From Dr. Jane's Notebook
To Have A Happy Marriage
I've been talking with couples on a professional basis for more than 16 years now. Many
times, marriages are not as fulfilled as they could be. But many people have a resistance
to change. They may not want to alter their routine or change their personality to achieve
a better marital relationship. But for those who do, these are some of the things that
- There must be equal power in the relationship. After all, marriage is a partnership and
no one wants to have less power than the other person. Unequal power is a source of
marital resentment. It creates interpersonal distance. But, when each spouse has equal
power in the relationship, they tend to show each other more respect and consideration.
- Touching and Sexuality are a Must! Spouses need to remember how affectionate they were
before marriage and regain those habits of being demonstrative. Sexual and non-sexual
touching are vitally important. Many couples have found new pleasures in massaging each
other, either by hand or using commercially-available electric massagers. Think about the
fact that marriage is the only relationship in which society actually condones sexual
activity. It is widely recognized that sex and love are essential ingredients in a happy
- Communication is easier than you think. Talk to one another more. Listen to each other
more. Ask questions in order to be sure you are communicating accurately. Mind-reading
just doesn't work. Tell each other the stories of your day, and listen to their tales of
things that happened since you last saw each other. A lot happens to each of us everyday.
By sharing our thoughts, feelings and experiences, we treat each other more like
- Share your Financial Resources. If you keep money separate in a marriage, then one
person is going to be richer than the other. This too makes the relationship unequal. The
person with less money may feel controlled and resentful; the person with more money may
be putting money between themselves and love. Think about which is more important...money
- Do fun Activities together. Many good feelings come about as the result of participating
in hobbies and interests together. Whether you like to go for walks together or take a
class together (dance lessons, dog training, computer use, etc.), your friendship and your
"amount in common" will increase. Many couples have found that the more time
they spend doing fun activities together, the better they like each other.
Marriage is rarely discussed between mates unless things are going badly. To prevent
marital problems, talk with each other about the desired "rules and
understandings" in your relationship. You are both the architects of your
relationship. Plan ahead!
ęCopyright, 1994, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated September 19, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,