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Great Marriage Advice

Three Keys to Building a Powerful Partnership

by Dr. Isabella Santorini  |  5989 views  |  7 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Today, we hear a great deal about how marriages are falling apart. Many people have become resigned and cynical, convinced that their marriage can’t be tolerable. Most people never dream that their relationship with their spouse can be incredible beyond belief.

But it is possible. My husband and I have been married for more than 12 years. Once we began learning about how to create a great marriage, it has gotten better and better every day. We’re not self-help nuts. We are simply two people who love one another who found really, really great marriage advice.

There were three things that we learned early that helped immensely:

1.) Be responsible for your mood. Often, when we’re in a bad mood, or we’re worried about something, it is easy to dump all of our frustration and anger on our spouse. It takes some presence of mind and discipline to handle these situations well, but it is well worth the effort.

When you find yourself in a foul mood, simply say to your spouse, “I’m in a bad mood. This has nothing to do with you, and I will try not to direct it at you.” This allows your spouse to go on about his or her day without feeling either obligated to make you feel better (which never works anyway) or guilty for causing your bad mood (which is usually not their fault).

Saying those simple words creates a level of self-respect, announcing to ourselves and our spouse that we’re responsible for the daily ups and downs of our moods. Also, it helps us to avoid making assumptions about one another that create problems of their own. The best way to handle a problem is to never start one in the first place. Begin by saying the simple words above and see what miracles occur in your relationship.

2.) Make an effort to support your spouse the way he or she would like to be supported. Most of us try to help out our spouses in the exact wrong way. I used to offer a lot of encouragement to my husband. But it never seemed to make any difference. He remained uninspired, and I got frustrated.

When I read this piece of wisdom, however, I actually asked him how I could best support him. He told me that he’d love good home-cooked meals and he’d love to spend time with me. What a surprise that was to me. So I started supporting him how he wanted to be supported and I scheduled time for us to spend time together. He felt taken care of and I felt appreciated. It was wonderful.

3.) Learn to handle disagreements. This is my favorite key, for it gives us the framework for handling tough situations. Disagreements will arise, that is the nature of being married. Following these rules will help any couple get through an argument:

About the Author

Dr. Isabella Santorini learned to create a great marriage from a master. She now has a powerful partnership with her husband. Learn from the best at:

Read more by Dr. Isabella Santorini

7 comments so far...

  • Getting married is the beginning of a wonderful journey. But there are issues that you have to tackle before tying a knot. Marriages today need all the help they can get, and if payday installment loans can help a couple’s budget and their marriage, they should definitely look into taking out these kinds of loans. It is a sad fact that the divorce rate is over fifty percent, and a huge reason for divorce happens to be disagreement over money. Many newlyweds have no idea what they are getting themselves into. They think marriage is going to be a cakewalk, but although it has its rewards, marriage will probably be the hardest thing they’ve ever done, especially when it comes to finances. My husband and I think in a completely different manner when it comes to money. I’ve been stashing money since I was a little kid. I remember cleaning my closet when I was younger and finding money hidden in crazy places. My husband, on the other hand, is a compulsive shopper. If he wants something, he just goes out and buys it. I’m pretty sure he never had a piggy bank. You can see why we struggle when it comes to making financial decisions. Our opinions are on opposite ends of the spectrum. However, we make it work because we talk about our budget together. We frequently disagree, but marriage is about compromise. And we compromise when it comes to our budget. If I could give any advice to newlyweds it would be to speak openly with your spouse about everything, but most importantly be open about money. Communication is a key to marriage, and if you are properly communicating about money you can save yourself a lot of trouble. For example, there have been a few instances where my husband and I realized we weren’t going to be able to pay some of our bills, so we took out payday installment loans to cover the costs. Payday installment loans have helped our bank account and our marriage.

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    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 25th November 2008

  • I was married for twelve years. We divorced. I've now been married for a year to a man I've been with for ten years. (A little gun-shy the second time around? Perhaps!)

    I love your first point: each person is responsible for their own moods. That means I can say "My mood has nothing to do with anything you've done" -- but it also means that "I don't have to try to fix his mood". (Any more than he has to fix mine.) That's how my second husband and I deal with emotions, and it's tremendously freeing. It does not equate, as I would have thought twenty years ago, with disinterest or unfeelingness. We respect each other's feelings immensely. But "respect" is not the same as "own". Great article!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by MaryP on 20th July 2008

  • Good article. I especially like the part about supporting your spouse the way he or she wants it -- not how you would want it.

    That's been a problem for my husband and I in the past. I want lots of response to a problem -- "It will be Ok," etc. My husband wants to be left alone.

    So he leaves me alone and I shower him with unwanted "support." But once we figured out what we were doing wrong, it really helped us fix it.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Gina on 1st July 2008

  • I think the second point is so true -- thanks for putting it out there. I actually thought about it more in relation to myself. When I am going through a difficult time my husband tends to do what you did -- offer encouragement, tell me things will be ok. But that doesn't work for me and often frustrates me -- and gets us into an argument. What I really need is for him to distract me -- say by making plans with a sitter so we can go to the movies -- or take over some household stuff that I usually do to give me a bit more time to deal with what's going on.

    Really useful article, thank you.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 29th June 2008

  • Excellent suggestions, thanks! Really interesting to know that your husband preferred food and time with you over words, however encouraging you were being. Just goes to show that men need to be approached a little differently sometimes. :) I agree, tkd_mama, these are suggestions we can actually use!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 25th June 2008

  • I agree that you have hit on unique ways to work in a marriage. I'm fortunate to have a wonderful spouse of nearly 17 years (gosh I'm old), and when I try to figure what works, its sometimes hard to define. We don't fight partly because we are so compatible and partly because we talk to each other not at each other. I think also it helps to put things in perspective. Yes I don't like that leaves his clothes on the floor and wouldn't it be nice to get flowers. But he takes out the trash, gets the kids ready for bed, and ogles me which makes me feel pretty. In the scheme of things I'd rather have that than a clean floor.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Leslie Truex on 25th June 2008

  • When I saw the title of this article, I have to admit I was curious and perhaps a little dubious. But I have to say, these tips are not the usual lame tips that ones sees in, e.g., magazines. And they make a lot of sense. I guess to some degree I might practice them a little already with my husband. We've actually had the most difficult stretch in the last year or so, but we're still together, going on 19 years now. Hope we can make it last! :-)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by tkd_mama on 24th June 2008