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Trevor E.S. Smith | Keys to a successful marriage

Published:Monday | June 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMTrevor E.S. Smith

June is traditionally the wedding month, so we shift our focus to those who are getting married, plan to get married or are already married.

Key 1: Appreciate the 'why'

Understanding the 'why of marriage' is perhaps the ultimate key to sustaining a lasting relationship.

People enter into partnerships to achieve more than they can by themselves. Whatever that elusive X factor may be, it is a driver for why we partner with others. We do not join forces to be worse off than we were before - in mind, body or soul.

Self-actualisation is a critical need. When left unmet, we get frustrated and miserable. Either at the conscious or subconscious level, we enter into relationships with 'for better' in mind, not 'for worse'. Take time to get clarity about your 'for better'.

Write down your medium- and long-term goals and aspirations. Your vision of the future. Know yourself first!

Key 2: Choose wisely!

Ensure that your partner is able to assist you in fulfilling your dreams and you can do the same for them. Physical attraction may not even be on your list of dreams as inner qualities last, while external ones fade or get disfigured.

Think long term!

Key 3: Ensure that there is a healthy perspective of God

The fear of God usually imposes limits on the things that an individual will do. If no evidence of respect for God is displayed, you are courting danger.

Fear God!

Key 4: Check your partner's perspectives on 'lasting', 'only' and 'marriage'

What signals are being sent? Are marriage and commitment issues dodged or openly discussed? Is family a part of the dialogue?

Respect marriage!

Key 5: Picture life with this person 20, 30, 50 years from now

What if the six-pack converts to punchbowl?

What if the Coca-Cola bottle shape becomes a two-litre bottle?

What if you were ill in bed, would this person take care of you or the reverse?

Heart, not body!

Key 6: Discuss how the relationship is going to be financed

Money problems put pressure on people and their relationships. Money is not the key to happiness, but we fool ourselves if we fail to reflect on the impact of money issues. Consider providing for offsprings, the kind of opportunities you want to create for them, and the resources that will be required.

Money matters!

Key 7: How are dreams and aspirations going to be financed?

Financial evaluation should not be limited to the current status of the parties. However, give thought to a financial game plan.

If there is a lifestyle you desire, and if that does not appear attainable, are you willing to give it up for a life with this person?

Vision alignment!

Key 8: How compatible are your backgrounds?

The more different the backgrounds, the greater the number of hurdles to clear.

Check the family history as it relates to relationships. We look to parents and close relatives for advice and as examples. What is their track record of honouring commitments?

Oil and water?

Key 9: Are the families comfortable with each other?

Are the prospective in-laws comfortable with you even when your partner is not around? What about you and your family's feelings about them?

In-laws or outlaws?

Key 10: Observe how conflict is handled

Are there anger management issues?

Does violence enter the picture? Slap, scratch often disguised as 'play'.

Physical abuse must be identified early and addressed fundamentally. If in doubt, opt out early.

Beware of domestic violence!

Key 11: Does she or he play fair?

What happens when games are played? Is it about winning at all costs?

Is there a tendency to get an edge by using questionable tactics?

Is the person a sore loser or intolerable winner?


Key 12: Are you attracted to each other physically?

Healthy 'chemistry' between partners is a plus for the sustainability of the relationship. No sampling! The vast numbers of single mothers who are no longer in the relationship is an indication that sampling is not a guarantee of purchase.

Passion satisfied!

Key 13: Do you have many shared interests?

The more the merrier. Is the person open to new ideas and activities?

Are they willing to become involved in your interests and passions?

Boredom looms!

Key 14: What about the friends.

Do you like your partner's friends?

Do they like you?

Are they likely to be stepping stones or stumbling blocks?

Solitude beckons!




Can you converse easily for extended periods on a variety of topics outside of each other's physical presence, e.g., on the phone?

Does time slip by as you are in these conversations without the fuel of sexual excitement?

The failure to communicate is a major cause of failed and dysfunctional relationships. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Objective assessments pave the way to healthy relationships

- Trevor E.S. Smith and the Success with People Academy are offering 'Outlook' readers a discount on two unparalleled packages for those getting married or those celebrating anniversaries in June. The packages include a psychometric assessment for couples on the revolutionary FinxS platform from Extended DISC; a deep-dive getting-to-know-you-better questionnaire, and powerful guides to success in your relationship that have been researched and fine-tuned over years.

Both packages represent lasting gifts for couples and the gifts qualify for the 'Outlook' discount. Act now!

Contact: info@swpacademy or call 315-1345 for more information.