Life coaching: The 7.3 rules for a happy marriage

The following rules will make a challenged marriage good, a good marriage better, and if we are lucky, put divorce lawyers out of business.

ben goldfarb 88 (photo credit: )
ben goldfarb 88
(photo credit: )
The following rules will make a challenged marriage good, a good marriage better, and if we are lucky, put divorce lawyers out of business. 1.Dating Most experts and laypeople agree that it's a good idea to stop dating right after your engagement. Studies have shown that dating while engaged or married can lead to some minor misunderstandings and should be avoided at all costs. 2.Metaphors Select a metaphor that best defines your marriage. Some couples see themselves as co-pilots on a transatlantic journey. Others view themselves as vice presidents of a corporation. I met a couple recently who sees their marriage as an intricate game involving Nerf ™ balls, spatulas, and mosquito netting. 3.Create a joint mission statement Companies and non-profit organizations are encouraged to create and maintain mission statements. Married couples can benefit from this same advice. Keep the mission statement short, to the point, and write it in a language that neither one of you understands. One of the tricks of a happy marriage is being artfully vague whenever possible. 4. Job descriptions I'm a big advocate of romance in marriage. (See number 5.) However, we can learn from corporate America how to set the stage for a good marriage. Write up your job descriptions so that each of you knows what is expected from the other. This can include household chores, financial obligations and taking turns being emotionally strong, weak, or domineering. 5. Romance Go out once a week for some fun and romance. You are not allowed to talk about money during these outings. Shopping for mundane items before, during, or after the event is strictly forbidden. Divide up the conversation fairly. For example, when my wife and I go out, I spend the first half of dinner discussing my hopes, dreams and aspirations. During the second half of the meal, my wife gives me her feedback about what I said. 6. Five-year plans Write a joint five-year plan. Set your financial, spiritual, emotional, and entertainment goals. Evaluate your progress each quarter. Reward yourself for each success and brutally punish yourself for every failure. 7. Tupperware ™ Buy lots of Tupperware ™. I have no vested interest in Tupperware ™, nor do I plan on becoming a distributor. I've never even been to a Tupperware ™ party, although I've heard they can get pretty wild. However, Tupperware ™ products maintain the "cook and freeze" lifestyle that might contribute more to marital bliss than any other single factor. ".3" While we are striving to be "one" in our relationships, no one can underestimate the importance of temporarily diminishing yourself in relation to your spouse. You and your significant other can takes turns being the decimal in the relationship. This will not only teach you humility, it will help you brush up on your math skills. Don't worry if you didn't have a chance to put these rules into effect from the beginning of your marriage. You can start at anytime. I've seen marriages improve miraculously by applying these 7.3 rules. I've also heard about a couple who not only upgraded their marriage by internalizing these lessons, but is now lobbying in Beijing to include their Nerf ™ ball event in the next Olympics. Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. He has given seminars and training sessions at Israel Aircraft Industry and Philips Medical Systems. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published in the summer. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to © Copyright 2008 by Ben Goldfarb