Relationships often collapse because couples are not prepared to withstand the inevitable conflicts or even the boredom and monotony that are nearly certain to be present as the years go by.
Dr. Jacqueline Del Rosario, a marital counselor and president and CEO of Recapturing the Vision International, has identified 10 self-assessment questions, the answers to which can not only help a relationship survive, but also thrive so both partners can actualize their dreams of "happily ever after":
Am I putting my best face forward? Make an effort to impress and excite your mate.
Am I still growing? Consider trying new things together.
Am I continuing to invest the time and effort to maintain a strong foundation? All good things take work, and both parties must roll up their sleeves and commit to doing their part to add value to the union.
What are the anchors in my relationship? Identifying and nurturing similar values, goals and expectations in your relationship are fundamental and will help you endure during the tough times.
How can I help improve our communication style? It is essential to learn how each party in the partnership prefers to communicate.
What unmet expectations do we each have that need to be addressed?
What emotional triggers might be adversely affecting my current relationship? Triggers link back to past traumas and can hinder the way we respond to or even perceive present day issues.
Do I stop, look and listen? Keep the channels of communication open-chatter about the day's events, current events, family matters and similar. It bonds the heart and abates the feeling of growing apart.
Do I allow outside interference? There is a reason "interference" is a penalty in most sports.
Do I have a maintenance plan? Assess what your virtues are and ask your mate to cite favorite qualities about you. Then, make a concerted effort to foster these qualities.