Over the years, I have worked with thousands of individuals and couples with all types of relationship challenges and difficulties. Relationships and especially marriage is difficult today for sure. The divorce rate has risen to 50%+ since 1976 when the no-fault divorce laws kicked in from the early 1970s. Stress, conflict, pressure, personality clashes, and multiple needs, wants, and feelings inevitably make marriages difficult, strained, and challenging. It is tough to keep them together. So, why bother with relationships today? Why not just give up on the entire concept of relationships, especially if you have already been through one or more divorces? In this little article, I will offer some of my thoughts on marriage and why it is a good idea to still search for, nurture, and commit to a future relationship.
Why Commit to A Future (Decently Healthy) Relationship:
*We are commanded to marry and this is how the Lord set it up from the beginning. So, know this is what he wants for you and keep searching for it accordingly:
And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him ban help meet for him…And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
--Genesis 2:18, 22-24
…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
*If you pick well and nurture the relationship well from there, you can have a happy, healthy relationship: In my opinion, 80% of a healthy relationship is in picking a good, decent, quality person. The remaining 20% of the health of a relationship comes from the efforts you make from there (to nourish and stay committed to the relationship). Therefore, if you study what makes for a healthy relationship, you can choose and nurture such a relationship and have that as well. A decent couple of resources to learn what a healthy relationship is all Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman. Also, a good assessment measure letting you know you current relationship readiness: The BYU created “Ready Questionnaire” from www.relateinstitute.com.
*You get out of a relationship what you put into a relationship. There is an old saying: “if it is to be, it’s up to me”. I think that statement also can relate to a good relationship. As long as you have chosen a decently healthy person—an essential part of the equation—whatever you invest into a relationship from there will greatly determine how good and healthy the relationship is. Be assertive. Initiate conversations, affection, and quality time together. Don’t wait around for the other person. If you chose a “non-giving” person (which I don’t recommend), you will have to initiate. If you chose another giving person (the ideal), you can both mutually give to each other. The main point is, don’t wait around for the relationship you want. BE the right person. Invest and initiate and you will help bring out the best possible results in the other person.
*Go into a relationship with your eyes wide open, then close them half-way after that. Because picking well is the most important, initial step in a relationship (in my opinion), be especially careful who you choose and commit to. And then when you have chosen and marry a reasonably decent person, work to give them some leeway, flexibility, and grace from there. So what kind of person is a “good” person? They will be decently kind, considerate, giving, respectful, and empathetic. There are other positive attributes as well, but those are some good traits to look for to begin.
*Stay affectionate. There are three types of affection: verbal affection, non-sexual physical affection, and sexual affection. Look to both give and receive the verbal and non-sexual affection before marriage, and then add and emphasize sexual affection too after marriage. Initiate. And respond well to when the other initiates too and see that as a bonus. Remember, be proactive. If you would like affection in your marriage, YOU be the driving force with that. And then appreciate and positively reinforce whatever efforts you also see them make. Think of affection as the lifeblood to your relationship. As essential nourishment. Feed your marriage. Think of relational affection as nourishment like food and water.
I have more thoughts on relationships besides these. However, these ideas, thoughts, and opinions are some of the things I have found to be most useful, helpful, and important to relationship health, happiness, and success. In short, choose well, nourish well. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2021-09-12||Randy Gilchrist||Healthy relationships|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).