You’ve all been through days with your partner and you all know that it may not always be happy days. Being in a long-term relationship requires a lot of compromising and work, Psychotherapist and positive relationship expert Gad Krebs shares his 4 key tips for a successful relationship or marriage.
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For starters you need to define for yourself, and by yourself, what the definition of an amazing marriage is? Stop comparing your relationship to those around you. Although people often present their marriages as blissful, full of affection and gushing romanticism, don’t be duped by the facade. Marital bliss can only be measured in the private, away from the public eye. To paraphrase a chapter from Jordan Peterson’s book (12 rules for life) compare your relationship to what is was yesterday, not to what someone else’s is today
Don’t accept any unsolicited advice. Early in my engagement, a well-intentioned individual offered me what he felt was the holy grail of successful marriage; “Never go to sleep when you’re angry with each other”. It appeared to be salient wisdom, and it wasn’t long before the opportunity to put this salient piece of advice to work arose. The problem, however, was that as the night and the argument drew out I found myself getting more worked up, more exhausted and more irrational. Eventually, having both physically and emotionally exhausted myself, I collapsed into bed…still angry. The following morning I awoke no longer obsessed with being right and devoid of the intense emotions I had so clearly felt the night before. I concluded that, for us, when we have an argument, and we are tired, sleep is the best approach. When we awake refreshed we can tackle the issue with a clear head. I am not saying that my way is THE correct way; I’m saying that there is no one correct way in marriage; each couple needs to experiment to see what works for them.
Contrary to common beliefs; marriages are not made in heaven. They are made on earth with hard work, dedication, devotion, sweat and tears. Two personalities, if they are to retain their unique individualities, will clash from time to time. The people we love the most will also be the people that can hurt us the most. Good marriages are not those who never clash, they are the relationships that learn to negotiate the argument.
Don’t be too proud to seek help. Most people don’t feel reluctant to go to a doctor when they are feeling lousy. Relationships, similarly, may need from time to time a fresh set of eyes to assist in traversing an impasse. Successful negotiators think WIN-WIN; that both parties need to feel like they have benefited. Often in relationships find ourselves with dilemmas that the only way forward is WIN-LOSE or LOSE-WIN; anyway we look at a problem someone loses. It is at this point, or ideally before the point is reached, that a competent therapist can assist a couple in reframing the challenge in a way that promotes alternative ways of thinking. A new team-work that can get the couple to a WIN-WIN formula. The key is that the couple needs the emotional maturity to admit that, at times, they cannot do it alone.
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