You should never settle for just an 'ok' relationship. Invest in it and reap the benefits.
CBS 3 KYW-Television Broadcast
August 30, 2004: 4:00 PM
Transcript of Segment
The saying goes "all you need is love" but a healthy relationship demands a lot more than that. Anchor Alycia Lane finds out the secrets to successful relationship.
Of all the skills we learn in school, there is no class on how to have a healthy relationship and with almost half of all marriages ending in divorce maybe there should be.
Nine years of marriage and three children later Susan and Neil Cooper's communication is often reduced to the daily chatter of chores and appointments. More than a year ago they realized that wasn't enough.
"We just reached the point that it was very difficult to communicate and we had a lot of yelling and screaming," stated Neil.
"And all of those challenges took the focus away from the fact that at one point we had been a man and a woman who fell in love," said Susan.
After more than seven years of growing pains, Susan found a semester long class on relationships taught by Dr. Rita DeMaria, the Director of Relationship Education at the Council for Relationships.
"We need a lot more positive in the relationship so that we have sort of money in the love bank when it comes time for conflicts that we have to solve," explained Dr. DeMaria.
Dr. DeMaria says gender differences are often the source of conflicts: "I don't think that women realize how sensitive men are. Even though they don't communicate their feelings well, it doesn't mean they don't have them."
Understanding her husband's need for some private time after work was difficult for Susan. "She thought it was some kind of statement that I didn't love her," recalled Neal.
"A lot of time we get caught into complaining, but we never really say what we want. We say what we're unhappy about,"Dr. DeMaria stated.
Today Susan and Neal have learned how to blend their needs into a happy marriage.
"One of the challenges that we had to work through was instead of trying to impose our own perspective on each other was to hear what the other person had to say,"said Susan.
They both agreed that listening wholeheartedly makes all the difference.
"I would say it's great," said Neal. Susan agreed, "I would say it's strong, and definitely moving in the right direction."
Research suggests that couples wait six years to get professional help once they realize there's a problem in their relationship. Click here for more information on Dr. DeMaria's courses.
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