Posts Tagged ‘love and marriage expert’

Sometimes It Is Nice To Be Bi-Polar!

July 10, 2016

Polar Bear Mother and 3 Cubs

We did it!! We did it!! We have now interviewed successfully married couples in both The Arctic and The Antarctic! We guess you might call us “Bi-Polar!”

When we planted our feet on the continent of Antarctica three years ago, we became the FIRST marriage researchers in the world to interview successfully married couples on ALL SEVEN CONTINENTS of the world. And we want you to know that we are very proud of that accomplishment!

As our loyal readers know, we have been engaged in our “labor of love” for over 34 years.   We began our journey with this simple idea in mind – “Do great marriages around the world share common and pervasive characteristics.“

And now, after 34 years of research in all 50 states of the Union, in 53 countries, on all seven continents on Earth, and in ten Canadian Provinces, our answer to the previous question is, YES! They do, even in the most isolated places on the planet! We have now discovered this to be true in The Arctic as well!

Let us now digress before we zero in on what we’ve learned on these trips to The Arctic and to Antarctica.

First, understand that Antarctica has the coldest, windiest, driest, and harshest climate on Earth. Living and working there, even for short periods of time, is not for the faint of heart. Very few people stay on the Continent for more than six months at a time. It is very rare for a person to “winter-over” and work for a full continuous year on The Ice.

In the Austral summer as many as four thousand people (mostly scientists and support staff) are there. Cruise ships bring about 30,000 people a year to the continent, but almost exclusively during the Antarctic summer season (November-February), and few get to actually set foot on the continent.

Considering that there can be six months of sunlight and six months of daylight, depending on the season, living here for even a short period of time can have its psychological and biorhythm challenges. The isolation and distance of Antarctica from the rest of the world can have deleterious effects on the marriages and relationships of people who work there or in the continent’s environs.

There are many misconceptions about Antarctica. For example, is it a country? The answer is NO! Nobody owns the 7th Continent. Nobody!

One person asked us if they have nice hotels and places to eat? The answer is a resounding NO. There are no hotels. There are no restaurants.

Another person who learned of our trip asked us if there is much poverty in Antarctica. Again, the answer is a big NO. A citizen of the USA can only get there if they are scientists funded by the National Science Foundation; members of the US Air Force who have been assigned there (most all who go to Antarctica volunteer to go); people who volunteer to work there in support roles (cooks, mechanics, etc.); tourists; and those arriving on a tourist ship that are conducting research. The latter category includes us. We are marriage researchers and this is the only way could get to Antarctica to complete our research on successful marriages around the world.

Some final notes about Antarctica. There are NO cities or towns and NO permanent residents. Moreover, by treaty agreement, NO country in the world owns Antarctica!  Antarctica is NOT a country; it is a Continent, and an isolated one at that.

And last but not least, there are no roads, bridges, Interstate-type highways, cars or gas stations. Antarctica is unique amongst the world’s seven continents. Understanding this is an important first step towards gaining a perspective of the adventuresome spirit of the people who work and travel there.

It is important to note the major distinctions between The Arctic and The Antarctic.

First, The North Pole in The Arctic is an ocean (The Arctic Ocean)   surrounded by continents. Antarctica in the South is a continent surrounded by oceans (Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian). Big difference!!

During our trips to Antarctica and the Arctic, we interviewed a number of married couples (mostly scientists and expedition team members) to ascertain if the long periods of separation and isolation create unique and specific challenges to their marital relationship.  The good news, of those dozen people we interviewed on this trip, the most important finding is this – their marriages survive and thrive for the most part because they recognize that communication is at the heart of their relationship. Keeping in frequent touch with their spouse during long periods of separation is critical to sustaining their marital relationship.

Relatedly, the “tourists” traveling the National Geographic Explorer (the ship we sailed on going and coming from Antarctica and The Arctic) are explorers. Every person we talked to and/or interviewed, are folks who have traveled the world extensively. They love being together and find that their many journeys can actually strengthen their marital relationship. Moreover, many volunteered to us that these travels kept their marriages vibrant, exciting, and alive.

Secondly, we were interested in seeing if the “Seven Pervasive Characteristics of a Successful Marriage” that we have discovered in our worldwide search for great marriages around the world, apply to people who work in or travel to Antarctica and to The Arctic. While we expected to find some differences from the norm, we didn’t. Quite the contrary, our interviews reinforced the notion that great marriages around the world are driven by common themes.

In summary, here is what we have discovered on these trips to Antarctica and The Arctic. Successful marriage, love, and relationships all require simple acts. Simple gestures. Simple conversations. Success in love and marriage depends upon an accumulation of the doing the simple things to form the foundation for building a love that lasts.

The seven key ingredients that define a successful marriage are easy to understand, yet difficult for many couples to practice in their relationship.

  • Togetherness: Two become one without losing the individual identities of each other. In successful marriage it is not you and me, it is WE!
  • Truthfulness: Couples talk about anything and everything. In successful marriage there are no sacred cows and no secrets.
  • Respect: Couples understand that you do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Successful love and marriage is about mutual love and respect.
  • Fitness: Successfully married couples understand that taking care of only their only health is not sufficient. They must also promote the health of their spouse. To live until “death do us part” requires a mutual concern about good health.
  • Joint Finances: It is not YOUR money and MY money. In successful marriages, it is OUR money.
  • Tactile Communication: Touching each other multiple times per day is the norm. In successful marriage touching says, “I love you so much I simply must touch you.” Suprisingly, touch does not HAVE to include sex.
  • Surprise: Love is characterized by the notions of variety and spice. Successful marriage is exciting, never boring, and full of unpredictable things. Don’t always do that which is predictable. Upend expectancies. Variety is the spice of life!

It seems that successfully married couples around the world share much in common. After 34 years of wandering the Earth in search of great marriages we are more convinced of the truth of this notion than ever.

Whether it’s the top of the world, the bottom of the world, or all around the world, it is comforting to know that great marriages are possible.

Love well, whatever continent you live on, whatever country you call home, whatever Province or State you live in – love well even if you are “Bi-Polar.”

Those who are successfully married in the Arctic and the Antarctic share much in common.   Great marriages around the world are defined by common success variables even if they live at opposite ends of the world.

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts


On the verge of having been married for 50 years, the Doctors give advice that you know you can trust.

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy—the latest multiple award winning book by the Doctors.

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Living a Positive Life

May 7, 2016

By Charles D. Schmitz, Ph.D.

I just turned 70 years young less than three weeks ago! In a few months, my wife, Liz and I, will celebrate 50 years of successful marriage together. Our marriage is proof-positive that a small town Missouri boy can marry a California surfing girl and live happily every after! We have been blessed. We cannot imagine life without each other.

These milestones have caused me to increasingly reflect on the purpose of my life and its meaning.

Recent events in Our Town and across the USA have caused me to want to say something positive to help bring us together – dedicated to a better Saint Louis and to a better country for all of us.

And frankly, I am growing weary of all the negativism in the world today. There is so much to celebrate in life, yet our media, our citizens, our friends, and many others, feel the need to share news that is depressing – news that brings us down. News that is bad. But there is a better way.

Over time, the negativism takes a toll. But here’s the truth – it doesn’t have to be that way. There is hope!

I am at the point in my life where it is hard to imagine living anywhere else but the USA. I always get goose bumps thinking about the promise we hold in our collective and individual hands! Being part of this extraordinary national community is among the greatest joys and pleasures of my life.

As many of you know, Liz and I are passionate about our work, our people, and our community, particularly the Saint Louis community. The important work we engage in on a daily basis – here and around the world – and the many contributions we make, help the world become a better place, especially for families and children. The good we do as citizens in a free and democratic society will help determine the fate of the world. I know each of you understands the power for good you hold in your collective hands.

Your contributions today to your local community, the USA, and to the world community marks a significant accomplishment for you and those you love, and who love you. You will continue to head down the road of life. All that you have learned will serve you well.

However, I would like to remind you, your accomplishments might not be the most important things you take with you. Your life and the way you live it is your key to opening doors. But as you stand in the open doorway, you have a choice about how you will fill the room you face.

Each of you has the power to do something meaningful in affecting the lives of others. You have the power to bring goodness, justice and joy to children and families. To do these things will unquestionably bring the same to you. What a golden key you hold in your hands!

Link to find out how you can use your power to have a positive life

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts


Having conducted research with happily married couples for over 35 years and been married themselves for 50 years, the Doctors give advice that you know you can trust.

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy—the latest multiple award winning book by the Doctors.

Do Opposites Really Attract?

November 15, 2015

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Can You Be Happy With Someone Whose Views Are Opposite Of Yours?

In our marriage interview protocol we ask each couple about their political beliefs and affiliations. And one of our major conclusions based on 33 years of interviews is that the age-old adage “opposites attract” is FALSE! Rarely have we interviewed a successfully married couple that had political, religious, and other heartfelt beliefs that were diametrically in opposition to each other. In the real world, that rarely happens.

Imagine this—a happily married couple who roots for the Cardinals and the Cubs or the Yankees and the Red Sox or the Black Hawks and the Blues. These may be very RARE exceptions, but are hardly the norm. Forget about it! Opposites rarely attract in sports or in politics. This notion is an urban myth. Opposites have fundamentally opposite values. And for the most part, rarely the twain shall meet.

Here is another example of why opposites don’t attract in a political sense. We have only very rarely met a couple whose political views were diametrically opposed on issues of abortion, the death penalty, stem cell research, man-made climate change, gun control, immigration, same-sex marriage, taxes, welfare, etc., who had a successful marriage or long-term relationship. Almost never happens!

Let’s face it, married couples and those in successful couple relationships, have enormous influence over each other. When those considering a love relationship fundamentally disagree on most issues of importance, they are HIGHLY unlikely to match up.

Over the years, we have heard some pundits refer to the “marriage gap.” The “marriage gap” suggests that there are those married couples and people in love who do not share common political beliefs and hence; their relationship usually doesn’t survive. We share this belief.

While there are, indeed, successful couples that do NOT have common political beliefs that have a marriage or relationship that survives, this is rarely the case. Make no mistake about it, your mate selection is directly related to your belief system—be it political, sports related, religious, or otherwise. Feelings about these issues are intense and are not to be dismissed casually. Who you select as your mate is intertwined with your belief system and theirs.

Dare to be different when it comes to selecting someone to love, but remember your chances of having a successful and long-term love affair with someone whose belief system is very different from yours is low, very low! As you are making that all important decision about who to marry and spend the rest of your life with, you need to consider the consequences of choosing a mate who is different from you versus someone who shares your likes, loves, views, positions, and passions.

In fact, those who are in love and stay in love for a lifetime are NOT opposites. They are, for the most part, soul mates. We would offer this advice to those who believe the urban myth that “opposites attract” in love and marriage. Don’t believe it. Don’t take the chance.

Over your lifetime, the most important influence in your life will be the one you truly love. Choose wisely! Select someone compatible with you. Being avant-garde with your choice will only come back to haunt you in the future. Making a positive life choice will mean more to you in the long run than your attempts to be politically correct (PC) or trendy. Your choice in a mate is, after all, about your happiness and theirs in the long run. Compatibility is a virtue. Don’t spoil your chance of finding true love for a lifetime by taking a position that important issue differences in a relationship do not matter. They do!

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
On the verge of having been married for 50 years, the Doctors give advice that you know you can trust.

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy—the latest multiple award winning book by the Doctors.

Is Marriage The Answer To A Long And Happy Life?

August 29, 2015

Marriage Experts talk about Marriage and Long Life

A lengthy review of the current marriage research, including our own over 34 years of research, demonstrates that finding the right lifelong partner can be one of the smartest moves a person can make.

The top 5 reasons you might want to find a life mate:

  1. You will live longer if you get married. It is just that simple. One highly regarded study concluded that a man who is married lives an average of 10 years longer while a woman lives an average of 4 years longer than an unmarried person. What an incentive to find a mate for life!
  2. You will be happier and feel better about yourself if you are married. A multitude of studies demonstrate that married people report being happier and more balanced than unmarried people. People in stable relationship have higher levels of psychological health, including lower rates of mental illness, depression and schizophrenia than unmarried people. Research indicates that individuals in a marriage feel supported, saying that they always have someone they trust to confide in and to lean on in times of need.
  3. You will be healthier if you get married. The links between marriage and good physical health are overwhelming in a great number of research studies throughout the world since 1987. Married individuals have lower rates of serious illness and are less likely to die in hospitals than unmarried individuals. Numerous studies indicate that people who are married are less likely than unmarried persons to engage in risky behaviors including the use of drugs or alcohol because of their feelings of responsibility.
  4. You will have a greater income. Numerous studies found that a married person’s earnings are significantly greater than unmarried person’s earnings. Even taking all of the various possible factors into consideration including spousal earnings, the results of the vast majority of studies still demonstrate greater earnings for married individuals than for unmarried ones.
  5. You will have sex more often and enjoy it more. Married couples report a greater satisfaction with sex then their unmarried counterparts. Married couples also have sexual intimacy more often than unmarried couples.

A number of marriage researchers across the globe, including us, have suggested that divorce decrees should carry the warning label, “Not being married can be hazardous to your health.”

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts

For more tips to enhance your relationship visit SimpleThingsMatter.com and get the best-selling and multiple award-winning book, Building a Love that Lasts.  Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy.

Surprise! The Secret to a Happy Marriage – Alone Time

July 8, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Your partner needs space to grow as an individual.

Stop the presses! We’ve discovered the most important ingredient of a successful marriage! And do you know what it is? The answer is . . . (drum roll, please) . . . alone time!

Give your life’s partner the gift of privacy and aloneness with these six tips from happily married couples:

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts

For more tips to enhance your relationship visit SimpleThingsMatter.com and get the best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold.

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy – the latest multiple award winning book by the Doctors.

The Simple Test For Knowing If He Truly Loves You

February 3, 2015

Couple by river with flowerThe honest truth is this – there is a simple way you can know in your heart of hearts if your man truly loves you. Finding out if he loves you is not complicated and it is not an intellectual exercise. It can be answered by asking yourself seven simple questions.

And let’s face it, every woman wants to know if her man’s love is the real thing. Knowing the answer to that important question is critical to making future decisions about the relationship.

Here is the test of true love. Does your relationship measure up?

  1. Does he ALWAYS treat you with respect?If his respect for you is inconsistent or only occurs sparingly, your relationship cannot flourish. In love, you cannot pick and choose the time and place to be kind, considerate, and respectful. Being considerate and respectful one day and rude and inconsiderate the next is not an option. Your partner either is all of these things or he is not. It’s really that simple.
  2. Do his actions match his words?We all know the axiom “actions speak louder than words”. To know if he really loves you, you only need to observe his behavior. Does he talk to you with affection, care, and respect, but then bumps you out of the way when you order lunch or dinner? Does he tell you how much he loves you, but ignores you completely when you tell him what you would like to do that day?The truth is, actions really do speak louder than words! Never fool yourself into thinking that his actions don’t matter. Put simply—he IS what he does! Ignore this notion at your peril, because it is actually the best test of whether he is capable of really loving you.
  3. Are you an equal partner?When someone really loves you, they treat you as an equal partner—as a person with an equal voice (and equal value) in your relationship. If he makes all of the significant decisions in your relationship and expects you to follow his directives as a second-class citizen, then he does NOT really love you. In a successful marriage both partners share equally in the relationship.
  4. Can you trust him with your life and sacred honor?Can you honestly say, “I trust him more that life itself?” Is your trust in him unequivocal and honestly without hesitation? Bottom line—one of the underlying qualities of a great marriage is complete trust in each other. If you don’t trust your man without question, then you really need to reconsider any long-term relationship with him.
  5. Does he tell you he loves you?Does he do declare his love and adoration for you often and without prodding? Does his love for you come naturally and consistently? When you love someone, you tell them. And don’t fall for that old line that goes like this, “I don’t need to tell her I love her because she knows.” This notion is just plain wrong! You need to hear it (we all do). If he doesn’t tell you that he loves you, then your relationship has a problem.
  6. Can he imagine life without you?When you are in love, you cannot imagine life without the one you love! So try this question on him, “Honey, do you love me more than life itself? Can you imagine life without me?” If his answers make you wonder about the depth of his commitment to you, he doesn’t truly love you.After over 32 years of researching love and marriage throughout the world, one thing we know for sure is that someone in love cannot envision a life without their someone special. If your guy suggests otherwise, he is not the man you should commit your life to.
  7. Is he ALWAYS there for you?
    In the end, a man who really loves you will always be there for you through the good times and the bad, through thick and thin. Love has no conditions. A man deeply in love with a woman wants her when she is at her best or her worst. And being there for you is something he does in a way that makes you feel good (versus feeling guilty). He makes you excited about where your relationship is going. He raises you higher than you could ever be without him.You deserve true love. The measure of his love for you is always about consistency … in his words and behavior. If he really loves you, he will meet the Seven Tests of True Love. If he can’t pass this test, then you need to reconsider how true his love actually is. If he does pass the test, go hug that man (you’ve got a keeper!). Either way, know that a love you can trust and count on is the type of love you deserve.

For more tips to enhance your relationship visit SimpleThingsMatter.com and get the best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold.

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy – the latest multiple award winning book by the Doctors.

Status of Marriage and Family in Canada

September 6, 2014

Love and Marriage Experts Canada Marriage

Currently, we are in British Columbia interviewing happily and successfully married couples for our next book. Canada is a great place to fall in love! Canada is a great place to be in love! Canada is a great place to be married and have a family. Make no mistake about it, Canada is a great place for lovers.

This is our seventh trip to Canada to interview successfully married couples. To date, we have interviewed couples in nine of Canada’s ten Provinces, all 50 states in the USA, in 49 countries, and on all seven of the world’s continents. After spending several days in British Columbia around Vancouver and Victoria, we are struck with the beauty of Canada and the warmth of its people. We are also struck with the strength and quality of Canadian marriages and families!

First – the beauty of Vancouver. We sat in a wonderful restaurant for dinner today in Vancouver with a terrific view of Coal Harbor. The view of the water and mountains are undeniably beautiful! Seeing the mountains and the beautiful water, watching the sleek sailing boats, witnessing the many single engine planes taking off to give tours of the harbor, and all the while contemplating the awesomeness of it all, is humbling, to say the least. The mist on the mountains is, in many ways, more surreal than real. It has a mystical and magical look to it and almost felt dreamlike today as we admired it over a glass of a delightful Canadian Chardonnay from the Okanagan Valley.

The Seagulls were graceful and splendiferous as they squawked their way from outcropping to outcropping, from tree to tree, from boat to boat, and from dock to dock. These beautiful birds are wonderful creatures. Can you imagine an ocean without seagulls?   We can’t! Their squawking accentuates the beauty of the water. Ocean water and Seagulls – they go together like a hand and a glove. The Ocean and the Seagulls seem to particularly complement each other in Vancouver.

Secondly, the warmth and friendliness of the people of Vancouver is simply awesome. Everywhere we have gone so far – our hotel, the local restaurant we visited today, the airport, the rental car kiosk, a local wine store, the gas station – we are greeted by people who are polite, relaxed, good natured, humorous, and in love with life. We have been smitten by the Canadians of Vancouver! They are delightful and wonderful! 

Today we interviewed several delightful couples in Vancouver. Tomorrow we head to Victoria. Thursday, back to Vancouver, West Vancouver and Whistler. We finish our interviews on Friday near Squamish Valley, north of Vancouver. Here is what we have discovered so far – marriage is alive and well in Canada!

Recently, we reviewed a report written by the Department of Justice of the Government of Canada entitled Portraits of Families and Living Arrangements in Canada. We were particularly interested in the section of that report labeled “Family Demographics.”

The Canadian couples with successful marriages we have interviewed so far on this trip mirror the results of our interviews in the USA and around the world that we have conducted over the past 32+ years. Canadians still are engaging in traditional marriage in overwhelming numbers.

Here are pertinent “family” facts – in 2001 a little over 70% of Canadian “families” were headed by married couples. In 2006, that figure still hovered near 69%. In 2011 the number was 67%. While there has been a slight downward trend in families headed by married couples over the past decade, it is clear that married couples remain the dominant family structure in Canada. 

In addition, “common law couples” represented 14% of “families” in 2001 and a little over 15% in 2006. In 2011 – the most recent date for which trustworthy data are available – 67% of Canadian “families” were headed by married couples and “common law couples” who represented 16.7% of all census families.

Overall, nearly 85% of Canadian families are headed by couples – married (opposite and same sex) and common law. It is important to note that some 10-15% of Canadian children are living in single parent families.

Canadians should celebrate the fact that a couple-marriage is still something that some 85% of “family structures” in their country mirror. To suggest otherwise is to mislead the public into believing something that is not true. Marriage is alive and well in Canada and no “playing around with the data” is going to change that.

And, oh, yeah, romance is definitely in the air in Vancouver and the surrounding areas!

For more tips to enhance your relationship visit SimpleThingsMatter.com and get the best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold.

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy – the latest multiple award winning book by the Doctors.

Marrying the Right Guy is Easier Than You Think

April 16, 2014

Marry the Right Guy by America's Love and Marriage Experts

Did you ever wonder why some women find the perfect guy to marry, do so, and enjoy a love affair that lasts a lifetime? Yet, some women marry a guy that is wrong for them now, wrong for them tomorrow, and wrong for them for a lifetime? What’s the difference? Why do some women succeed at love and marriage when others fail?

When it comes to love and marriage, there is a truism that trumps all truisms. It goes like this – pay close and careful attention to the words, deeds, and actions of the guy you think you are falling in love with. And in the end, pay most of your attention to his actions, first and foremost! The truth is a guy’s actions speak so much louder than his words.

One of the questions we are asked most often by women as we travel the world discussing our work and conducting our marriage interviews is this: “What are the secrets of a successful marriage?” Our immediate answer is always the same – marry the right guy in the first place!

On the surface this may seem like a flippant answer to such a serious question, but it isn’t really.   If a woman who thinks she is falling in love with a guy would pay more attention to his actions and not the words, she wouldn’t miss the telltale signs.

Here’s how it works. You think you love a guy. He tells you all of the right things. But over time you begin to notice that his actions belie his words. He tells you he respects you but dismisses your opinions. He waxes on about how he puts you on a pedestal but never opens the door for you when he gets to it first. He tells you how he wants the relationship between the two of you a shared relationship, and then he makes all the decisions. You get the idea. We could go on.

The point is this – if you fail to notice and question the actions of the one you purport to love in the early stages of your relationship then you are deluding yourself into thinking he will change later on. Guys rarely do. And so often, women who ignore the warning signs end up getting married, only to discover later on that the guy they married is not who they thought he was. All too often we hear a woman lament to us that if she had only paid attention to the telltale signs, she would not have married the person she married. Many of these relationships end in divorce.

We don’t mean to suggest that it is always easy to tell if the one you think you love is one you can have a successful marriage with. We do, however, believe strongly that you will know what to look for if you take the Marry the Right Guy Quiz and use the 33 indicators to predict a great husband included in How to Marry the Right Guy.

If you consciously and rationally believe that the words, deeds, and actions of the guy you are thinking of marrying are consistent and he passes all of 33 indicators predicting that he will be a successful husband, then your marriage has a great chance for success.

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy.

**Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world. Take the Marriage Quiz to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.

Seven Tips for the Best Holiday Ever

December 18, 2010

Holiday Stress Tips by America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts
We have all seen it, the grandest of holiday plans come crashing down with the reality of the situation. Stress, stress, stress!!! Holidays are among the most stressful times in a relationship – make no mistake about it.

Here are a few tips to help you and your spouse lower your stress level and have the best holiday season ever:

1. Appreciate the traditions within your family and your spouse’s family. Blend them together in a way that both you and your spouse will cherish and make new memories together.

2. Money is not the solution to a great holiday season – especially in these tough economic times. Rather, it is the simple things that matter – simple acts of kindness, homemade gifts and cards, simple expressions of love.

3. Talk about what you are going to do for the season – what are you and your spouse’s highest priorities? Have this conversation as soon as possible so you both can feel good about your plans. Then, let all the other holiday “stuff” go by the wayside.

4. Take a moment in the midst of the chaos and pressure of the holidays to focus on what really matters. Give your spouse your respect, your understanding, your embrace, your kiss and your time.

5. When holiday problems arise – as they always do – an open discussion with your spouse needs to happen as soon as possible. Start by identifying what the issues really are, establish the parameters of the discussion and agree to solve the problems together.

6. As the stress rises, so does the opportunity for argument and disagreement. When the holiday tension rises sharp words can roll off your tongue, making judgmental statements about your spouse, their actions, and their relatives. Think twice before exploding with vitriolic words that cannot be taken back.

7. The holiday doesn’t have to be perfect! Invite the family and friends to share in the dinner preparation and holiday decorating. The relationships built are more important than holiday perfection.

Our final thought for the holidays is this – no love has blossomed or been sustained without doing the simple things.

Simple things do matter!

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter

Having a Serious Conversation with Your Spouse

October 30, 2010

Couple CommunicationsSuccessfully married couples attribute their marital success first and foremost to the fact that they have honed their communication skills over time. So, what are the lessons we have learned from those couples that communicate really well – that communicate effectively on just about every level. As we poured over our interview notes from thousands of couples, five important actions began to emerge.

1. Effective marital communication always begins with proper engagement in a proper context. Talking about serious matters cannot occur effectively when dealing with chaos, such as a blaring television, crying baby, etc.

2. Effective communications requires that proper etiquette is maintained. Lower your voices, speak in a calm manner, make eye contact, listen intently and seek clarification if you don’t understand. Refrain from blaming, accusing, calling names, making nasty remarks or getting defensive.

3. Discussions about serious issues must always begin with agreement about what the issues really are. Work to identify the issue, establish the parameters of the discussion, and agree to solve the problem together.

4. A fruitful conversation about important matters always begins with the brainstorming of ideas. It is important to get your respective ideas out on the table. Talk about the relative strengths and weaknesses of each. Agree on ideas worth exploring.

5. Never, we repeat, never be judgmental when debating issues with your mate. Instantly passing judgment on an idea is usually the death of open and honest debate between two people.

The thousands of successfully married couples we have interviewed over the years report to us that they never felt invalidated by their spouse, that they always felt their arguments were heard, and that their opinions always mattered. Learn the simple lessons of communication that these wonderful couples have taught us – and have now taught you!

Simple things matter in love and marriage. Love well.

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter