What happy couples know (that you don’t know but could learn)

Making my attempt to clean up one little pile of clutter every day, I was cleaning off the sofa end table and found an interesting article in the February (yes, it was about time to clean up that stack. This was near the bottom…what can I say?)

“Love Lessons: How do they make it last?”

I was naturally curious, even more so since I deal with this daily.
So here’s what they know, with some feedback from me about how it applies to the 6 Do’s and 6 Don’ts to Create and Keep a Relationship that’s Easy and Fun. Carolyn and Bran Franning met 59 years ago and it was love at first sight. Don’t ask me about that little detail–how many of you have tried to replicate that already and with what success? I would say that approach is more likely to fail than succeed. Carolyn also says, “We chose right.” What follows gives the real scoop–“We took our time, got to know each other and each other’s families; we knew we were compatible before we got married.” I could write blogs and blogs about getting along with the in-laws, but that’s a topic for another day. For today, I would like to point out that Carolyn used several of my Do’s: Choose someone you like, and look at who you’re with, not who you wish you were with. As for my point of view on the best predictor of relationship success: choose someone you have fun with in the present. This is what the Fannings have done: “We’ve had a lot of fun together; we’ve travelled the world, played a lot of golf and have generally enjoyed each other.

Another one of my Do’s is “Live in the present.” Playing golf and travelling the world may or may not be on your wish list–but doing things together, even if it’s just hanging out at your local coffee shop, definitely is. Amy and Tim Galusha, married 13 years, have further clues. Again, it’s about looking at who you’re with, not who you wish you were with. Tim says, “I’m still trying to learn her ways, but that’s exciting; it’s interesting and it’s a challenge.” A demonstration of another Do: Everything your partner does is just an interesting point of view. The Galushas handle this with humor and allowance: “Both acknowledge the role that humor plays in a successful marriage. ‘I don’t think either of us takes things too seriously.’ says Tim. And another clue to living from interesting point of view: “We both realize that nothing lasts forever–neither the good times nor the bad–they are both temporary. So we try to cherish what’s really important,”
Amy adds.

Will marriage change things? That expectation is another one that I try to dispel when I say, “Live in the present.” So many people ignore whether their relationship is good and enjoyable and rewarding, because they live in the future. “When we’re engaged it will work…” “Once we’re married it will work,” or (worse!) “when the baby comes we’ll be a family and it will work.” Tnya and Daou Naouri, a couple married a year, when asked if marriage changed anything, answered, “Not really” in unison. “First of all, we’re really good friends,” she says. Another tidbit of wisdom from the Naouris: “You have to think–and I mean really think–about how the other person is feeling. Daoud’s feelings are just important to him as mine are to me.”

To quote Stephen Stills, “Love the one you’re with.” If you’re willing to do that, the chances for your relationship working increase a lot. If you’d like to hear about all 6 Do’s and 6 Don’ts, sign up for my newsletter on this website. My class going into detail about them with live participation (this time only!) starts July 6 and is offered at the incredible bargain price of $47, again this time only. How does it get any better than that? You can sign up on the home page of this site!

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