4 Principles to Help You Become a Power Couple
When we first fall in love, sparks are in the air! An incredible fireworks that only two people get to see… But many wonder, how do you keep it going when the fireworks vanish, when fights, trials and tests, come your way? Well, we think practicing these 4 principles can help you become a power couple and overcome the ordeals of life!
Principle #1: Have a Couple’s Vision
Couples with no compelling, aspirational and clear visions don’t tend to last. Of course you and us know several “unions” that have gone on for decades without any such thing. They’ve stuck (the verb seems appropriate here…) together in spite of passion, respect or love, for financial reasons, the kids or something else…
“Power Couples” all have a compelling, aspirational and clear vision of what they intend to aim for together. That’s what makes them stronger, inspire them to move forward and guard them against futile arguments that can turn into unproductive fights. Once you crystallized your vision, it will serve many purposes but the primary one will be to help you remember “why” you are together at the first place.
Principle #2: Taboo Talks
We all have taboos as individuals, stuff that we want to keep hidden under the rug for no one to see. Couples are no different, but when taboos remain unaddressed, they can turn any benign event into a big drama that could have been avoided in the first place. What are the taboos in your relationship? Is it a former lover? The fact that you are financially “better off” than your partner? Is it your kids versus hers? Or an unsatisfying sex life?
Whatever it is, unveil those taboos, talk about it and establish a satisfactory protocol between the two of you that will help you manage “potential dramas.” Such protocol could be as simple as saying:
“Hon, I think we are entering taboo territory here so let’s be cautious about what we are gonna say or do.”
It could also be:
“You know what, this (fill in the blank) is totally off limits for me. I just want you to be sensitive about it because I am not ready to address it.”
Principle #3: Use a Conflicts Resolutions System
The verb “conflict” is often defined as “to come into collision.” We’re sure you’ve been there in your couple. The thing is, it’s so easy to get irrational when conflict arises. Our experience has been that real conflicts happen when an important decision, one that will ultimately affect the couple and/or the family, needs to be taken. Just to name a few, it could be a career change, the purchase of a new home or the necessity to have an elderly parent move-in with the family. While this may sound simplistic, we have learned to manage conflicts with scorecards. Yes scorecards! Allow us to share a personal example here.
We have bought two homes together. As it seems to always happen with a couple about to make such an important transaction, each time we both had slightly different visions for the whole thing. So we established a scoring system that helped us keep our emotions in check! We individually made a list of criterions that were important to us: size of the house, airport proximity, garage, swimming pool, price, type of community, lot size, age of the house, distance to golf course, municipal taxes, etc. We then reconciled our lists, agreed to put points next to each criterion and total them up. Each time we visited a house, we would score each of them individually and then share our result. We also established that if our scoring system totalled a maximum of 100 points, the “passing mark” for any house to be considered would have to be no less than 70 for BOTH OF US. That type of system has made wonders in our relationship, not only with our real estate transactions but also with any other major decisions for which we wanted to leave our emotions aside.
Principle #4: Set your Couples’ Laws
Even Power Couples quarrel from time to time. There is nothing damaging about it provided you have boundaries that will protect and not jeopardize your relationship. Think of them as “Couples’ Laws” that must be established ahead of time before any arguments arise. This prevents sentiments to blind you from the issue at hand. Examples of Couples’ Laws could be:
- We will not interrupt each other when one’s giving his/her perspective.
- It’s not about being right. It’s about getting to a common ground and resolve the problem.
- We will be respectful and weigh our words before unleashing them so we won’t regret saying them.
- Sometimes we will agree to disagree. This may mean we will step back, take the time to reflect and snooze on it a little…