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After a marriage that spans 30 years, a couple named Doris and Jim say, "We are happy together because we have lived out our vows — for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health." When Doris was in a serious auto accident a few years ago she remembers that "Jim was there all the way.

Give a bit of grace to the situation.-- Forget: Refuse to dwell; let go and loosen one's hold, particularly on memory.

When they have done something wrong or hurtful, they offer an apology.

For example, University of California (Berkeley) researchers looked at "connected" couples and discovered that they tend to use plural pronouns ("we", "us" and "ours") rather than singular pronouns ("I", "me" and "mine".

As a result, they were less likely to feel stressed out after the disagreement than couples who used singular pronouns.

Successful couples are in for the long haul."There are only two options regarding commitment. There's no such thing as life in between," says professional basketball coach Pat Riley.

Successful couples don't just make promises to each other; they commit.

I didn't want to be casual about the relationship nor take it for granted. To put it simply, philosopher Paul Tillich observed, "Any deep relationship to another human being requires watchfulness and nourishment."So listen up: Here are the 10 secrets of highly successful couples:1. Former Beatle Ringo Starr has been married to his wife Barbara for more than three decades. There are less down days than up, and we get on really well. When two people live together, they are bound to have differences of opinion and disagreements.

Over lunch with a friend one day, Kevin was asked about the "secret of your obviously happy and healthy love relationship."Kevin responded, "I married a wonderful woman and made the commitment to apply myself to the relationship with the same energy that I place into other important areas of my life: school, work, health, friendships. I can't imagine being without her."Highly successful couples like Kevin and his wife know that making the relationship a top priority is vital. They know the ingredients that are necessary to keep each other content, happy, healthy and satisfied. They like to be together, talk together, do things together. Successful couples fight skillfully."In conflict, be fair and generous," is wisdom from The Tao.

When they are the wronged party, they accept the gift of an apology.

Successful couples travel the pathway toward forgiving, which is outlined by author Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who cites these four stages for arrival at complete forgiveness:-- Forgo: Take a break from thinking about the person or event for a while.-- Forebear: Abstain from punishing, neither thinking about it nor acting on (the offense) in small or large ways.

He says the "secret" to the couple's longevity is this: "I'm just blessed that she puts up with me. Successful couples fight but do it skillfully; in a way that leaves the relationship stronger, not weaker.

One technique they employ is their choice of words.