Premarital advice from a New York couples counselor
Dear Will and Kate,
I read that you had six months of premarital counseling with the Archbishop of Canterbury. That the archbishop is the perfect person to help you plan a beautiful Westminster Abbey wedding and talk about the spiritual nature of your marriage, I have no doubt. But when the day dawns when you each decides the other is a royal pain (as most couples do), I want to be sure you have practical advice from a trained, experienced couples counselor.
Here are 3 ways to make sure that your fairy-tale wedding leads to a marriage that’s as close as couples get to happy-ever-after:
1. Don’t get stuck in the past. All sorts of people with all sorts of family problems build a fulfilling marriage. You can, too. Keep your focus on your options in the present, and use your imagination. What kind of marriage would you love to be in? How can you use your creativity to bring that vision closer to reality?
2. Talk as a team about what matters to you. Forget the stiff upper lip. When you're upset about something, work together as partners to consider how the two of you can tackle the issue and create a better relationship. Don’t let your differences discourage you. Consider them an opportunity to learn new communication skills and grow more truly intimate. Learning new ways to talk to each other and bring up tough subjects is powerful, and anyone can do it.
3. Get out of your comfort zone. Keeping a long-term relationship alive means hitting the reset button now and then. Have the courage to try new ways of doing things, even if they feel stilted or scary at first. If you’re getting too busy with ceremonial duties to make time for each other, for instance, change your schedules and find some privacy again. If your time together's getting stale, freshen it up: Try a new pastime together. Risk talking more about what you're really feeling. Ask yourself whether your marriage is struggling under the weight of unspoken resentments that need to be gently raised. Just because we hope you two will get old together doesn't mean your relationship should.
Hope you’ll bookmark this page. In the meantime, enjoy your big day. We’ll all be watching.
Jean from New York
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