Category Archives: Relationship

How to Be Successful With Women

As the first of nine children, it’s fair to say that having a sister within a year of me has provided 37 years of ongoing insight and experience into interacting with women. In addition, my 20 plus years as an adult in the workforce have consistently revealed a self-perpetuating patriarchal mindset that asserts men are superior to women, denying them respect and justifying unfairness towards them. That’s something my sister has never submitted to, her inherent self-esteem and confidence dismissed that kind of indoctrination. Thankfully, confident women like her have challenged this bias with their efforts and presence, reminding all of us of the need for justice and personal development to successfully achieve our collective potential. Sadly, not all men have been able to cultivate such support for equality, instead actively participating in the sabotage of their own grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces and daughters. In this article I will share three areas of insight and action that can allow for a greater collaboration between men and women in the workplace, supporting a much needed culture of inclusion, equality and diversity.

Offering consistent respect is the first area of importance, one that should be considered a basic human right and a mandatory condition for any interaction. Regardless of one’s title, gender, religious adherence, sexual preference, socioeconomic or political place, such respect allows for healthy boundaries of physical safety and genuine intellectual and emotional consideration of another’s contribution. I’ve found it quite natural to extend this same level of respect to everyone that I’ve worked with (including of course, women) and that this same level of respect was reciprocated. As a result we were able to create a work-life culture that supported both our personal and professional happiness. Collaborative ideas were validated and easily executed, sales and production goals were often exceeded and customer retention was increased, all resulting in greater revenue and more financial rewards for ourselves. I began with this area of respect because I am absolutely convinced that having it present counteracts and resolves many work related concerns.

The kind of fair and prioritized wisdom that values respect also leads to my next area, encouraging the acknowledgement of ideas. This definitely means more than just listening. Most of us would agree that women are generally more verbally communicative; one important aspect of this is that they tend to share more with those whom they feel particularly trusted and respected by. The reason this is of great importance in the workplace is because women are informed and active in many consumer activities with regularity on a scale that men are not, enabling them to control a large extent of our gross domestic product. A short visit to your local shopping center will attest to this obvious truth, while online retailers like eBay and Amazon are predominantly geared towards women. Given this, their creative input is a vital source of potential data and innovation only made useful when it is actually heard, validated and acted upon. Encouraging them to share their ideas will create benefit and a driven kind of unity when those ideas are acknowledged and incorporated into methods and production.

Our willingness to celebrate and reward collaborative efforts equally is the third area to consider. This creates a cultural shift recognizing and affirming the importance of men and women working together towards mutual goals. Up until recently the standard of inequality in the workplace ensured a competition between men and women that was rigged, offering a patronizing kind of encouragement that women still have not seen rewarded consistently in their paychecks. As we all recognize how our efforts are made meaningful, it’s time to really highlight our successes based on the first two areas above and transform those into changes that steadily reward women on an equal footing with men.

As technology advances, we are globally closer, resulting in greater competition in the marketplace. This also allows for information and dialogue about innovation, success and justice to be consistently shared publicly in a way that used to be more hidden, subverted and controlled. Online campaigns or reports can create a crippling boycott of a company with its head stuck in the sand regarding equality, whereas real-life success stories of companies that are embracing and visibly reaping the benefits of incorporating these three areas can create surges in growth for a business. In both the employment and consumer market, it’s easy to guess which company a woman would want to align herself with.

This is truly a time of the strongest being of true service, at least in regards to the marketplace. The sooner we encourage the greatest from each other the sooner we will attain untapped potential within ourselves and in the marketplace. We have to refrain from the subtle adverse mindset that a woman’s success means a man’s lack of success. In my last article, “Implicit Bias in the Workplace”, I mentioned our ability to include each other’s contribution was not a zero-sum situation. My hope is that we are all rewarded on our merit and nothing else. As men, if we are going to expect justice and fairness for our own grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, and daughters, we are going to have to be an example in our own respective positions as we practice respect, acknowledge ideas and celebrate and reward our collaborative efforts with women to realize all of our greater advancement.The battles we fight together are the ones that will define us tomorrow.

Great Relationships

From 1986 – 2008 I was a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice. This is the first in a series of columns about what I learned during that adventure.

    • No one ever gets married with the intention of having a marriage that does not work. Yet so many people find themselves in that very position.
    • Based on 22 years of being closely involved with hundreds of marriages on a daily basis, I can tell you that there are 4 types of marriage:
      • The Cell Mate Marriage – The worst possible situation to be in. Been there, done that one myself.
      • The Room Mate Marriage – Unfortunately the most common marriage. Folks settle for “the way it is” for the rest of their lives.
      • The Life Mate Marriage – Second most common, these folks still really like each other, the spark is just not there all the time.
      • The Soul Mate Marriage – Rarest of the four types. And so worth waiting for, as that is what I’m blessed with now.
    • Want to know the number one way to screw up your marriage and complicate your life more that you ever thought possible? The one move you can make to accomplish all that plus even more misery is to have an affair. While I don’t speak from personal experience, I do speak from the experience of helping hundreds of couples pick up the pieces of that unique human disaster.
  • One of the best things you can do to keep a great marriage going is to keep doing most if not all of the great and loving things you did while you were dating. I know it’s a radical notion, but I’m here to tell you, it works!

All The Secrets About Relationships

A happy relationship is one of the best things life can offer; it is difficult to maintain lasting happiness. Unsolved problems can ruin your life; good feelings will be only a memory. Relationship counseling can help to have lasting harmony, truly resolving your problems. Relationship counseling can also teach you how to keep love and appropriate feelings alive, for the rest of your life.

You must do something for you, for your family, to bring happiness back into your house. Relationship counseling teaches you to work through relationship problems, to keep your love, harmony, happiness and trust alive. You can build and maintain a truly rewarding relationship with powerful tools. There are some key tools to help you maintain your relationship healthy, and strong.

Powerful tools to maintain a healthy and happy relationship
Relationship counseling can help you to learn the key tools to make your life better; difficult times can lead your relationship to disaster. You must learn how to prevent or resolve your present and future problems. You must know how to build respect, trust, harmony, and understanding.

With committed relationship counseling, you will change things, no matter how troubled your relationship is. Relationship counseling can teach you how to make the positive change you need how to resolve relationship problems and build a rewarding relationship. To save your relationship you must take action as soon as possible and have the relationship tools you need today; therapist specialized in relationship counseling say the a committed relationship counseling offers powerful key procedures to expand happiness and harmony.

In short time you will discover a great difference in your relationship, a spectacular change with the guidance of relationship counseling. Therapist can be a source of wisdom; they can help you to build the relationship you want. Couples can succeed in their relationship; they can have clear directions, powerful strategies and tools to make their relationship back on track.

There are also web sites for relationship counseling; all sorts of people can face problems in their relationships. Things can be changed; many resources are available through Internet or in many relationship counseling offices. Good relationships with your partner or family members are vital for your life, resent and future. Relationship counseling will help you to manage every situation constructively, listening, encouraging and helping people to reach their decisions about the best tools to use to strengthen your relationship in the future.

My Family Rules About Relationships

Family and Cultural Scripts When you were born into your family you were presented with your ‘script’ or pre’script’ion for life. Just like an actor on stage works from a script, so do you. Most of us don’t even realize that subconsciously we accept and live out our ‘script’ without any conscious knowledge of what we are doing.

Have you ever found yourself doing or saying something and thought to yourself – ‘wow, that is or sounds just like mum (or dad, or someone else in the family) used to do/say’?

I was presented with this so clearly when about fourteen years ago I went back to the country of my ancestry to meet family that I had not known before. My immediate family migrated to this country, Australia, before I was born so I had never known who my relatives were. I never met my grandparents and on only one occasion did an aunt come to visit us as I was growing up. Anyway here I am meeting these unknown relatives for the first time and I was struck by something that seemed to bind us in a way that was even crazier than just the same surname. This was striking enough as, with such an unusual surname, I had never known anyone in my country with the same name.

But now I was meeting people that not only had the same surname but who used their voices, just like me, and used body gestures, just like me. I immediately felt an incredible connection with these people that was so much more than a name. It was freaky even as I felt I was looking at a mirror of myself.

This is the power of the script. It is the way I, and my cousins so far away in another land, had learned from our parents, who had got it from their parents, exactly how to speak and gesture as well as what to value and believe in. The power of that still absolutely staggers me.

We also know this exists within our being subconsciously as each day we do so many things without even thinking about it, like brushing our teeth and getting ourselves to work or home again. We just trust our subconscious mind to take care of these things and it does.

And let me ask you this question. Have you ever been driving your car or been taking a walk when you suddenly realize you don’t remember how you got to where you are?

Your subconscious mind got you there and you can trust it. If you had come across a red light or something happened that needed your attention you would be there in an instant.

This ability is really very helpful: It means that you don’t have to read the directions on the toothpaste tube or look up a street directory to find your way to work or back home again. It’s the same process for everything you do in life. And not just what you do, but what you think and feel as well.

From your observations of those significant others in your life, which in the first instance are generally your parents, you learn how to respond to certain things that happen in your lives and then behave in exactly that way until something happens to get you to rethink those responses and to try something different.

This then becomes your ‘script’ for life, and has all of the details in it about how to be a girl or a boy, a parent or a son or daughter, a man or a woman, or even a husband or wife.

This ‘script’ for life holds all of your values, beliefs and attitudes which overlay your needs. If it is, that in those very early years of your life, your basic needs are recognized and satisfied, you will grow up to be a confident adult, with a healthy ‘script’. You are able to care for yourself and ask for the care of others and to know that you will get that care as you need it.

If, on the other hand, those five basic needs are not recognized or satisfied in you as a young child, then you run the risk of developing an unhealthy ‘script’. You will grow up seeking to have those needs fulfilled, often in inappropriate ways, and often to your disadvantage. The ways you seek to have those needs fulfilled will also reflect how your parents and/or other significant people in your life demonstrated that for you.

Life Phrases About Relationships

I pump energy into my relationships.

The great killer of affiliations and kinships is to take them for granted.

I liken this to the energy that holds the universe together. That energy is often called gravity. While gravity certainly exists, it is not well understood. But somehow, the entire Universe is under the influence of that energy. Without it, the Universe as we now it would collapse or fly apart. This gravity is kind of give and take affair. Each object or wave within the Universe attracts other objects or waves. The earth is pulled toward the Sun as it revolves in orbit. The earth tries to pull away from the Sun as it flies through space. The two draws sort of cancel each other out and the Earth remains in orbit. If either the Sun or the Earth were to suddenly (or gradually) withdraw its gravitational influence, the two bodies would drift apart. To the great detriment of those living on earth.

Very much the same sort of thing happens between friends or in human relationships of other kinds. Energy must be pumped into the affiliation, or the tie will unbind, and drifting apart will begin.

I observe that much of society, at least in the west, has let the pumping subside. Yes, we have new gadgets and apps for those gadgets that could help people pump energy into their interrelationships. Social media is it often called. But even this becomes old for the users and the energy output slacks off. People are either so busy or pretend they are so busy. They then neglect to pump energy into their system of relationship. I have seen it happen in circles of friends and even in families where there is blood relationship.

Just as the Sun and Earth system must constantly feed itself with energy exchanged between the two to maintain the system, so must humans. You cannot simply believe and act like systems will take care of themselves. If new energy is not pumped into them, the system’s structure will decay. Sooner or later, the arrangement will, literally, fall apart.

When you do not want to have this happen, you need to pump that relationship-energy.

Here are some suggestions:

– Genuinely seek to get a true answer to the question: How are you doing?

– Respond to that answer in a real and substantial way.

– Haven’t heard from a friend recently? Take the initiative to be in contact.

– Remember special days, like birthdays and anniversaries.

– Communicate useful thoughts on subjects your friend is interested in.

Energy-pumping is not difficult. It simply takes genuine involvement in your friends and family.

Success is All About Relationships

A part of achieving success is to consider the value and importance of sound relationships. In every area of your life you will encounter relationships.

Why relationships?

Because we are human beings, and as human beings we are designed to interact with other human beings. This involves relationships. Without the appropriate skills and knowledge to manage your relationships the success you are hoping to achieve will escape you.

In the first instance the relationship you must consider is the one you have with yourself. If you don’t appreciate yourself, chances are that you will project that dislike to others. The more you appreciate yourself, the better your relationships will be with others. How you feel inwardly will be reflected on the outside through non verbal communication like body language. The higher your integrity is, the more you will feel better about yourself.

The family relationship is the next one to consider as they are extremely important as you tread your path to success. Failure here will not see you succeed elsewhere. You require a supportive partner as a sounding board and someone who encourages you in your endeavors.

Your business relationships follow closely behind family relationships. How you deal with customers and suppliers has a major influence over the security and productivity of your company as well as the success and growth. Poor relationships with these stakeholders will lead to poor performance. In a world of many business competitors, I strongly believe good relationships with your customers is the catalyst to your business success.

It is vital that you learn to manage your frustration as you deal with relationships. We all encounter problem areas and awkward situations that will annoy and irritate us. If you can manage your frustration and in turn reverse a sticky situation with an individual into something positive, you will be well ahead on your road to success.

Treat all people you meet as important and treat them with respect. There is a saying, “be nice to all people on the way up the ladder as you never know you may be meeting them again on the way down!” Be sincere in your dealings with people you meet. You just never know that the person you help might be able to help you or unbeknown to you may even report back to your boss what a great job you are doing! Or not doing, as the case may be!

Finally, you should be able to see how healthy family relationships, a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty at work, and an ability to consider the next person as important can be instrumental in helping you along your path to success. Success is not achieved alone. The fact remains that we must deal appropriately with people and nurture our relationships if we hope to achieve success.

My Family Rules About Relationships

This is part three of the article on how families impact our lives. I’ve already talked about how they may even be multi generational. Now I would like to address how we might be able to change these script directives. As your ‘script’, and your rules for relationships, was first presented to you by your family, you are most likely to grow up and live out that ‘script’ unless, as I believe was my experience, that somewhere along the way you make a different decision and consequently live your life based on a different set of values and beliefs.

This questioning generally only happens in the event of some crisis in your life, when you may come to realize that your script is a good ‘script’, and continue to live it out in a positive way. Alternatively you might question your ‘script’, at such a time, and recognize that you need to do something differently and go about changing those rules that define your ‘script’ and live it out differently to the way your parents presented it to you.

Some of us however, do not come to question it and we just live it out with all the positives and negatives as defined by the rules given to us. While in the first instance this is given to us by our parents, it then becomes supported and further entrenched by our families, our community and by our culture. And as I’ve already said, the only time I might really question my ‘script’ at all is if things become uncomfortable enough living the ‘script’ that I am forced to speak to my partner, or to seek professional help, that would encourage me to contemplate an alternative response.

As a result, the way that you define what a relationship is, is very much the way your parent’s defined relationships and as the ‘script’ was handed to you, then you, in turn, hand it on to your children. “Do as I say not as I do!” So a lesson to be learned here is that as these rules, and the ‘script’ for life, is passed on to us, and done so unconsciously, then, despite even what our parents might say, it is most likely that we will mimic what they do. So while kids might not know it consciously, unconsciously they know exactly what goes on behind closed doors, and will most likely play that out in their own lives as they then choose their own adult relationships.

What I’m saying here is that we are scripted to choose our partners to be a certain kind of person, and for good reason. The most outstanding part of this is that this is all happening unconsciously. Not only that but we will manipulate them to be a certain way even if this is not how they were when we first entered a relationship with them.

Couples who come into my office are often surprised that the person they fell in love with seems to now be someone quite different. Sometimes, knowing their parents and the mistakes they have made in their relationships, couples have openly vowed to not become those people. And guess what so often happens? You’re right; they end up becoming those people after all.

Just last week I had a couple in my room saying that everything they ever vowed not to become they have become and were surprised to find out how powerful their unconscious scripting was. If you want to know more about family scripting, and the ways you can create a new and more helpful script for your life, have a look at my book titled: “The Games Couples Play” or check out my website where you’ll find some questionnaires and exercises to help you understand your script more fully.

Relationship Advice

The way we act in a relationship is based on a number of factors. Unfortunately, some of these factors will be good and others not so good. But regardless of how they would be classified, overall, they determine the way we are, the way we behave in a relationship. If your relationship isn’t all you would like for it to be, perhaps you need to take a look at where you are getting the input from that you are using as your guideline.

Our parents. We learn a lot from our parents… although not all we learn is ideal. Not only is this the first relationship we are subjected to, but it occurs during our formative years when we are highly impressionable. If our parents fight, don’t communicate well, or learn to deal with stress in a positive, constructive manner, then chances are, we won’t either.

Our past relationships. This can be a brutal example of reality. We can be raised in a close-knit, happy family and grow up with these exact same expectations. Then, your first partner treats you like “dirt,” verbally abuses you, and eventually leaves you for someone else. Now, your perception of how perfect relationships are has just been demolished.

When you enter into a relationship, you bring the residue of every past relationship with you and into it…

  • if you were belittled, you tend to be withdrawn.
  • if you were cheated on, you are on guard.
  • if you were verbally or physically abused, you lash out at the first sign of trouble.

We are defined by our past, even if all of our past is not classed as healthy. That is why you cannot use a cookie-cutter mentality for all relationships.

The media. Believe it or not… what you see on TV and in the movies is not always reality. Take a look at a family sitcom from the 1950’s. They were “living” in the ideal setting, everyone acted wonderfully with each other… and there was total harmony within the household. Now, compare this scene with a family sitcom from today. Reality has certainly set in and the networks are no longer afraid to show how relationships in families really are.

You would have never witnessed the 1950’s family man coming home drunk and smacking his wife around. They never fought over money… and infidelity never showed its ugly face. Now, it is commonplace on TV. If you are going to base your perception of relationships on the media, at least be realistic.

Family Time Suffers When Kids Get Only 38 Minutes of Parents’ Time

TV time adds up

The time spent watching TV impacts many aspects of life, most notably the family. According to the latest figures from Nielsen Media Research, Inc., the average American now spends 4 hours and 32 minutes per day watching TV. Per week that adds up to 31½ hours.

Why is the family in crisis?

In contrast with 31½ hours in front of a TV, the average American parent spends only 38 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children. Yet, pundits on both the left and right wonder why the American family is in crisis. As a parent, how can you have a meaningful relationship with your children, if you are so busy watching TV that you do not have time to talk with them, to listen to their problems, to celebrate their achievements, or to simply BE together as a family? It is simply not possible. You cannot build a family foundation on reruns of Leave it to Beaver.

Kids want more family time

Your children may not say it, but kids often want more time with their family. According to the Horatio Alger Association’s report, The State of Our Nation’s Youth: “If they could have one wish granted, students would choose to have more time to spend with their families (46%).” Children chose family time over having more money to buy material things (27%), living in a bigger house (14%), and having more time to spend on spiritual pursuits (7%).”

TV time does not count as quality family time

Some parents may feel that they are spending quality time with their children when they are watching TV shows together. If you sit back and observe the way most people watch TV, you will quickly see that there is usually very little interaction among members who are watching a show together.

They may all be doing the same thing. They may all be pleasantly relaxed. However, each person has their attention focused on the screen. It is not the same as working together, doing a project together, or playing a game together. Family members may be tuned in to the TV, but they are tuned out from each other.

Get that TV out of the bedroom!

Parents also cannot build a meaningful relationship while they are watching TV. There has been no prominent study relating the amount of time couples spend in front of the TV to divorce rates. However, an Italian study recently revealed that having a television in the bedroom cuts your sex life in half. The team of sexologists in Rome found Italians who live without a TV in the bedroom had sex eight times a month. Those with a TV, had sex only four times on average.

Find out how much your family watches

Most people underestimate how much TV they watch. Time just seems to fly by when you are glued to the tube. However, you owe it to yourselves and your family to find out how much you are actually watching. Take a week to document the time your family watches TV. When this is finished, you can get together as a family and decide if there isn’t a better way for everyone to spend their time.

Solve your family’s problems and create happy memories

Turning off the TV might not automatically create an idyllic family and it likely will not overcome severe problems such as abuse, but it will give your family the time everyone needs to tackle life’s basic problems. You and your family will also have the time to build happy memories that will last a lifetime. Turn off your TV today to begin creating a new life with your partner and children.

About ‘The Awful Truth About Television’ Series:

What happens when the average American spends 4 hours 32 minutes every day watching television? Trash Your TV’s ‘The Awful Truth About Television’ Series explores the multifaceted problems with TV in eleven hard-hitting articles. Read the full series and you will never look at your television set the same way again.

About Relationship and Structure in Marriage

Christian Marriage is the model from which western marriage is explained. The unique “one-flesh” relationship and family structure described by Jesus Christ and the early church writers create the godly marriage, where both husband and wife are able to resist the seduction of worldly ideas and destructive temptations.

As western culture forgets its roots, the wonder of marriage is lost. Cheap and shallow connections, involving exploitation, insecurity, betrayal and pain then become the norm. In order to reverse that, and rediscover godly marriage that works, we need to have marriage explained clearly, in terms of the Christian marriage, so the most effective relationships can be established. This will not just benefit the couple, but also their children and the society in which they live.

The following explanations about marriage and relationship come out of the various books I have written on subject, including Family Horizons, Marriage Horizons and Mending Marriages.

WHAT IS MARRIAGE?

In the secular community marriage is based on many different ideas, such as: Assigned Duties; Mutual Obligation; the 50:50 Partnership; It’s a Man’s World; the Idolised Woman; Something is Better than Nothing; Let’s See if it Works; the Obligatory Duty and the Contract.

Christians can be confident about marriage and not be distracted by the ideas promoted in the popular culture, movies, press, music and television. The Bible reveals what true marriage is, from its invention in the Garden of Eden to its ultimate application in the marriage of Christ and the Church, at the end of the world.

Marriage has two main components: Relationship and Structure. Marriage is a relationship, but it is one that must be built on a God-ordained pattern, which gives it structure and enduring stability.

RELATIONSHIP IN TWO PARTS

Marriage is an interpersonal relationship between a man and a woman making a life-long commitment to each other. The quality of interpersonal relationship obviously impacts the way the couple relate, work together, solve problems and enjoy life together. But Marriage is also an “official” relationship, apart from the interpersonal fellowship of the couple.

When a couple join together in marriage God grants them a special “one-ness” that the Bible calls “one flesh”. Jesus called this being “joined together” by God. Once a couple is given official “one flesh” status by God they can enjoy legitimate sexual intimacy. Such activity without the “one flesh” bond is immoral, as either fornication or adultery. Immoral behaviour damages those who engage in it. So the “official” relationship is incredibly important. Marital intimacy before marriage is immoral, since the couple do not yet have the official “one flesh” bond which God gives them when they become “man and wife”.

God’s “one flesh” bond is not created by the couple and cannot be dissolved by them. God establishes it and only He can dissolve it. Jesus taught; do not separate those “God has joined together”. This is the divine “glue” which God uses to make two people into one unique physical entity.

A happy couple without the official “one flesh” relationship are not married. An unhappy couple with the official “one flesh” relationship are still married, even if they separate. So the most important relationship is not the sentimental secular one, but the official bond God establishes. If people understood its significance they would take marriage much more seriously than many do today.

CORRECT STRUCTURAL DESIGN

God prescribed the Structure for marriage, involving both Responsibility and Support. The husband is the one who must take responsibility for the marriage, wife and family. He is accountable to God. The wife is the one who must support the husband’s leadership.

The man was designed to live under God’s authority and fulfil God’s will for his life. The wife was designed to empower the man and assist him to do that. The man, then, must love his wife and bless her for her commitment. The wife, then, must submit to the husband and energise his fulfilment of God’s purposes.

These ideas seem old-fashioned in today’s secularised culture. Yet, possibly to the surprise of today’s generation, they have worked wonderfully well for millennia. The modern, progressive ideas, which abandon God’s prescribed structure of responsibility and support, are far less satisfying, stable or effective as those which follow God’s design.

SOME POINTERS TO MAKING MARRIAGE SUCCESSFUL

In preparing for marriage, or in making a marriage stronger, there are a number of things that will make an important contribution. If people do not have these qualities they will find it harder to make their marriage work. These issues are discussed in more detail in MARRIAGE HORIZONS.

Personal Wholeness – freedom from moral compromise and damage. Damaged people are unable to function as they should, especially in their marriage. Commitment – faithful in the face of difficulty. Weak people who cannot make and stand by faithful commitments will be a black hole in the marriage. Willingness to Forgive and Show Grace – not holding resentment or bad attitudes. It is essential that people learn how to forgive others, especially in the face to face, daily challenges or marriage. High Moral Standards – rejecting temptation. People with loose morals will betray their marriage and hurt their spouse, their family and themselves. Balanced Thinking – clear understanding of truth. Distorted ideas about reality, ourself or others cause people to respond wrongly and to mishandle the challenges of marriage. Willingness to Contribute – non-selfish approach. Marriage is a team effort and so team players who will make a strong contribution will be the most valuable in a marriage. Openness and Transparency – free to be yourself and accept others. Interpersonal relationships, especially the intimate relationship of marriage, require people to be confidently open and unashamed. Courage and Confidence – unafraid to step out with God’s help. Fearfulness eats people’s confidence and messes with their lives. It is to be avoided in marriage. Willingness to be Wrong and Take Correction – teachable heart. Stubborn and argumentative people damage their marriage so teachableness and humility are vital qualities.