You've been married and divorced. And now, you think you've found a new partner. How do you make certain you don't become a statistic again?
1. Take your time and be realistic.
Almost everyone has an "ideal relationship" in mind, which includes both realistic and unrealistic fantasies. Often this ideal is unconscious, and can result in a sense of loss, hopelessness or anger at times when your actual situation falls far short of your ideal. Any intimate partners will get irritated with each other from time to time. Learn to be open about what is irritating, negotiate ways to minimize the frustration and friction by building in more space to be yourselves, and also work to improve yourself where you see fit, which will reduce the number of times your partner is annoyed, and make your real relationship seem more like your ideal of receiving unconditional love and approval.
2. Talk about what you want.
Before moving in together, talk frankly about what you want and don’t want. Here’s where you and your new partner can learn from your past relationships. You can reduce the negative impact of expectations by sharing your hopes and dreams with your partner, and working together to set goals and to realize more of your dreams. Talk about sharing space, privacy, housekeeping, food and mealtimes, how you wake up in the morning.3. Be a grownup.
Everyone first learns about family, love and relationships in early childhood. These definitions of love, home and family become deeply embedded in the subconscious and lay dormant until the intimacy and complications of a relationship cause both men and women to fall back into the old childhood patterns which feel natural and instinctive. To create a mutually caring, mutually giving, mutually responsible and more autonomous picture of familial love, it's necessary to let go of the dependent, childish view of love, and use a more mature model. Tina Tessina, Ph.D., has been a licensed California psychotherapist for more than 30 years. She has authored more than 11 books, including "Money, Sex and Kids"; “The Commuter Marriage: Keeping your Relationship Close While you’re Far Apart”; "How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free"; "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again"; and, “It Ends with You: Grow Up and Grow Out of Dysfunction.” Tina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.