Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Wedding Gift To Kim Kardashian

May 24, 2014

Dear Kim,

Congratulations!!  The third time is a charm!

Marriage is difficult.  Every marriage presents some unique challenges and there are some common sticking points that almost all marriages share.  Read on.  Here is what you need to know as you enter into your new union. 

1.  Marriage is loaded with conflict triggers.  No surprise there.  You’ve been around the block and accumulated some baggage.  Be prepared to sort out on-going questions about joint/individual finances and inner-circle loyalties.  Having survived two divorces it will be easy to fall into the call-it-quits-at-the-first-hint-of-discomfort-trap.  But, I know that a third break-up is NOT what you want.  So you need to be prepared for the inevitable conflict.  Get rid of those happily ever after fantasies and roll up your sleeves for the real world. 

2.  Find a shared vision for your marriage and your future.  Talk about your goals and dreams and be prepared to negotiate the plan that will take you there. 

3.  Figure out and use your love languages.  Which of the five love languages - acts of service, shared time, gifts and money, physical affection, or words of praise - speaks to you?  Which speaks to Kanye?  Make sure you both hear your language on a regular basis.  (See Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate)

4.  Clean-out the clutter.  Items that hold strong emotional charges to your previous life can be intrusive and draining.  Your physical space should be a shared space that you hold together.  Neither of you should feel like a visitor in your home.

5.  Get comfortable holding difficult conversations.  Avoiding tough issues allows them to fester and grow.  Instead, when you are faced with a challenge designate one of you as the speaker (the presenter) and one as the receiver (the listener).  The speaker should speak in the “I” focusing on his/her experience; avoiding blame and fault finding.  The listener’s job is just to listen and understand, not to fix the situation.  If talking is too difficult start off by writing each other letters.

6. Live within your means.  You already know which one of you is “the saver” and which is “the spender.”  Put “the saver” in charge of all joint funds.  Sometimes partners equate money with a sense of value.  So when you are negotiating spending priorities remember that money spent does not represent how much you value one another. 

7. Put each other first – before North, your parents, siblings, friends, and work.  A spouse who feels that they are in second place will ultimately becomes resentful.  And, that resentment eats away at the connection.

8.  Work together as a team.  Marriage works best when the partners don’t see things in terms of a win-lose balance sheet.  A sports team is most successful when everyone pulls together for the common good – so is a marriage.  

9.  Keep your expectations in check.  Don’t expect it to be easy.  Don’t expect Kanye to be perfect. And, don’t expect him to do/say/be what you want him to do/say/be.  Forget your expectations and focus on the positives instead.

Call me if you need a mediator.  Remember I can do a sisters-in-conflict case too.

Best regards, Elinor

1 comment:

  1. You are spot on and good advice for anyone.