About two years ago I sent e-mail to friends, clients, and colleagues asking them the following question:
Your best friend is getting married. What piece of advice would you recommend to him or her to assist them in maintaining a long and healthy courtship? With the divorce rate escalating, our goal is to try and enlighten couples who choose to consummate their relationships and marry.
The responses I received were very interesting so I figured I would share one of them with you... with more to follow: I tell all my friends who are getting that communication is the key. I know that everyone will probably say the same thing but it is so true. Never let a fight escalate to the point where you are going to intentionally hurt your partner's feelings. Always air things out before going to bed, if possible, because, I don't know about you, but I cannot have an argument or disagreement with my husband and lay my head on my pillow and drift off to dreamland. I need to either tell him how he made me feel or apologize if I hurt him. Unless I clear the air, I am unable to sleep. So to avoid dark circles under your eyes and a headache in the morning from lack of sleep, clear the air and you will both feel better. Hey, you should go see the movie "The Break Up", that movie sums it up pretty good. Two people who love each other let arguments and unspoken feelings ruin their relationship to the point of no return. Great movie!! It really hits on the issue that real couples go through with communication or lack thereof. I also tell my friends to never settle. I was married before to a man who did not know how to communicate. He used physical and mental abuse to get his "point across". To let me know how much he loved me. Needless to say, I "got the point". I would attempt to talk things out with him, but he did not want to listen. We had 3 daughters during our 8 year relationship. I was finally opened my eyes one day and by taking $20 of my paycheck every week for a few months, I saved enough to move on and get a one-bedroom apartment for my 3 girls and me. It was a struggle but I made it. It made me a stronger person and I learned to never settle. You hope and pray that you are marrying the one person you will be with forever but you never know. Life has a funny way of playing with you sometimes. I will never settle for anyone of anything in my life ever again. I am now married to a wonderful man who I can truly say is the love of my life. He is a wonderful stepfather to my 3 daughters, a wonderful husband, friend and companion. We have arguments/disagreements. Who doesn't? But one thing that we always ask of each other, is don't ever walk away from an argument, don't ever "throw the kitchen sink" at each other meaning don't say hurtful things that you cannot take back, especially when they have nothing to do with whatever issue you are disagreeing on. We communicate and even on those really bad days that we don't want to talk to each other, we talk about what is bothering us and afterwards we feel a lot better.