What keeps a couple together is not really all that mysterious. If couples could get a grasp on these six areas, or at least begin to have healthy discussions about them, they could build for themselves a solid foundation for the rest of their lives.
Every couple should spend the time to not only fully disclose their current finances and habits, but also to learn how to get out of debt, how to navigate differing views on spending, establish roles and responsibilities, and how to invest in their marriage.
2. Intimacy and Sex
Discussing how often you’d like to have sex is just not enough. Couples should spend time discovering how to communicate with each other about sex, how to eliminate distractions, and to learn the major differences between intimacy and sex and how to get the most out of both.
3. Self Discovery
It is impossible to expect someone else to understand you if you haven’t yet spent the time to understand yourself, why you respond the way you do, what truly motivates you, and what makes you feel vulnerable and afraid.
4. Family of Origin
The family you grew up in will always have a major influence on your life. Couples need to learn as much as they can about each other’s families and their dynamics, discuss boundaries to protect their own marriage, and learn to create new traditions of their own.
5. Healthy Conflict
Fighting and arguing do not necessarily predict divorce, but the way a couple handles conflict absolutely does. Couples who want their marriage to last should learn how to have healthy conflict, methods and tools for fighting fair, and how to apologize and forgive one another over and over again.
Besides conflict, couples need to learn early on how to be heard and understood in the simple daily interactions of life. Learning to communicate well is like fight-prevention insurance that all couples should invest in.
If a couple invests in these six conversations, in learning as much as they can about themselves, about each other, and about what it takes to navigate these things well, they will be able to get past that three year mark and far beyond.
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