Q: How do you keep a good marriage?

Asked by: Lisa D. of Boca Raton, FL.

Q: How do you keep a good marriage?

A: One word… FORGIVENESS. But that can only come if you have another word… BOUNDARIES. And boundaries can only be set if you have another word… RESPECT. And respect can only be achieved if you have another word… COMMUNICATION. And communication only happens when you… LISTEN. And to really listen you have to have… TRUST. So there is your cocktail for marriage!

Most marriages fall apart when one of these key basic things is missing or communication breaks down.  You have to be HONEST too in your communication.  Can’t be hiding the fact you went on a shopping spree with your credit card and put $500 on it from your husband!  Can’t be hiding the fact that your buddy’s bachelor’s party is going to have strippers!

Dishonesty breaks everything down. The less details you tell each other, the easier it becomes to be dishonest and you loose the cornerstone of it all — trust. If you don’t trust someone, why would you listen to them? If you can’t listen to them, how are you going to communicate? If you can’t communicate, how can you respect them? And if you don’t respect them, how are you going to keep boundaries? If you don’t keep those boundaries, how are you going to expect to be forgiven?

So you see how it works? Work on improving the individual elements every single day.

~ Maria

Q. With so much loss, how do you enjoy the gains?

Asked by: Teresa G. of Fort Myers, FL.

Q: With so much loss, how do you enjoy the gains?

A: I take simple pleasures in the time I spend with my husband and my new family — his mom, dad, sister, brother in law, nephew, and niece. Time with them is the only thing that I can fully enjoy right now. Its a gift I get every day and I am learning to accept it.

Accepting the gifts that come to you is the best thing you can do to balance your life out. Sometimes those gifts aren’t as “in your face” as others so its easy to miss them when we’re not looking. Look at your friends, your family, your colleagues, all of them can provide you with the gift of support in one way or another that you are not realizing.

~ Maria

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