Now that you’ve found a soul mate, you want to make sure that your relationship has a winning chance, right? Lets talk about how to keep your man now that you got him. If we look at the statistics, at least 50% of you will be getting a divorce. Break-ups and divorces are painful, sad, stressful, difficult, oftentimes costly, and just downright crappy!
Some people might be under the impression that once you find your soul mate, life forever after will be blissful, like in a fairy tale. The two of you will ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. We human beings are imperfect and tend to forget this fact, especially when we are madly in love with another imperfect human being. We unrealistically expect our relationship to be perfect. I married my soul mate, and we are thrilled to have found each other, but there is plenty compromise on both sides on a regular basis.
My husband and I had a plenty of tiffs over the years. Cohabitating is stressful, especially if you have lived alone for a long time and are used to doing everything your way. My husband and I had each been living alone for about six years when we met. We were both around forty years old and liked things the way we liked them. I had my own style of decorating, and he had his. It took me a long time to finally convince him to let me bring all the furniture I wanted to into his place.
For example, his coffee table was completely loaded with knick-knacks, mostly from Mexico. There were little pyramids, animals carved in stone, all kinds of objects completely covering the surface. There was no room to set a cup of coffee down, let alone a book or magazine. I found this very odd, as I always had some coasters, a coffee table book and maybe a little Eiffel tower figurine on my coffee table, and that was about it. I did not like his style one bit. When I asked him about it, he said firmly that he liked it that way.
When I went to meet his family in Mexico City, as we visited each relative’s home — all, by the way, were all beautifully decorated — I noticed one common theme. Everyone’s coffee table was loaded with knick-knacks, beautiful crystal ashtrays or carvings mostly. Well, that explained everything! It was just cultural, a decorating style he had seen all of his life. He used to say that American rooms with all their empty tables just look silly, while I thought that tables loaded with stuff looked funny. It took awhile, but I eventually convinced him to let me move all of the knick-knacks into the bedroom in a nice wooden box, which was open and on display.
Then we went shopping and bought a beautiful dark wood coffee table made in South America. It was our first purchase together. It seems very minor — what goes on the coffee table — but the small things, if not treated with care and respect, can soon mount into big things and turn into problems.
So what are some things that you can do to help ensure that you don’t turn out to be one of the statistics? The major issues that newlywed couples often face are conflict resolution, finances, in-laws, communication and sex. A healthy relationship or marriage is filled with honesty and support. It should be joyful with a sense of familiarity, passion and comfort.
Studies show that couples that lose the feeling of romance in their marriage during the first two years are more likely to eventually divorce. As a matchmaker, over the years I have had numerous male clients with little kids, infants even, and I’ve come to realize that this is an especially dangerous time. I am always shocked to meet a man who is divorcing when his wife has barely finished giving birth! The demands of parenthood, work, and everything else that we have to do in life often take a toll on a marriage, and the communication, intimacy and romance get put on the back burner.
A man needs regular sex and attention to feel loved, needed and satisfied. If you are not going to provide it, he will look elsewhere. If not right away, eventually. He might not go out deliberately looking for it, but there will come a time when someone at the office starts flirting with him, or when he is out of town on business, and he will justify it by thinking that he isn’t getting any attention at home, so why not take advantage of the opportunity? Let your spouse know you care and are thinking about him through out the day by e-mails, phone calls and notes. Tell your husband you love him before someone else does!
You must maintain a strong bond and trust, because there are quite a few women out there who are happy to go after another woman’s husband. My husband is an entertainer and he tells me all the time that there are women flirting with him, even when they know he is married. He has even told me about two of my so-called “friends” who have come on to him while I was out of the room. I am lucky to have a faithful man. He tells me that it is such a pleasure to tell a woman who is flirting with him that he is happily married. But I don’t take that for granted. I realize that I need to give him plenty of love and attention, because there are lots of other women who would love to step in.
Remember, ladies, just because you are married or in a relationship, don’t trade in your sexy lingerie for sweat pants and a t-shirt with a beer slogan across the chest. Something silky and feminine is a much better way to keep him happy and interested.
Love and romance are such a powerful emotions! Think about how fantastic you felt the last time you had a huge crush on someone or were in love. Love also has consequences for your health and well-being. Engaging in joyful activities such as sharing and giving and receiving love may activate areas in the brain responsible for emotion, attention and motivation. It also can reduce stress and stimulates health and vitality. The search for a soul mate is the most basic of instincts, the most primal drive known to man. The health of a person’s love life has a direct impact on his or her mental and physical health. It is a known fact that married people are healthier than those who are single, divorced, separated or widowed. And married men live longer than single men.
Simply being in love increases your DHEA levels. There are even studies that show that sex is more than just physical exercise. Men who have sex at least twice a week are half as likely to die as men who have sex less than once per month. Regular intercourse promotes prostate health for men and estrogen levels in women, which help to keep the heart healthy. Making love can also help you stay young-looking as well. It is thought to reduce the external signs of ageing caused by stress. What a bonus! Love might have its up and downs, but purely from a health and well-being perspective, it’s well worth it.
Quality time together is crucial. Don’t let your job, friends, or the kids interfere with your marriage. If you are both busy, here are some ideas to get in some quality time:
- Schedule a date night once a week or every other week. Do something special and fun, just the two of you.
- Take showers together. You are guaranteed alone time there!
- Clean the house together, fold laundry, wash the car, go grocery shopping. It might not sound too glamorous or fun, but the time spent together is more important that the activity.
- Work out together. I used to spend money on a personal trainer, now my husband is my trainer. Every Saturday we go to the gym for an hour. I get to spend time with him, and my abs are getting tighter.
- If you have kids, work out a deal with another couple to have them watch your kids for an evening. You can reciprocate by watching their kids the next time.
What to do when you don’t see eye to eye
Learning to fight fair is crucial part of a successful relationship. Just because you have found your soul mate doesn’t mean that you won’t have any arguments. Some big, some small, but they are guaranteed to come up, and when they do, it is important that they don’t tear your relationship apart. If you fight fair, disagreements can actually strengthen a marriage.
Here are ten rules to stick to when fighting fair:
- No name-calling.
- Don’t bring up past history, stick to the issue at hand.
- Keep the argument between the two of you; don’t involve family members, girlfriends or your kids.
- Don’t interrupt each other. Take turns expressing your feelings and listening to each other.
- Speak in a normal tone. No yelling or screaming. People tune out when the volume is turned up.
- Don’t go to bed angry. Even if you don’t see eye to eye on a subject, forgive and call a truce before going to sleep.
- Don’t argue in a public place. Keep it private.
- Tell your partner how you feel rather than putting the blame on him.
- If you can, hold hands during the fight, and keep eye contact.
- Even if you are really angry, remember the things that you love about him. No one is perfect! Emphasize the positive aspects of your relationship. Don’t focus on the negative. Always look for the best in each other. When you met your partner, you fell in love with all of his wonderful qualities. Create a list of all the things you love about him and remind yourself of these traits — often.
Remember that men have a need to be right, and also a need to protect his woman. Women don’t realize this, and often arguments and hurt feelings occur when a woman tries to tell a man what to do. Men are raised to be tough, never cry and know what to do in every situation. Men feel that not being able to do something or to solve a problem means that he is a failure as a man. That’s the reason men never want to stop and ask for directions — they don’t want another man solving his problem. (Thanks goodness we now have navigation systems!)
Women should avoid saying anything to a man that will make him feel like he is wrong. Praise your man for everything he does right instead of telling him all of the things that he is doing wrong. He will feel proud and happy to be with you. I remember one Thanksgiving years ago when I was married to a chef. My dad was trying to carve the turkey but having a heck of a time with it. I suggested letting my husband do it, since he was a professional. My dad refused, I kept mentioning it and my dad became more and more aggravated. I later realized that by suggesting that he was not capable of carving a turkey, it was a blow to his capabilities as a man.
The old saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” still holds true, even in today’s modern world when women are out there busting their buns just as hard as the men. A man loves to see his woman’s domestic side and a home-cooked meal made with love scores big points. You don’t have be a gourmet cook, but showing that you care and are capable of making him a nice meal or entertaining some friends is important. I have heard some men say that they don’t date American women anymore because they don’t take care of their man like the women do in certain other cultures. They don’t want to hear “You’ve got two hands, make it yourself!” when they ask for something to eat
One last thing about our domestic side! I am laughing so hard I am crying right now remembering an incident to do with laundry. My husband used to want to do the laundry, but I took that job away from him since he crammed so many clothes into one load that I couldn’t see how they could get clean. He insisted that he was trained by his maids while growing up and knew how to do laundry like a professional, and I didn’t. Well, that didn’t fly with me, so I took over the job.
But, as I explained to my husband, who is originally from Mexico, that in this country we have a problem with our socks: they disappear in the dryer. I don’t know what to do about it, but all of the women in the United States have the same problem.
While I was waiting for a second load to dry, I had laid out some of the laundry on the bed from the previous load. My husband came over to my desk where I was working with seven different socks fanned out in his hands. “What in the heck is this?” he asked. “Where are my socks?” “I am so sorry, I have no idea. I checked the washer and dryer thoroughly. I just don’t understand what happens to the socks!” I replied. Then he said something in Spanish that I won’t repeat and walked away.
In a happy and healthy marriage you will find two people committed to making each other happy. The wife respects and trusts her husband and the husband cherishes his wife and puts her needs above his own. We live in a very selfish society presently. I remember seeing a billboard here in Los Angeles, advertising for a divorce attorney. It said something like, “Life is too short, get a divorce.” Whoa!
I was also shocked to hear of a website being advertised on a local radio station. When I heard the ad for the first time my mouth actually hung open. It is a dating website for people “already in a relationship but wanting something more.” It is no wonder that we have a sky-high divorce rate! There seem to be challenges at every turn. But you can be the exception to the rule! You CAN have a fulfilling and wonderful relationship that others will admire and aspire to.
For more antics about my life with Adolfo, check out my memoir, Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker.