IT TAKES THREE YEARS TO REALLY KNOW YOUR PARTNER
‘Research tells us it takes up to three years to really drop all our façades and really know the actual person we’re with,’ Dr Phillip said, ‘but a lot of people don’t wait that long.’
‘We should be waiting at least 12 months, otherwise the façade is still there…but that’s not a bad thing it just means we are on our best behaviour, very mindful and we smile when we’re not necessarily happy.’
The last thing to come out is our reaction to family matters – we will normally tolerate and put up with in-laws at first but once you’re at the “forever” stage the true colours come out.’
WHEN DO WE HAVE THE ‘CHILDREN’ DISCUSSION?
‘Certainly couples should have talked about children by the time they are committed or considering engagement. Hopefully before you make the decision to share the rest of your life with them.’
‘Within the first two years it’s important to unpack where each person stands with things like children and a whole range of other issues.’
DO I SAY SOMETHING IF I HAVE AN ISSUE WITH THE IN-LAWS?
‘It’s very important to communicate issues and be transparent – but there are ways to communicate it properly,’ Dr Phillip said. ‘You need to know that your partner loves their parents unconditionally – they may not even see the things they do as they may have been raised in a family where, for example, fights at the dinner table are normal.’
‘To us, the way we are raised is normal, so be mindful in how you phrase your issues and never throw out the phrases “how could you let them do that” or “why would you let them speak like this” etc.’
WHAT IS CHEATING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
This is a whole new discussion – 10 years ago it wasn’t an issue.
‘Share your passwords, allow your partner to look at your phone any time and be completely transparent.’
‘Clarify what cheating is when it comes to social media – is it a private conversation on Facebook? If you couldn’t be having a conversation on Facebook with your partner sitting next to you, then perhaps you shouldn’t have it at all.’
KEEP THE TOILET SEAT (AND LID) DOWN
‘People are always surprised about how often this comes up,’ Dr Phillip said, ‘it’s an argument that has been going on for generations – “he leaves it up I want it down”.’
‘I insist that the seat and lid remain down – bacteria spreads when you flush and the lid is up so it is a simple solution.’
‘He often doesn’t think about it so really, if you both care for simple hygiene and don’t like the idea of airborne bacteria hitting your toothbrush, then put it down and everybody is healthy and happy.’
TALK ABOUT SEX
Dr Phillip says it is crucial to have conversations about sex and intimacy as early on in a sexual relationship as possible and to ‘talk about your needs, desires and expectations’ – and then check in again every year.
’99 per cent of the time, it’s the same story – he wants more sex than she’s willing to give him,’ Dr Phillip said.
‘I tell them that foreplay starts at 6am when you open your eyes.’
‘The alarm goes off, you get dressed, have breakfast, don’t talk much, maybe text about dinner arrangements, have dinner, then hop in bed and bam, he is ready to go – but she is thinking “well, you’ve ignored me all day and now you expect this”.’
‘Where he is turned on at the sight of her in the shower, she isn’t – she gets turned on by the foreplay that starts at 6am where he considers her, helps her, talks about her day and asks her how she feels – THAT is foreplay to a woman.’
SHOULD I CHANGE MY NAME AFTER MARRIAGE?
‘Women are still electing more often than not, to change their names,’ Dr Phillip said.
‘A lot of the time men get offended if their wives don’t, they take it personally and the women don’t understand – often because she doesn’t understand the deep background and generational meaning behind it.’
‘Find out the reasons behind why she doesn’t, why he does and understand why rather than brushing it off as a pointless argument.’
NEVER FIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR IN-LAWS
‘A parent always believes their child is the best because they’ve made them – so they want to make sure that the person they have chosen is the absolute best person they can be with and the best person to raise their grandchild,’ Dr Phillip said.
‘So when the child and their partner start to argue – and it’s often an insult or something to shoot them down…well that never goes down well.’
BE TRANSPARENT, BUT DON’T OVER SHARE
‘I’m not talking about divulging private things from your past, but transparency about what you think, how you feel, your desires, goals, fears and values – those things that make us the true us,’ Dr Phillip said.
‘Don’t talk about past rendezvous or sexual encounters or anything that may make them feel vulnerable or less to you – there needs to be a purpose for what you are saying.’
TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM
‘I’ve been with my husband for 15 years and if I go to bed and have forgotten to say “I love you” I will let him know I love him and thank him for being him,’ Dr Phillip said, ‘it sounds simple but it’s a common problem.’
‘It allows the person to feel good and appreciated and often when we are married and busy we forget to recognise them as this beautiful human being that we’ve chosen to be with.’
‘A lot of the time people can’t remember the last time they said “I love you” and struggle to name something they admire about their partner…and that’s an issue.’
Article Originally shared on UK Dailymail.
Photo Courtesy: Alakija Studios