Some sim­ple tips to help you thrive in a mar­riage?

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Matthew an­der­son

Warn­ing! This is a tough talk ar­ti­cle. If you are con­sid­er­ing mar­riage or al­ready mar­ried, you may be up­set by what you read. You may dis­cover that you are not ready for mar­riage or that you are cur­rently in­ca­pable of cre­at­ing a mar­riage that thrives. How­ever, if you are not yet mar­ried and heed my ad­vice you will save your­self a tre­men­dous amount of suf­fer­ing. If you are al­ready in a mar­riage, you could ben­e­fit greatly if you ap­ply even a small part of the cru­cial in­for­ma­tion be­low.


You are al­ready aware that half of all mar­riages fail. I imag­ine that you also are aware that many mar­riages that sur­vive di­vorce sim­ply do just that; sur­vive. Only a small per­cent­age of the sur­vivors go on to cre­ate a re­la­tion­ship that truly thrives with joy, deep in­ti­macy and sig­nif­i­cant mu­tual love, re­spect and sup­port.

How­ever, the ‘thrivers’ do ex­ist and their suc­cess is not a mys­tery. They make their spe­cial re­la­tion­ship last and grow by ap­ply­ing a num­ber of very spe­cific at­ti­tudes and be­hav­iors that can be taught, learned and ap­plied.

I have de­scribed these pow­er­ful guide­lines for thriv­ing in my book The Res­ur­rec­tion of Ro­mance: How to cre­ate and sus­tain a world class ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship that lasts. How­ever, for those of you who have not read the book, I have cre­ated a short cut to help you as­sess your own readi­ness to make your mar­riage thrive and your ro­mance blos­som. That short cut is in the form of a test (see be­low). In just a few mo­ments you can find out if you have what it takes to cre­ate and sus­tain a truly sat­is­fy­ing mar­riage. If you dis­cover that you lack all the skills nec­es­sary to make your re­la­tion­ship thrive, don’t de­spair. You can then re­fer to the test as a guide for what to pay at­ten­tion too next.


What are the ben­e­fits of a thriv­ing love re­la­tion­ship? Mar­riage has got­ten such a neg­a­tive rep­u­ta­tion in re­cent decades that many cou­ples are un­aware of the truly as­tound­ing gifts that are the re­sult of a healthy, thriv­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween two com­mit­ted lovers. How­ever, no other form of hu­man con­nec­tion pro­vides the po­ten­tial for such life trans­form­ing ex­pe­ri­ences as does a fully blos­somed ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship. A fully re­al­ized, blos­som­ing, long-term ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship has more heal­ing power than years of psy­chother­apy, more ac­cess to ec­stasy than any mind al­ter­ing drug, more spir­i­tual re­al­iza­tion than most re­la­tion­ships with gu­rus, more power to en­gen­der cre­ativ­ity than an artis­tic men­tor and more abil­ity to em­power per­sonal growth than the best mo­ti­va­tion coach.

To thrive in a mar­riage, you must be able to an­swer YES to all of the fol­low­ing ques­tions, AND you must be in a


re­la­tion­ship with some­one who can also an­swer YES. Oth­er­wise it is not go­ing to hap­pen (un­less both of you de­cide to make real and mean­ing­ful changes based on the list be­low). Read each ques­tion care­fully and an­swer hon­estly.


1. Do you and your part­ner af­firm each other at least twenty times for each neg­a­tive com­ment? This is a 20 to 1 ra­tio. Re­ally happy cou­ples of­ten say that this ra­tio is even higher than 20 to 1 but that is a good start.

2. Do you af­firm each other daily? Ev­ery day mat­ters in a happy re­la­tion­ship. Af­fir­ma­tion counts when it is hon­est and fre­quent. It val­i­dates and en­cour­ages and re­minds both part­ners why they got mar­ried in the first place.

3. Is emo­tional vul­ner­a­bil­ity a daily part of your com­mu­ni­ca­tion? Emo­tional vul­ner­a­bil­ity is the corner­stone of deep in­ti­macy and deep in­ti­macy is the heart of ro­man­tic love. An open heart, un­de­fended and ac­ces­si­ble, will carry a cou­ple through any val­ley of ad­ver­sity. It will also raise their love to ec­static heights.

4. Do words re­ally mat­ter? Your words and your tone make a pow­er­ful dif­fer­ence in the ef­fect you have on your love part­ner each and ev­ery day. There are no ‘throw away’ words. Ev­ery­thing you say counts.

5. Is sex al­most al­ways about mak­ing love? Sex is not about mu­tual mas­tur­ba­tion. It is not about ten­sion re­lease. Sex is about naked hearts meet­ing naked bod­ies in the most in­ti­mate con­nec­tion pos­si­ble.

6. Do you con­sider your lov­ing re­la­tion­ship pre­cious? To con­sider some­thing (your lov­ing re­la­tion­ship) to be pre­cious means to think of it as an enor­mous trea­sure that both de­serves and re­quires care, pro­tec­tion and at­ten­tion.

7. Do you con­sider your lov­ing re­la­tion­ship pri­mary? Is your re­la­tion­ship more im­por­tant than work or play or even the kids? The hus­band/wife con­nec­tion must be prior to the father/mother con­nec­tion.

8. Is anger a rare oc­cur­rence? Rare, in this case, means once or twice a year. Fre­quent anger be­tween part­ners is a sign of dys­func­tion and needs im­me­di­ate and sig­nif­i­cant at­ten­tion. Oth­er­wise it be­comes toxic and de­stroys in­ti­macy.

9. Is your lov­ing con­nec­tion more im­por­tant than be­ing right? Is your love for one an­other greater than ei­ther of your egos? Be­ing right begets self-right­eous­ness and that cre­ates de­fen­sive­ness and emo­tional dis­tance. True lovers en­joy it when their part­ner gets it right. Ego-sac­ri­fice, in these sit­u­a­tions, cre­ates warmth and trust and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

10. Are you con­sis­tently re­spon­sive to your part­ner? Be­ing reg­u­larly at­ten­tive and re­spon­sive to your part­ner val­i­dates her/him. It also es­tab­lishes a flow of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that in­creases play, joy, un­der­stand­ing and ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

11. Do you avoid ha­bit­u­a­tion? Over­do­ing habits in any area of your re­la­tion­ship will cause de­sen­si­ti­za­tion and a loss of aware­ness of the other. Adding spon­tane­ity, small changes, cre­ativ­ity to the or­di­nary as­pects of your life to­gether will en­sure ex­cite­ment, in­ter­est and stim­u­la­tion.

So now you know what you are good at and what you and your love part­ner need to work on. What­ever ef­fort you have to make will be worth it for both of you. Very lit­tle in this world is as won­der­ful as a thriv­ing ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship. So go for it. If you need help you can find it at my web­site or email me.

Rev­erend matthew an­der­son has a Doc­tor of Min­istry spe­cial­is­ing in coun­selling and has ex­ten­sive train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence in Gestalt and Jun­gian Psy­chol­ogy. He has helped many cou­ples and sin­gles suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate re­la­tion­ship is­sues. He has a best-sell­ing book, The Res­ur­rec­tion of Ro­mance. Matthew may be con­tacted through his web­site.

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