How can we ensure we are safeguarding our relationship to be loving, strong and happy forever. Why then do so many relationships fail?

We take time and spend money to insure our car, our house, contents, even personal income, yet we forget to take the steps to insure our relationship happiness.

These 7 Tips will help ‘insure’ your future happiness together to create a strong bond and harmony in your relationship.

1.When Me becomes We

Once married or in a committed relationship, we are no longer alone in our journey. Each and every decision we make is going to affect our partner, and subsequently the relationship. Ensure we consider our partner in the decisions we make. Consider how they feel when we have a decision or choice to make, the manner in which we speak and things we do.

2. Communicate in an open and honest way

Establishing good communication skills are the best way to deal with problems that surface as the relationship progresses. When a challenge does present, we listen to understand from our partners perspective, we paraphrase back to ensure we have understood, we ask for clarification and discuss solutions rather than being stuck in the issue. This permits an open free discussion where conflict is reduced and words are clear and mindful.

3. Transparency in all finances

Discussing finances pre-wedding is vital. Once married they become ‘our’ finances. Hidden discrepancies can lead to mistrust and acknowledging the hidden debt, and all assets we own, are the first steps to an honest relationship. Once together sharing finances is a must, while retaining some money in our account. Opening with all income going into that account, apart from perhaps $100 or so left in your account for gifts or surprises, allows the couple to pay everything out of that joint account. It also allows both partners to see who is spending and on what to ensure responsibility is ensured. After all, it is your financial future as well.

4. Understand each other’s expectations

Having unrealistic expectations can leave one partner feeling disappointed. Understand that your partner may not think the same way you do or express feelings or affection in the same way. Respectfully advise them of your preferred communication responses, so they know. Expecting the other person to mind read usually fails.

5. Understand the level of intimacy you each require

It is essential to know the level of intimacy each of your needs for a happy relationship. Those intimate times you share are some of the most important in your relationship. Sex in the relationship is vital to keep the connection developing, not nightly, but at least once or twice a week to prevent built-up frustrations being suffered. Of course, this can change as life progresses and children arrive. It is essential to discuss expectations then, reasons for any withdrawal of affection and what each of your needs. Sexual issues are a significant part of relationship breakdown.

6. Know and accept their family

Your partner is a reflection of their family. Any level of animosity with your partner’s family puts added tension into the relationship. If you can diffuse any issues, life is likely to run much smoother. Tolerance is the key. You don’t have to love them, even really like them, but you should socialise and speak respectfully.

7. Be open and transparent in all areas of their life

This comes back to communication. If a couple is open and honest, issues can often be diffused before they cause any damage to the relationship. Working through problems allows the couples to enter into a marriage with a much better understanding of their partner. Open access to all social media and your phone is essential. Secrets are damaging.

You deserve to be happy forever with this person of your dreams. This is the person you have chosen to share your life and future with. Understanding some basic points can ensure you achieve a wonderful connection and happy life together, and surely this is what we all want.

Order your copy of Dr Karen’s book ‘OMG We’re Getting Married – 7 essential things to know before we say I do’. Written for all couples about to, or recently married or in a committed relationship. Issues will present, best to know how to dissolve them quickly/ For a limited time get your FREE copy now (P&H applies).

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