In an article for healthy living blog freshjuice.ca, writer Paul Benedetti interviews Dr. Guy Grenier, clinical psychologist and marital therapist in London, ON, about his top tips for married couples. Below is a brief summary of Dr. Grenier’s ten recommendations.
1. There is no such thing as Mr. or Mrs. Right. Be prepared to work on your relationship after the initial honeymoon period wears off.
2. Communicate. It’s the best investment you can make in your marriage.
3. A relationship is like a car: it requires maintenance. Take the time to regularly ask “how are we doing?” and address any areas that need attention.
4. Don’t be afraid to be emotional. Relationships are built on emotions, so be honest about fears and concerns.
5. Don’t focus on winning. In a win-lose pattern, you both lose.
6. Take responsibility for your own happiness. Don’t rely on your spouse to meet all your needs.
7. Don’t adhere to polarizing gender stereotypes. Focus on what you have in common, not what sets you apart in a negative way.
8. When you argue, focus on yourself. Don’t tell your partner what they do and why it makes you angry, use language such as “I feel, I need, I want.” These are commonly known as “I over You statements.”
9. Money is about Trust. Couples often fight over money because they don’t trust their spouse (either irrationally or through past experience). Consider having three bank accounts: “his,” “hers,” and “ours.”
10. Be open and honest about your physical and emotional needs. Being with your spouse should be fun, and intimacy is important.
If you’ve found us through MyOntarioDivorce.com, chances are you are already in the process of a separation or divorce. However, we hope these tips provide food for thought, whether you are considering trying to salvage your current relationship, or may enter a new relationship in the future.