Dear Dr. Romance:
I'm in my mid-twenties and a professional. I recently broke up from a bad relationship with my fiancee, and lost everything. Its been sometime and I've moved on I'm doing well, but find myself attracted to a woman that is everything that I'm looking for, almost ten years my senior. She works in the same field, and understands me completely. She is someone I could marry and settle down with, but with pains from previous engagement I'm terrified to recommit. What should I do?
I recommend that you examine the reasons your previous relationship was bad, without blamingit on your ex-fiancee, but looking for your part in the disaster, even if it was just to get too committed to someone who wasn't ready for a relationship. Relationship disasters always take two. When you know what happened in your last relationship, you'll have a better idea of what to do to prevent being hurt again. Read "Stupid Cupid" to find out which questions you and your new love should be able to discuss productively.
Once you're married, you can keep your relationship going if you understand that intimacy is the art of making your partner feel understood and accepted. When this feeling is created, barriers fall. Gentle touch, eye contact a gentle sense of humor and the right words allcreate the atmosphere. Positive comments on your partner's looks or the day's activities positively will also help. Couples disconnect when they don't feel interested in each other any more. To reconnect, make an effort to listen and understand each others' needs and wants. The most powerful thing you can do to keep a marriage strong is form a partnership, a team, where both parties feel respected, cared about and needed. If you really want to restore the marriage, begin not by complaining, but by seeking to understand your partner. Once the connection is there, you can begin to work out the issues.
Here are four simple steps to create a resilient marriage:
1. Talk frequently and honestly to each other --about your frustrations, about sex, about anger,about disappointment, about your appreciation of each other, about the meaning of life, abouteverything.
2. Strive to work together to solve anything that comes up -- be a team, a partnership. Don't getstuck on who's right or wrong -- focus on what will solve the problem.
3. Keep your connection going -- through communication, sex, affection, understanding andconcern for each other.
4. Have a sense of humor, give the benefit of the doubt, care about each other. Remember, any problem can be solved if you work on it together, as a team.