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11 Proverbs For Couples That Will Guarantee Stronger Relationships

Couples Guarantee Stronger Relationships

Everyone wants a strong relationship, but how many are actually willing to work for it? These eleven proverbs for couples can help you a lot. Sustaining a relationship is no joke, and unless you put in the effort and work towards building a sense of understanding, problems will be galore.

I’ve been working with couples for over 30 years, and during that time I find myself saying some things over and over. Many things I have learned elsewhere, particularly from colleagues in the Imago community. Some things I’ve come up with on my own – I think. At this point, the sources are a blur because in saying them so often they now all feel like my own. Here they are, in no particular order.

Here Are 11 Proverbs For Couples

1. There are three things that make me believe in God.

a) The taste of fresh-squeezed orange juice, b) Yosemite Valley, and c) the perfection with which couples choose each other. 

You may think you know why you choose your partner when you propose or say “yes, I do.”  But you haven’t a clue. The deeper reasons and deeper meaning for your partnership will continue to unfold over the decades of your relationship if you hang in long enough and stay open to it. 

And much of this meaning comes through in the struggles you two will have. Each time I witness this perfection in my office, my faith that there is a Higher Being organizing the cosmos is reaffirmed.

2. You pick the person who can best create your worst nightmare. 

While this may sound harsh, or scary, there is deep meaning in its truth. The intent here is that you will choose someone (unconsciously, of course) who will trigger sore spots from your past. 

Along with this theory is the belief that you make such a choice in order to heal things as an adult with your partner that you could not work out with your parent when you were a child.

Related: 5 Ways Couples Can Survive During Times of Crisis

3. When it’s hysterical, it’s historical. 

If your partner is acting or reacting in a way that makes absolutely no sense based on the stimuli, the reason behind the behavior may come from the distant past. Does your wife have a total meltdown if you forget to pick up something at the store she asked for? Find out what that feeling reminds her of from her childhood

You might be surprised to learn it can be connected to something like a parent who forgot her birthday or forgot to pick her up from school repeatedly, or something in the neighborhood of a profound feeling of not mattering.

4. In marriage, it’s win-win or lose-lose. There is no win-lose.  

So many arguments devolve into one person trying to beat the other through marshaling evidence, verbal jousting, or subtle or not so subtle putdowns. This does absolutely nothing positive for either side in the dispute. 

The only thing that will help your marriage is if both of you feel like winners. If you don’t, you will both lose. It’s that simple, and any time you think you have to prove your point, you’re not proving anything except that you don’t understand what it means to be in a relationship.

5. In heated arguments, remember the 90/10 formula. 

Connected to proverb #3, this formula posits that when you and your partner are in a screaming match over something inane, 10% of the conflict stems from the present-day context of what you’re arguing over. (My wife and I once got in an argument over who had to turn their head more to see the clock in order to know what time it was.) 

The other 90% of the energy you bring to the conflict stems from your past. It is the little child in your adult body who is providing all the energy behind this conflict.

Related: 5 Core Truths About Marriage That Every Couple Should Keep In Mind

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Josh Gressel, Ph.D.

Josh Gressel, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in the San Francisco Bay area and a student of Jewish mysticism. He is the author of Embracing Envy: Finding the Spiritual Treasure in Our Most Shameful Emotion, published in 2014 by University of America Press, and a chapter in an edited book: "Disposable Diapers, Envy, and the Kibbutz: What happens to an emotion-based on comparison in a society based on equality?"(in Envy at Work and in Organizations, Oxford University Press, 2017).View Author posts