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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Successful marriage takes commitment, NW counselor says

By Tabitha Redder/reporter

Marriages are failing more rapidly than ever because they’re not adapting to the ever-changing society, a NW counselor told students Nov. 20.

Connie Alexander presented Predicting Marital Success or Failure offering advice to students regarding marriage, relationships and the difficulties that come along with them.

“Marriages fail because people are too young, marry too hastily and stop showing affection to one another,” she said. “Healthy couples share time and interests, are verbally open and have no off-limits zones.”

Physical interaction within marriages, even with today’s hectic schedules, is important, Alexander said.

“You get occupied with life, and you don’t touch,” she said. “And after five or 10 years, you find yourself sitting across the table from your spouse thinking, ‘Who are you again?’”

Compatibility is at the root of successful marriages, she said. It isn’t the absence of conflict. It’s how the couple manages to work through them.

“Stay calm and listen to your spouse,” Alexander said. “Although you may not agree with what they’re saying, you can still manage to validate their emotions and opinions. The slower you talk and the lower your voice is during the conflict ultimately affects how easily it’s resolved.”

When approached with a conflict, Alexander said partners should air their separate grievances, attempt to persuade the other to see their side of the argument and then negotiate a compromise that both can live with.

However, some things just aren’t solvable with negotiation, Alexander said, so she suggested a devoted spouse just look the other way.

NW aviation instructional assistant Dean Wheelock, who’s been married 31 years, shared his experiences.

“I like things neat and orderly, and my wife is the one that tends to leave things around,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that you remind each other about.”

The majority of marital problems can be solved before they’ve even begun, so long as the couple is informed about them, Wheelock said.

“Being married for 31 years, we’ve had our struggles. There are things I’d do differently,” he said. “Knowledge is power.”

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