Secrets to maintain a healthy relationship.
In the United States and other Western Countries more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50. There are plenty of respected and reliable studies that show that healthy marriages are linked to mental and physical health. As positive as this all appears, there is the deeply troubling reality that 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. What is worse is than that is the divorce rate is even higher for second and third marriages -- approximately 67% of second, and 73% of third marriages. There are theories for why these later marriages fail.
A common explanation is people who enter the second marriage are ‘on the rebound,’ not allowing adequate time to recover from the psychological stresses caused by divorce to make grounded decisions.
A subscriber Ron writes that he has met a wonderful woman and wants to get married. But since this would be his third marriage, he is worried that he will yet again get it wrong. After 4 years, he writes that he is extremely fond of his girlfriend and she wants to get married. He says that they are extremely compatible and happy together. He adds that he has been to counseling and understands the reasons his marriages did not work. He writes,“I really feel like this is it.” But he admits that he "has the jitters after failing at marriage twice." He asked me, "What does it take to make sure that a marriage can survive and thrive?"
I told Ron that compatibility is important for the foundation of a healthy relationship. Some of us are able to find this at a young age, but most of us need more experiences to understand our needs. As we mature, we can find a better fit since we know ourselves better. It is also extremely important to have similar values and want the same things in life.
I have met with hundreds of couples over the past 18 years as a couples counselor and know there are certain essential ingredients a healthy relationship needs to begin and sustain itself.
- The partners must be committed to each other and the relationship. They need to constantly communicate and assert their needs.
- A key ingredient that I tell my clients about is the importance of taking ownership when wrong. If you are responsible for hurting your partner's feelings or at fault for causing friction, then you must immediately admit it.It is rare that fault lies solely on one person. If something is wrong and you know that it is because of you, I encourage you take ownership for your negative contribution. This creates an honest and caring dynamic that opens the way for easy communication, allowing both of you to constructively make your arguments and raise concerns to reach mutual understanding. Pointless blaming will be replaced by deeper understanding, respect and appreciation.
- Without nurturing, relationships perish. Just like a fruit tree must have good soil and regular water to bear fruit, relationships require both partners to support each other to grow, blossom and flourish.
When my couples ask me “do you think our relationship can work?” I tell them: "Are you willing to commit yourselves to make it work?"
Do you want to learn the key to having a long term vibrant relationship? Click here for a free audio and lesson on how to communicate more effectively and create more intimacy in your relationship.
This article was originally published at http://www.relationshipsuite.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.