Photo: Matthew Alvarado
You’re head-over-heels in love and finally ready to say, “I do”, but marriage is about so much more than a wedding–it’s a lifelong commitment that takes work. Everything comes so naturally, in the beginning, but when the butterflies fade and the honeymoon is over, do you have a plan for how to keep your marriage alive and thriving? If the answer is no, don’t panic, we found the perfect guide, Fierce Love by Susan Scott. The New York Times bestselling author walks you through how to set your relationship up for success by having eight key conversations. Sounds easy enough right?
According to Susan Scott, relationships are not a passive state of existence, they are living breathing things that need to be loved–fiercely. That means being brave enough to have the awkward, tough conversations and being willing to do the work it takes to maintain the love that brought you together. Scott also talks about the importance of completing yourself and not relying on your relationship to fill in the missing pieces. In Fierce Love she explains, “No one completes us. No one is […] our other half. We complete ourselves or fail to. If you somehow feel incomplete, the answers aren’t out there somewhere. The answers are in the room. You have them.” Planning a wedding is a great time to start having those conversations about what really matters to you and what your dreams are as a family going forward. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it must be fierce!
Showing up for your partner is half the battle. That doesn’t mean just physically, that means giving them your complete, undivided attention, and truly hearing them. According to Susan, “Real relationships take time, energy, and daily care and feeding.” You can’t do that while multitasking, when you’re scrolling your insta feed or while you finish your chores. You need to schedule time with your partner to check in and make sure that you are giving them the support and love that they need and let them know what you need from them as well. Often, we get upset with our partners for not being there when we need them or not doing something that we needed them to do, but we can’t expect them to be mind-readers. How will they know what you need if you don’t communicate it to them and vice versa?
To steal a line from The Bachelor, “You gotta keep it 100” when you’re talking with your partner. But being real is about more than just being honest, it’s about being truthful and communicating your truth in a direct and loving way. Before you sit down with your partner, think of what you want to gain from the conversation. Is it better understanding? Is it expressing something they did that upset you? It’s not just enough to get into the “what” of it all, you have to be willing to dive into the “why”. Why is something difficult for you to talk about or understand? Why were you hurt by what they did? You may find that even you don’t have those answers and that it’s something you need to explore within yourself with your partner by your side.
In the book, Susan dives into a topic that can help with all of your relationships, not just the romantic ones. Healthy and productive communication is something that many of us never learned, at least not formally. Believe it or not, there are rules to healthy communication, and when these rules are applied, both parties can leave a conversation feeling heard and respected. Lack of communication is why most relationships fail. Susan explains, “When couples cannot talk about their problems in a healthy way and become entrenched in their opinions, they have the same failed conversations over and over. Fierce Love teaches us to communicate in a healthy way.”.
In addition to real-life stories from couples just like you and relationship advice, Fierce Love is full of exercises that you and your partner can do together. These exercises:
Remember, “the conversation is the relationship”.
Ready to take the next step in your relationship? Get your copy of Fierce Love on amazon today…and while you’re at it, grab one for your partner too! Going through the book together will give you something to bond over and help you be the best, most supportive, and complete partners you can be.
We partnered with Fierce Love to bring you these tips on how to communicate with your partner and thrive together. As always, thanks for supporting our sponsors!