4 Super Important Relationship Skills All Couples Must Learn Before Getting Married

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Super Important Relationship Skills All Couples Must Learn Before Getting Married

If you want your union to last forever, this is essential.

Before someone gets a driver's license, they take a driver's ed course, practice with the help of an experienced driver, and closely study the rulebook. These are all valuable things to do, because driving without the necessary skills would make someone a menace on the roads and a danger to themselves and others.

The same thought process applies to getting married as well. Before getting a marriage license, people must learn how to do the high-skills activity that a partnership requires.

Otherwise, couples are at risk for intense fighting and launching a marriage that's at risk from the outset. 

RELATED: The 50 Best Marriage Tips Of All Time From 50 Marriage Experts

Couples who learn important marriage skills have the highest odds of enjoying a long-lasting and gratifying partnership. A marriage takes work and effort from both partners, but if you're willing to learn a few crucial skills, then you'll be triumphant in creating an enduring love. 

And if you're spending the time and energy needed to have a wedding, it makes sense to ensure that the marriage that follows will be a prosperous one.  Here are a few pieces of marriage advice on the 4 main critical skill areas you need for a successful partnership.

1. Emotional self-regulation

Young children often get mad, cry, or even hit their siblings. Adults, on the other hand, mostly live their lives in the calm zone. The good news is that adults who get overly emotional, especially with anger, can learn how to overcome their anger tendencies.

If you find that you raise your voice and get mad more than once every several months (or get so mad that you say and do hurtful things), you've got some important learning to do.

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2. Communication

Talking tactfully, especially when the issue is something that distresses you, and listening in a way that sustains cooperation, are essential to any marriage. Talking in a way that's complaining, critical, or otherwise hurtful will get you in serious marriage trouble.

Dismissing what your partner says, negating what you hear with "but," or ignoring, instead of digesting what you hear, are all sure to cause extreme marital woes.

3. Conflict resolution

All couples have differences. Successful couples know how to start with a "his way" and a "her way" and end up with an "our way" that they both feel good about.

That's true, whether the issue is a simple one, like what movie to see on Saturday night, or big issues like where to live, how to handle money, and how to keep your intimate life passionate.

4. Positivity

Every time you share a smile, laugh at your partner's jokes, agree with a comment your partner said, express appreciation, thank your partner for something or express affection, you are offering "dollops" of positivity. The more dollops you give, the happier you both will be.

The moral of the story? Be prepared. Remember that a wedding is for one day. But a marriage, hopefully, is forever.

RELATED: 20 Couples Reveal What They've Done To Make Their Marriage Last This Long​

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Susan Heitler, Ph.D., is a Harvard-educated clinical psychologist, marriage counselor and author. She has published several books, and has been featured in Psychology Today, WebMD, TIME and more.