Applying the W.A.M. Principle to Your Marriage

KSL Television ~ Studio 5� 

In spite of new technologies that are meant to connect us, information overload and round-the-clock accessibility to anyone and everyone have disconnected us from our most meaningful relationships. Unprecedented levels of stress are taking their toll on romantic relationships. We’re often just too busy or too tired to sustain “The W.A.M:” The will, attitude, and motivation to stay happily married!

Ã? The “W.A.M. Principle” came from the work of author Sheryl Kurland who, afterÃ? being disheartened with the growing number of couples throwing in theÃ? marriage towel,Ã? set out to find and learn from theÃ? country’sÃ? top marriage experts.Ã? AllÃ? 75 marriage-proÃ? duos hadÃ? one commonality: 50-plus years of marriage!Ã? Over 4,000 years of marriage are documented in “Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years of More.” Talk about a book full of hope, beauty, and education; it’sÃ? a must-have for every library, whether you’re single or married!

While these dedicated and inspiring couples didn’t face the demands of modern technology during their prime, they certainly had other complicated factors. What’s most impressive is that they survived an era in time when divorce was atÃ? an all-time recordÃ? high ~ during the late 70’s and early 80’s. These are true role models who have walked-the-walk and talked-the-talk. When the going got tough, they spokeÃ? a “D” word of another kind:Ã? “Determination.”Ã? They determined, time and again,Ã? that the grass was greenerââ?¬Â¦.. under their own four feet!

So how did these couples resolve the inevitableÃ? arguments? Sheryl Kurland’s investigationÃ? narrowed itÃ? down toÃ? 3 key areas:
1) Your Department, My Department (Instead of getting on each other’s case, get busy managing your own departments, i.e. toothpaste cap your department; wet towel, my department.)�
2) Adult Time Out (Take 30 minutes to determine solutions not just rehearse how angry you are.)
3) “Argumometer” (Is what I’m fighting for going to matter one week from now? If not, keep it low on the meter.)

One of the couple’s featured in the book caught my eye. Here’s what Andrew and Renee Flager, of 58-years, had to say:

� Not every comment requires a response.
ââ?¬Â¢ Don’t criticize each other’s parentsââ?¬Â¦..ever!
� Apologize quickly!
� Compliment frequently.
ââ?¬Â¢ Eat first – then discuss.
� Ask for what you want!

That last suggestion can be a hard one for wives because they want their husband to just know what we wantââ?¬Â¦..he should right?! If I suggest just one thing to married women it would be to get over that belief system. Here’s what I know about men: they really want to please their gal! So, set them up for success! For instance, “Honey, there is a new movie opening up on Friday and I’d love to see it with you. Would you please arrange that (ans the sitter!) and take me?” OR, “I just need you to listen to me for 10-minutesââ?¬Â¦you don’t have to offer suggestions or fix anything. I would feel so much better.” Then be sure and say afterwards, “Thank you – that felt great to get that off my chest!” When women are happy, guess who takes the credit? (Men!) And when women are unhappy guess who takes the blame? (Men!) Help them winââ?¬Â¦.and get what makes you happy, lowers your stress, and draws you closer to your sweetheart.

Bottom Line: Regardless of the age of any couple – some days love will sizzle; others it’ll fizzle. Every relationship has its times of closeness and distance – of ebb and flow. Sometimes you just have to wait faithfully until the tide turns. As one couple I met recently explained, “Every couple has something they’re good at; parenting, entertaining, traveling, or home projects. Find that something and when times are difficult, do it! Do it while you pass the time until things shiftââ?¬Â¦and “shift happens.”