BY LYNN SEISER, PH.D.
An Anniversary to Celebrate
I just celebrated an anniversary. Every year at this time I get to celebrate being married. It may not be a very popular position to take these days. Over half of all marriages end in divorce. But, I like being married and I like being married to my wife. She is the nicest person I have ever met, twice. I don't want to lose her or our relationship. It makes me think about what it is that makes a relationship last. Let me share a few of my thoughts. I hope they will help you celebrate being married and to whom you are married.
I celebrate my wife as my friend. I always try to keep in mind the way I treat my friends. I have always done the friendship thing well. I am always there for them. I don't ask my friends to change or agree with everything I say or do. I enjoy being with my friends, just hanging out, not doing anything in particular. I enjoy their company. It's nice to not be in the world alone. I believe in sharing this journey. I like who I share mine with. She is my friend and my wife.
We always surprise people by never arguing. That's right, we don't argue. Neither of us likes to argue. We have never really seen it solve anything. We have problems. We have disagreements. No road, person or relationship is without them. No problem is more important than our relationship or our love. I see many couples in relationships trying to always be right and fighting against their mates. They tend to call names and get side tracked. The real problem never becomes revealed or resolved. Problem solving is a skill. The truth is "we" have a problem and "we" are going to solve it together so "we" both win. I celebrate my wife as the person I share both the good times with, and the bad.
As a male, I tend to want to be in control. There are many of us like that. I recently read a study that supported my position. In a study to find the secret to a happy marriage, they found men do hold the key. So men repeat after me, "Yes, Dear." It would appear that one of the most important secrets to a happy marriage is the man's willingness to accommodate his wife. I know wives have been saying this for years. Perhaps we men have trouble hearing it because it often feels negative and critical. We want a happy marriage. Yes we do. We want to be in control. Yes, we do again. All we have to do is accept our partners with equal rights to contribute and participate. I celebrate my wife, "yes dear", I do.
Similarly is the issue of listening and fixing things. It is amazing to me how many people don't listen to each other. One of the reasons I often hear that people attract each other because they listened. This goes back to that friendship issue too. Early in our dating we talked a lot, and laughed a lot. One reason people have affairs is to have someone to talk to. "We need to talk" doesn't mean anything is wrong. The ability to talk about things means something is right. Many times just listening to someone lets them know they are important enough to you to devote your undivided attention. What matters to them matters to you because they matter. There may be nothing to fix except the inability to talk about things. My wife listens to me. I listen to her. The day she stops talking to me is the day I will start worrying and stop celebrating.
I have read psychology, philosophy, metaphysics, self-help, religion and spiritual books. It's even in all the songs. Life is about love. Love is about being in a relationship. Love is sharing the journey. I celebrate the lady with whom I share mine.
Thanks for listening, for the opportunity of being of service and for sharing our
Lynn Seiser, PhD, MFCC is an internationally respected psychotherapist, consultant, speaker and writer with more than twenty years of direct clinical experience in recovery counseling for offenders and victims of violence, trauma and abuse. He is also known for his work in "holistic" recovery from addictions and emphasis on "healthy" relationships. He offers 11 web pages at http://members.aol.com/SeiserL/index.html and can be e-mailed at SeiserL@AOL.com . To discuss the benefits of his services, to make a referral or to make an appointment, contact him at 550 Pacific Coast Hwy. #203, Seal Beach, CA 90740 or call (562) 799-1371.
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