THE BLOG

5 Strategies for Creating a Winning Marriage

02/24/2015 07:28 pm ET | Updated Apr 26, 2015

There are several keys to being an effective partner in a marriage. First and foremost you have to know yourself well enough to be wise to your motivations, quirks, downfalls and strengths which will impact your marriage and you must know those same elements in your partner. No one is perfect, so the better you know yourself the better you will be able to know and have empathy for your partner. You cannot have an effective marriage if it is based in linear and one-way thinking. It can't be all about you. If you are always right, then guess what? Your partner is always wrong. You may feel good, but your partner will feel resentful. To create a winning marriage you have to be flexible, courageous and quiet when necessary. Most of all you have to be someone your partner is inspired by and wants to be married to.

Keys to the Emotional Management of Your Marriage

1. Develop emotional wisdom: To be an effective partner learn how to manage your own emotions. Analyze yourself and identify what your trigger points are. These trigger points will teach you when to act on an emotion and when it is smart to stay quiet.

Being in a committed relationship is a matrix of conflict and rebalancing. You cannot love effectively unless you can identify the emotions of yourself and your partner. Once you can identify what is in the matrix you can apply empathy and understanding. Empathy gives you guidance on how to lead yourself and then understand your partner. Therefore, the first person to manage in your marriage is YOU.

2. Use your mind to manage your emotion: To take care of your emotions you must understand that emotions are always more powerful than your mind. In the face of conflict, even the most rational, when dealing with intense emotion lose their capacity to think straight. To be a great partner be wise to the contagious nature of the emotions and know it is your emotions, and not your partner, you need to control.

Amidst intense conflict, it is critical for you to do your best to maintain presence of mind. To establish presence of mind face your marital conflicts head-on and learn how to work through the emotions to a resolution. The more exposed you are to turmoil the better able you will be to rise above the smallness of the emotions and focus on the bigger picture. The bigger picture is where you want to envision your marriage so focus on solutions, not problems.

3. Understanding emotional patterns: Emotions follow a logical pattern if you know how to look at them. They rise and they fall. With negative emotion it is difficult to manage them when they are at the peak where there is little to no rational thought. Allow yourself and your partner the space and distance to come down and gain some rational perspective before communicating again.

If the emotional state is fun-loving and exciting then it is ok to step in at the peak of that intensity and push hard. It is in these positive states of emotion where we have the capacity to create loving and irreplaceable memories.

Having a great marriage is the art of looking beyond the now and calculating ahead. Managing timing with emotion is the great strategy to mitigating conflict and creating positive movement forward.

4. Utilize emotions to grow your marriage: Different emotions help your thinking in different ways. In a marriage you must learn to navigate your own emotions and then to spot them in your partner by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility or excitement. Once you have these patterns in your sight be deliberate in how to move those emotions into a deeper motivation for yourself and your partner to want to work things out.

This self-awareness fills your marriage with purpose and direction because in growing together you create the emotional rewards at the end of a conflict or the end of a great day which keep the marriage in a positive and evolving place. To ensure that both of you stay motivated to make the marriage work, follow through on the rewards so each of you feels you can count on the other to bring their full self. Effective partners live by their word and walk their talk.

5. Conflict Management: The challenge in navigating any marriage is that each partner inevitably has their own agenda. To have a great marriage, both have to create an environment in which neither feel constrained by the others influence. You must live with a mutual sense of participation, but have neither fall into "groupthink" where individual importance is minimized. Each partner will require something different from the marriage.

Each partner has be self-motivated to make the marriage work. Each must encourage the other to lead their individual lives to their fullest while also contributing to the marriage guaranteeing it reaches its own place of victory.

Each partner must commit to their individual happiness, not to sweat the small stuff of their partner or the monotony of marriage and make sure to reward each other's contribution to the whole.

6. Create Positivity: Emotions determine experience and perception. To have a beautiful marriage is about each partner thinking less selfishly about themselves and more about the marriage. The marriage becomes the cause worth fighting for.

The critical elements in creating a happy marriage are self-love and adaptability. Partners need to move on from challenge and make decisions for the marriage where each partner wants nothing more than to have their individual and marital goals achieved.

By each person committing to taking care of themselves for their partner each become a person who can operate on their own emotionally. This eliminates the relationship killers of neediness, jealousy and expectation. When each partner is infused with the spirit of being in a happy and successful marriage this turns their motivation from simple goals into a crusade. Total commitment cuts through all doubt and meandering and happiness is the result.

Creating a winning marriage means you must manage yourself and your partner intuitively and intelligently. Anything you do successfully requires self-analysis and self-control. Self-analysis helps you to understand yourself but more importantly your partner.

Sherapy Advice: The more each partner is wise and committed to their own self-care, the more effortless the marriage becomes.