Save Your Marriage – Use Science to Get Solid Marriage Help

Marital researchers can predict with an 80-85% accuracy which couples will have serious relationship problems based on self-reporting information about themselves and their partner. These marriage experts identify five personal and relationship dynamics that measure the likelihood of relationship success or failure. They are:Realistic expectations
Communication
Conflict resolution
Personality
Religious orientationCouples that fight or drift apart score low on these scales. Happily married couples score high.If you need to save your marriage, this marital research can get you the marriage help you need. For the rest of us, it’s simply good marriage advice.1-REALISTIC EXPECTATIONSWhen “expectations” are unrealistic (either too high or too low)-frustration and disappointment is imminent. When expectations are balanced and realistic, it is relatively easy to feel content.It is essential to marital contentment that expectations are aligned with to one’s partner’s aptitude. “He may never be the best communicator, but it is ok.” “She may never be well organized and tidy, but I can live with it.” Adjusting one’s “expectations” to the reality of one’s partner is good marriage advice and contributes directly to relationship harmony.As well, all successful couples and families must adapt to changing circumstances. Be they changes that are predictable-like the birth of children or advancing age-or changes that are unanticipated-such as unemployment or serious illness. All these “challenges” require an adjustment of one’s expectations.The best marriage help is often simply maintaining “low expectations” about what your partner can and cannot do for you.2-COMMUNICATIONSatisfying conversations between a husband and wife builds closeness and trust. Marital research has shown that there needs to be at least 5 positive interactions to each negative one for there to be feelings of closeness. Even one criticism, or angry outburst, can undo the value of many positive interactions. (The mind remembers negative interactions longer than positive ones!) Understanding this highlights the importance of continually engaging in positive and pleasant communication, while trying to minimize negative interactions. The challenge is to produce the greatest number of positive verbal interactions with the fewest negative interactions.If your relationship is in serious trouble, pleasant interactions alone may be able to save your marriage and prevent divorce3-CONFLICT RESOLUTIONThe goal in marriage is to live together in peace and harmony. However, for many couples, marriage will at times include occasional disagreements or conflicts. When this happens it is essential to keep the conflict small and contained.Successful conflict resolution requires three primary criteria. 1) Stay respectful: No name calling, expressions of strong anger, bulling, or attempts to humiliate. 2) Stick to one topic: Stay focused exclusively on the issue at hand. Resist dragging into the conversation other areas of disagreement or disappointment. 3) Keep it small: The disagreement should only last a few minutes and then be quickly set aside and efforts should be made to restore positive feelings and constructive interactions.Keeping conflicts contained is marriage advice every couple needs to heed. We can live with a small scratch, but a severed limb can lead to permanent injury or even death. Protect your marriage and keep disagreements small and contained.4-PERSONALITYIt is important that you are comfortable with your partner’s personality. He or she doesn’t have to be exactly as you-in fact if this were so, it would probably work against you. Remember, during courtship there was attraction. You chose to marry each other! Even after many years of marriage, that attraction it is still there-at least in potential.True-years of misunderstanding and conflict can create deep resentment. This accumulated negative emotion can actually change your perception of your partner, leaving you unable to accurately see who he or she really is. For this reason, as much as possible, conflict should be avoided, or at least you should try to look past it when it does occur and seek out the parts of your partner’s personality that you like.Being receptive to your partner’s new efforts to improve how he or she relates to you can actually save your marriage. If you don’t notice your partner’s good intentions and efforts, then what you are really saying is, “nothing can help your marriage.” Let your partner show you how he or she can modify his or her personality for the better.5-RELIGIOUS ORIENTATIONDissimilar spiritual and cultural differences can stress relationships. Religious orientation includes a set of rules that guides the couple in setting goals, making decisions, and raising children. When religious orientation and culture are similar, this becomes a set of shared values that contribute to a healthy and cohesive family.ESSENTIAL MARRIAGE ADVICEEven though formal training in these personal and relationship dynamics are not readily available, you and your partner can work toward achieving a high score. The more you achieve, the closer and more comfortable you will feel with each other and the greater the likelihood your relationship will last the distance.Take a few moments and review these five scales. Together with your partner, generate a list of suggestions that when implemented will give you the loving relationship you seek. Let these five dynamics lead you to the marriage help you need.Unlike what many believe, relationship harmony is not “chemistry,”-rather its hard work leading to concrete relationship skills… so roll up your sleeves and get started!Marriage research shows that couples that score high in these five areas, although not necessarily perfect in every way, share happy and meaningful lives. Save your marriage or make your marriage better. Use this marriage advice to make your primary relationship the best it can be.