If you are serious about your relationship, I urge you to pick a few of these tips and incorporate them into your relationship so that you build on a strong foundation:
1.Do you really want to get married? If you are not fully committed or you are marrying due to social pressure, there is a greater chance of failure. Be clear before making the vow whether or not it is something you truly want. Although it is easy today to divorce, there are also tremendous legal, economic and emotional consequences of divorce for you, your partner and your children.
2.Choose the right partner. Be clear about what type of person you want to marry and which partner truly suits you. The primary key to success, happiness and longevity in any relationship, and particularly marriage, is the sharing of core values and matching temperaments i.e. you must both want the same things and your personalities need to be complementary to each other.
3.Be clear about your values, goals and what you want. Men: find out where you are going before you decide who you are going to take with you; women: beware of only marrying for security and children otherwise, one day you will meet the man that will capture your heart and even if you don’t have an affair, you will awaken to realize how unhappy you are in your relationship or marriage and you will feel lost, confused and deeply regretful..
4.Put the marriage first – yes, ahead of career and children. A strong marriage with open love, respect and affection is the strongest foundation for raising children. Putting children or career first and thus neglecting your partner and marriage will ruin your marriage and thus actually hurt the children. Read more about this principle in the interview I gave “Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome? http://patrickwanis.com/blog/2010/02/15/is-your-relationship-suffering-from-the-putt-putt-syndrome/
5.Commit to the marriage and to each other – the choice and fear by today’s generation to commit to many aspects of life including relationships is creating unhappiness, general confusion, disillusionment and lack of fulfillment. Be willing to accept that you are going to have to work hard and spend time on your marriage and relationship – it will not naturally take care of itself; if you don’t now spend any time and energy on your husband/wife and marriage, you will when you are in divorce court.
6.Focus on your partner as your source of sexual pleasure and not magazines, internet or other people
7.Set a weekly date night – make time for each other and don’t talk about money, business or kids; talk about each other. Read more about this principle in the interview I gave “Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome? http://patrickwanis.com/blog/2010/02/15/is-your-relationship-suffering-from-the-putt-putt-syndrome/
8.Keep the romance alive – keep wooing and reassuring her that she is the one, the only one for you; let her know you adore her; express affection and thoughtfulness, use texts and emails to flirt and let your partner know how much you love each other rather than simply exchanging useless information
9.Communicate – a lack of communication is the primary complaint by women about their partners; men also need to talk and communicate to deepen the bond; talk about small things (daily occurrences) and meaningful things (dreams, aspirations, goals, vacations, etc)
10.Do things together – stop being roommates and living in two worlds (women lost in children and men lost in career); share hobbies and interests to prevent growing apart; men need to do things with their wife or they lose interest; remember when you courted and you did things together?
11.Take care of yourself – men want their woman to look good – take care of yourself physically and aesthetically; don’t let your appearance slide and no, you don’t need to have a perfect body
12.Beware of a sexless marriage: Have sex regularly and look for ways to keep it exciting rather than making it repetitive or a chore or obligation; women: although you are a mother now and sex is less of a priority, be aware that it still remains a high priority for men. If there is a sexual block, talk about it and seek counseling and help.
13.Give your partner what he or she needs: Women feel loved and amorous when their partner creates a space for her to feel safe and special i.e. listen, empathize, praise, support, encourage, help and allow her to express her emotions; men feel loved when they are appreciated and acknowledged and when they receive sex. (I am not saying this is right or wrong – it’s simply the way it is.)
14.Build the emotional connection: Women: don’t stop being nurturing to your husband; men: expect that she will change and evolve physically, mentally and emotionally- work hard to keep the emotional connection alive and strong; give and receive on all levels; Women cheat when they feel invisible and their emotional needs aren’t being met. Read my article “Why women cheat”: http://patrickwanis.com/blog/2010/02/17/why-women-cheat-2/
15. Avoid selfishness, entitlement and narcissism: beware of instant gratification – think of the long term consequences and what you will lose. If you are a man with power and influence, be wary of falling into the same trap as most celebrities and politicians: delusions of grandeur and power – “the rules no longer apply to me”
16.Establish boundaries and avoid temptation: be clear about what crossing the line means – discuss it with your partner; be prepared to say no to offers and people; focus on maintaining emotional intimacy with your partner – talk with your partner about your feelings and thoughts; Beware of creating greater emotional intimacy with friends of the opposite sex than your husband or wife. Attraction to other people is natural – acting on the attraction is dangerous; if you begin to feel sexual tension, walk away. Be wary of hiding things from your partner.
17.Dissolve resentment – be open and honest with yourself about any resentment or bitterness you may feel towards your spouse for a past event; resentment destroys love and trust in a relationship and can easily lead you to look for love somewhere else; forgive and release the resentment.
18.Keep your word, remember your vow and maintain your integrity – better to get out of the relationship than betray your partner.