tools and education to create a long lasting partnership.  For more information or to register, go to Start Right, Stay Connected Seminar

Huffington Post article by Carolin Lehmann

Having an Emotionally Intelligent Husband is Predictive of a Happier Marriage

Dr. John Gottman conducted a long-term study of newlywed couples and determined that marriages are happier and less likely to end in divorce when an emotionally intelligent husband shares power and accepts his partner’s influence.

The husband who lacks emotional intelligence rejects his wife’s influence because he fears a loss of power. And because he is unwilling to accept influence, he will not be influential. Signs that a man is rejecting his wife’s influence include the use of criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling- what Gottman refers to as the Four Horsemen.

Gottman goes on to assert that rather than losing power and influence in the relationship, the emotionally intelligent husband not only learns how to better connect with his wife, but also gains respect, power, and influence.