What You Need to Know Before You Say "I Do"

      When it comes to getting married, many couples put more effort into the wedding rather than preparing for what comes after. Psychotherapist and Life Coach Didi Zahariades joined us with a few things to think about before saying "I do!"

      1. The key to a happy marriage is seeing your mate positively. Believe 'the best' about your mate --- this is your life partner! It isn't about conflict, but about keeping love and affection high. The dominant approach has been to know how to resolve conflict, but it should focus on preserving the positive feelings. Compliments can take each of you along way --- Keep dating your mate! When you see your mate in a positive light then you are more apt to move in a positive direction.

      2. Realistic expectations set you up for a healthy married life. Western society makes marriage the key adult relationship, which puts a lot of pressure on people to marry. It isn't Hollywood or the classic fairytale. Remember the audience never sees what happens after the credits roll. If you are realistic, you will be flexible! It builds your relationship. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't hold a grudge. If you have an issue, talk about it after you have had some time to cool down. If you feel that you have been insulted or your feelings have been hurt, let your partner know.

      3. Your self-esteem contributes to your marriage. It allows you to be flexible and assertive. When you feel good about you --- you can feel good about those around you. You will not ask for more than your partner can give because you will also be fulfilled from the inside.

      4. Marry Your Best Friend; not Your Soul-mate In our media, Hollywood driven, society it is easy to fall in Love with Love. -Think JLo & Kim Kardashian. For a marriage to work it has to be based on more than a surface connection. The concept of finding your one true love is powerful, yet it has to have a foundation to survive. (This often comes with longevity.) When you take time to grow & develop a relationship, friendship becomes the glue of it. The more you can increase your knowledge and understanding of your partner, the more your relationship will grow. Share your dreams of the future, your day-to-day thoughts, let your partner share in your business successes and your failures.

      5. Emotional intimacy is necessary. It's more than a Wedding Day: Don't lose one another in the details! If the focus moves to the wedding & off the relationship ---- there's a problem! Keep your relationship a number one priority. If you don't take care of it, it can't take care of you. Make time for each other EVERY day. In every relationship it is possible to find 20 minutes each day to reconnect

      For more great advice, visit Didi's website.