Tuesday, March 11, 2008

How to Survive the First 365 Days

From my paper, 25 Feb 2008 edition




(actually, it should start on the first 365 days…and onwards)


The first year of marriage does not have to be a nightmare,

if you follow tips here from three experts: Ms Cheh Hoon Chong,

counselor and senior vice-president (media and resources)

at Focus On The Family; marriage counselor Anna Lim;

and professional coach Cheryl Marks-Young, who wrote

an article on marriage tips for the Larry Elder Show.


1. Choosing to be happy together is better than the decision

to be right. Choosing to love in the face of conflict (not always an

easy task, but it’s worth it) helps couples remember that

what they want is a workable relationship, and no relationship

can work if one partner insists on being right about his or her

point of view. Give up being right, and see what opens up.


2. Remember that commitment between two people

does not mean that each side puts in 50 per-cent of effort.

True commitment takes 100 per-cent of effort from both parties

in order to have a successful and workable marriage.


3. Have a sense of humor in the face of everyday issues.

It allows for creative solutions to otherwise challenging situations.

Learning how to laugh at yourself and taking things less seriously

can diffuse a situation.


4. Manage expectations. Many couples assume that when

two become one, their loads are lightened. A wife may feel that

as the husband in the main breadwinner, she can use the money

she earns for shopping. Or, a husband may assume the wife will

take care of all the housework. Set up agreements, early in the

marriage, on financial matters, housework, spending time together

and when to visit in-laws, to avoid unpleasant and unexpected

blowups when one party’s expectations are not met.


5. Remember that love is not based on feelings. The feeling

of being happy, for example, can come and go. Likewise with love.

Love is based on the commitments you have made with your

partner, the promises you have made and the life you are

dedicated to living with your partner. Keep this in mind,

and other issues will take a backseat.

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