With a divorce rate of almost 50% and the average length of a marriage being eight years, people are losing hope of finding their -happily ever after'. International author, speaker and leading relationship expert, Dr Karen Phillip believes the solution could be simply doing your homework before tying the knot. She details the -need-to-know' topics in her new book, OMG We're Getting Married - 7 Essential things to know before we say I Do.
The book, set in 14 chapters, examines the subjects that couples often fail to discuss prior to marriage and teaches them how to cultivate a close and caring relationship. The book covers a range of topics which include communication, sex, finance, children and careers.
OMG We're Getting Married focuses on Dr Phillip's seven essential tips to know before you walk down the aisle which include:
1. Me is now a We - this means whatever you think, feel or do has an effect on your partner.
2. Open and honest communication – providing your partner with a safe place to talk about and discuss their feelings.
3. Transparent finances – spending and saving are an agreed joint venture.
4. Continue to tell your partner how much you love, admire and respect them – words are very important as are actions.
5. Intimacy within the relationship is vital – a look, gesture, being considerate and sex can all be a part of intimacy
6. Accept their family – remember the person you love is a reflection of them.
7. Be open to ensure both partners trust each other – always act and behave in an ethical and open way, trust is essential to a relationship.
Dr Phillip believes the book will help couples create and maintain a fulfilling sex life, teach them, to communicate effectively and avoid arguments, how to divide household tasks, balance their career and home life, and much more in order to create a happy and close relationship.
'Throughout my career I have seen many of these same problems couples face in their relationship and most of these issues could have been avoided if they were addressed before their life-long commitment. OMG We're Getting Married ensures couples discuss these issues to make their relationship stronger, to help make the honeymoon period last and to invest in the happiness of the relationship. I have worked with thousands of couples using these seven tips and it works! These tips will help couples create long lasting love and help them endure difficult issues that occur within the relationship," says Dr Phillip.
Dr Phillip has been working as a professional Counselling Psychotherapist for almost 20 years. She holds a PhD in Sociology and specialises in Relationships and Parenting. Dr Phillip works with families who are experiencing problems with communication, conflict and child behaviours and has worked with clients all over the world including industry leaders, high profile entrepreneurs and sporting and celebrity clients.
'With an almost 50% divorce rate we need to address the issues that divide couples resulting in divorce, these include finance, sex and communication. I truly believe if couples take the time to read this book, they will learn to communicate properly with their partner, deal with the larger issues and eventually our divorce rate could be halved," says Dr Phillip.
OMG We're Getting Married - 7 Essential things to know before we say I Do
Author: Dr Karen Phillip
Question: Why do you believe the average length of marriage is currently at eight years?
Dr Karen Phillip: There are a number of reasons the average marriage lasts only 8 years.
1. We need time to learn to be a couple as when Me becomes We everything you do and say has an effect on your partner
2. We are often not prepared for marriage or understand what finding a life long partner involves
3. We have not set the criteria we want and need in a partner for life
4. It is too easy to separate
5. Without education on communicating with your partner may mean deep damage can be done by words and actions that you can not recover from
Question: What is your top tip for guaranteeing a lasting marriage?
Dr Karen Phillip: Set the criteria that you want and need in a partner.
Couples need have the conversations and discussions about the variety of topics that will eventuate in their relationship.
Have we considered the type of worker, provider, parent or communicator they are? If we find our chosen partner is not able to manage these pressures or is unable or unwilling to offer the support needed, is not the parent you expected, does not treat you as an equal plus a variety of other issues, this is when the relationship can become strained.
Question: Why do most couples separate in December?
Dr Karen Phillip: The reason this occurs is we have tolerated our partner, their behaviour, family or friends all year and once the end of the year is upon us we reassess what the year has been like and often make a conscious decision to start the new year fresh.
In December we assess the year that was, an end of year reflection. We reassess our goals and we look at what happened and how we feel about it all and if disappointed we may then decide to walk. You just want to feel free.
December is also a very high stress month as we plan our future year ahead. We consider our goals, our desires and wants and what we may need to do or change to achieve this goal.
The other reason some partners choose to leave prior to Christmas can be the desire not to purchase an expensive gift for the person they no longer want or love.
Question: What question should we ask ourselves, before getting married?
Dr Karen Phillip: 1. How will this person treat me in the good times and the bad?
2. Am I their main priority?
3. Do I take precedence over their friends, family, work and activities?
4. Is my opinion considered?
5. Can we discuss things without an argument?
6. Are we equal?
7. Interview by Brooke Hunter