Sarah and Jason say their eight-year-marriage is filled with conflict as a result of meddling in-laws and Jason’s controlling ways, but both agree that they want to work through their problems to save their union. Watch their story here.
They turn to Dr. Phil, who offers them — and any couple with a relationship that needs work — tips for strengthening their relationship.
Know your partner’s needs — and then work to meet them.
“Relationships are negotiated, and that negotiation window never closes,” Dr. Phil says. “There’s a formula for success in every relationship: It’s a function of how well it meets the needs of the two parties involved.” That means you must learn what your partner’s needs are and make it your “life mission” to meet those needs.
Be all in.
“Marriage is not 50/50,” Dr. Phil says, contrary to what many relationship experts say. “Marriage is 100/100. Everybody has to be all in all the time.”
Consider “pre-marital” counseling, even if you’re already married.
“I want you to sit down and talk about all the things that are topics in a marriage: parenting philosophy, and religion, and sexual expectations, and division of labor, and finances, and future planning and all of those things that go into a marriage,” Dr. Phil says. “I want you to negotiate to come up with a plan that both of you can be really excited about.”
Men: Ask yourself this every day.
Dr. Phil also says that men have a particularly important role. “If you’re going to be a teacher, a leader, a provider and a protector, the things that are important for the role of the man in the family, then you need to hold yourself to a particularly high standard,” he says. “If you wake up every day and ask yourself the simple question: what can I do today to make my wife’s life better? You’ll be amazed how things can begin to change.”