Falling In Love, Staying In Love

Happy New Year – 01/25/07 – 09:36:42 AM

This time of year seems to be dedicated to making resolutions: eat healthier, exercise more, get a better job, spend more time playing, etc. As you make your New Year resolutions for 2007 regarding your financial and physical health, don’t forget to plan for your emotional health as well.

We maintain our cars by changing the oil and getting regular tune-ups. We take care of our homes with annual inspections for our heating/air conditioning units and for termites. We do this because we want to maintain our biggest investments. Many of us also have annual visits with our doctors, dentists and optometrists to keep ourselves healthy. When, however, was the last time you had a relationship check-up.

When your primary relationships are going well, you have a safe and secure base which allows you to focus on your career and other areas of personal growth. When you and your partner are in synch everything seems to move in effortless rhythm. Are you still on track? Is everything as you want it to be? Are your needs being met? Are your partner’s? How do you know?

Most couples are in love on their wedding day. If love were all that was needed for a successful marriage, the failure rate would not be fifty percent. Love is a necessary but not sufficient factor in achieving the happily ever after most of us hope for when we marry. Most marriages are okay, but the relationship seems to take second place to work, kids, or the crisis of the moment. The happiest marriages are the ones which are deliberately nurtured every day. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know how to do that.

We have often heard the message,the institution of marriage is in trouble. We have also heard that people who are happily married live longer, healthier lives. The quandary facing us is what we can do to avoid the one and achieve the other. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who believes in marriage. I have practiced in the Triangle area for almost seven years. The last two have focused on working with couples who want to protect their most important asset and make their relationship a priority. Many couples seek support for their relationship only when they are in crisis and on the verge of divorce. Their distress and pain has been going on for an average of five to seven years. At this point, the job becomes one of undoing damage and trying to rebuild a positive connection. My mission is to help couples hold onto the love and trust that led them to each other in the first place. My goal is to provide information to couples who are not yet married but want to get off on the right foot, as well as to couples who have been married for a while but whose relationship may have become a bit dull and taken for granted. I hope to be a marriage mentor, not just a marriage mender.

In the coming months, I plan to share with you some of my thoughts and suggestions for having an intentional, successful, marriage. The aim is to offer you the tools to make your relationship the strong base from which to launch the rest of your life. Happy New Year!

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