If you're the adult child of a divorce or simply trying to improve your marriage, here are three tips to help you cultivate a good relationship with your partner.
1. Weekly State of the Union Discussions
This is not an argument or complaint session. It's an opportunity to update each other on how things are going between you. I recommend it because ACD's often tend to avoid talking about what's going on until a problem is created. If you keep each other informed of both the good things and the problems on a regular basis, nothing will get out of hand or become too dramatic to solve easily. This works every time with every couple in counseling with me who are willing to do it.
2. Express Love, Kindness and Sweetness
The relationships depicted in the media (and probably your own parents' relationship) do not model kind, loving and considerate behavior very well. Although the press may be bored by politeness, kindness and happiness, those traits will make your partner and your relationship flourish and blossom. Consider kindness to be the lubricant of your communication; and expressing love to be the fertilizer that makes the relationship bloom.
3. Caring For Yourself And Your Partner
Guard against sacrificing too much by making sure you care about yourself, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. Guard against narcissism and selfishness by caring about your partner in the same four areas. Achieving balance in these areas is the best way to ensure that your relationship will thrive, and no one will carry too much resentment, which is the only emotion that can destroy love.
Just because your parents had a tumultious marriage doesn't mean you will have one, too. If you put effort into it, and follow the three tips I've provided, you will be one step ahead of those who don't.
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