Relationships start wonderfully. You meet "Mr. Right" or "Miss Right" and you go out for a few dates, perhaps to the movies. Then one day you say to yourself "I finally met the man of my dreams!" Months later someone, usually the man, pops the question - then it's on to the alter and off to Niagara Falls for a honeymoon. Sounds perfect doesn't it?

Well for the first few years and for many people, the first few decades (or perhaps forever) it goes on to be perfect. Many couples will invest their lives together and decide on children, a house and a family pet. The children eventually go to school, college then leave permanently for the big city on the coast. The couple is continually redefining their roles but always remaining true to each other. They continue to meet challenges and resolve them happily. In old age they retire and move to Florida or some other exotic location along the sunbelt. Together they play a game of golf in the morning, have a buffet lunch and then it's off to a movie in the late afternoon.

Ahh, if it was so easy! Somewhere between one or two days after you meet that "Mr. Right" or "Miss Right" and the time you're off to your thousandth game of golf something happens. It can be a sudden crash - unexpected - like a missile taking down a target, or it can be the gradual escalation - like a seed that grows into a tall oak tree and whose roots threaten to break the foundation of your home. The outcome will depend on how you both handle the situation Before, During and After the "problem".

An Ounce of Prevention

The best way to kill a dinosaur is to kill it while it's still in it's egg. If you let the egg hatch and the organism to grow it only continues to get larger. Eventually, you no longer pounder how to kill it because you can't. Your only chance of survival is to run and hide from it.

Many couples believe that the true happy relationship is created by pure luck. "If only I meant the right man!", "If only I met the woman of my dreams!" Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Couples undergo the same challenges as everyone else. The ones that survive a relationship do so because how they handle it - not because they have some advantage. We all undergo financial hardships from time to time. It doesn't matter if you make $20K, $50K, $250K or $2 Billion! People with two billion dollars have more complex financial problems but they are still problems. Actually, the less money you both make the better the chances you will do well in the long run. It's because the challenges were always there to begin with and are somewhat less complex. In addition to financial challenges one of the biggest problems is that of communication.

Communication comes in many forms. For instance we talk with our mouths, but we also motion with our bodies. If your wife asks you to take out the garbage and you don't respond right away, it may say to her "man, not right now!" No communication is also communication. It creates a sense that you are not interested and unwilling to share.

Communicating for Life Long Success

There are several basic principles to communication (there are probably a lot more but I have only so much time and space to work through all of them here - so I will only provide a few).

Principle #1: Your partner is an extension of yourself. Couples who succeed view their wives or husbands as themselves. They would not consider learning some important piece of information without sharing it. If you lose your job for instance, contacting your spouse right away and telling them is a sure sign that your relationship is strong. If you have don't care one way or another to call - that's not a good sign. If on the other hand you have strong fears about letter him know, that can be a sign of another problem (although sometimes it isn't; this depends a lot on your character).

Another sign of a healthy relationship is identifying any salary you make as "ours". If you get called into your boss's office and get awarded with a hefty pay increase you may tell your spouse "Hey, I got a big pay raise!" Couples who share their money would rather say "Hey we got an increase!" In fact happy couples do not make distinctions about their money. They often have joint checking and savings account.

Principle #2: Respecting each other's value systems. Meeting that special someone isn't always carefully mapped out. Sometimes we meet a person who is "opposite" from us, like the saying goes - "Opposites attract." The problem with opposites is that many times we differ in each other by way of our value systems. A value system is a list of things that we each hold deer to ourselves. For instance, we may treasure hugging as an important means to define that someone else loves us. The value system can be extremely complex and can include trivial (to the other partner) processes. For instance (Anthony Robbins does a great job of using this example in his motivation seminars), let us say you get upset, a normal thing for you to do is to keep quiet. This may have been the way you expressed anger in the household you were born in. For others (and this includes your spouse) anger may be an emotion that is expressed vocally and loud. With different value systems it is entirely possible that you may not know your significant other is upset at you - and vice versa. Actually, they may be doing the very opposite to what you consider to be a show of anger. When this happens a communication breakdown happens and any spouse may feel that the other person is disrespectful.

Principle #3: The dinosaur egg continues to grow. Any communication or value problem will continue to grow with passing time. The result is a deterioration or what could have been a happy relationship. Reversing the course of the egg is not an easy task and usually follows a traumatic relationship mishap. However, it isn't impossible. In upcoming articles I will focus on discussing these issues and finding ways to resolve them. It isn't impossible to resolve! Unfortunately, too many couples call it quits before truly trying to solve their issues. The important detail is that both parties need to be open to fix the issues. If only one spouse is willing and the other isn't the prospect for resolving the issue is less probably (but not impossible).

Author's Bio: 

By Phil Cosmo
Owner and operator of

Phil has worked with many couples over the years and has developed working strategies for helping couples rekindle their love for each other.