Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seven Steps is a Good Start

posted by Michele Olson

I’ve been invited to five weddings over the next few months. As an old married lady of 32 years, it does my heart good to remember back to those pristine days of wedding planning and dreaming of happily ever after.

Back to the days when everything was possible because you had age and time on your side. Heady, glorious days. I wish those same feelings for all those couples who will be saying “I do” in the next few months, a time of the year when many weddings take place.

Sheba R. Wheeler writing for the Denver Post reminds us that the “I do” is only the beginning.

If it were only true that you could have a lasting marriage with only seven steps, we would be ready to eradicate the divorce rate. But it’s a good beginning to start with these seven steps as she talks about in her Denver Post article;
"I do" is only the beginning: Seven secrets to a lasting marriage
Communication, conflict-management and negotiation skills are more important than ever.

In her article she points out that with all the complications of this modern world have come more complications for healthy relbationships. It’s true. For the majority of my marriage; there couldn’t be fights about texting, FaceBook, or computer time. And when my husband and I got married; there were only a couple of channels to choose from.

Couples today need even more skills to deal with everything that is available, the ability to resolve conflicts and communicate effectively takes on even greater importance as time goes by.

Citing several helpful books, the seven areas highlighted include:

· Paying attention to every day annoyances. The famous ones like how to hang the toilet paper roll or squeeze the toothpaste tube, or those that surface in your relationship do matter. They all can convey one message, “you don’t respect me.” That’s why they matter.

· Know when to talk about things. The minute someone walks in the door or in the middle of an irritating moment is probably not the time to say “I wanted to talk to you about this.” Instead, pick a good time, when you are both able to concentrate and listen.
· Use technology to possibly start a topic of conversation, but not have the conversation itself. Save that for in person. Walks are a good time to really talk.
· Stoke the passion. It’s easy in the beginning, but find some things that work for you as a couple to keep the fires burning.

· A 10 minute rule. Spend at least that much time in a day talking about things other than the kids, your job etc.

· Give men affirmations. We ladies tend to get it from sisters, mothers and girlfriends whereas men look to their wives. Of course as any woman would tell you, she would like them from her husband too.

· Don’t live together unless you are planning a married future together. Living together without a plan to marry is more likely to lead to divorce once you do marry.

So there you have it, read the article and get more details on the seven areas.

I would have to add an eighth: take a couples check up at thinkmarriage.org

What do you think? Do you agree with the seven, or would you say something different?
Let us hear from you with a blog response!

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