Article Author: Ernest Quansah
How to have a successful marriage contains a secret that actually very few people know and apply. The best way to illustrate this is with a true story based on the successful marriage between Prince William and Kate Middleton. The two did something that most new couples refuse to even consider, let alone decide to do. What did they do that was different from what most other men and women seeking a successful marriage do? Years before William’s marriage to Kate, Princess Diana told her son her young son something that I have been telling my clients for years. I will reveal this simple key to a successful marriage soon.
As I have experienced, I am sure you too have undergone heartbreak, at some point in your life. It is a painful if you are in love and get “dumped,” isn’t it? Often, people go into a relationship—it may be marriage—and later find that they have selected the wrong person. In some cases, they may know that they are selecting the wrong person, but choose to go ahead with the relationship anyway. Once the mistake is acknowledged, what often happens is an attempt to try and fix the relationship. Princess Diana went through this experience when she refused to give Prince Charles a divorce. But she did learn a great deal from her own mistake and experience and passed on her knowledge to her son William. What is the knowledge she passed on to him—the secret to a successful marriage?
A number of years ago when I began doing relationship coaching and counselling, there was one critical piece of advice I gave my clients and I insisted they practice. I have been adamant about this suggestion, so much so that when I wrote my first book, How to Identify Your Soulmate, back in 2004, I dedicated a whole page to the subject. At that time, I didn’t have a clue that Princess Diana had given her son, Prince William, the same advice. I only heard this just prior to William and Kate’s wedding when I was watching a documentary on the royal family.
The advice I am referring to has been researched extensively by The Gottman Institute, which has the world’s leading researchers on relationships and marriage success. They have more Ph.Ds working on this subject than any other private institution and are often quoted by top religious organizations and other large groups worldwide.
So do you know what Princess Diana told William to do before he got married? She advised him not to marry any woman unless SHE WAS HIS FRIEND FIRST. In other words, be friends first before you decide to go into a love relationship and think of getting married. Doing so will give you and your love interest a chance:
- To know if you are right for each
- To find out if you are born for each other
- To learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses
- To understand what makes the other happy or sad.
The more that you know about your love interest, the better your chances of having a successful marriage or love relationship, provided that the two of you were made for each other and that you have an assurance to that effect.
Why is being friends first important? Besides helping you get to know each other, it enables you to adapt to each other, which is very important. When this process is omitted and you begin to discover little things about each other while you are heavily invested in the relationship, insignificant things can ruin the relationship. For example, how many times have you become involved with another person and later said to yourself,” I didn’t know he/she had that problem.” Has that ever happened to you?
The Benefits of Being Friends First: So how can being friends first benefit you and help you find a successful marriage? The answer is something you already know subconsciously. For example, upon being asked out on a date or when deciding to ask someone out on a date, at the back of your mind, you must have wondered if the person was right for you? If the person asked you out, perhaps you told them, “But I don’t know you.” Such a response indicates that you wanted to know the person first. Why? This desire is generated from your heart. Your heart wants to protect you. It does not want you to get hurt, and it’s your heart’s way of protecting you by prompting you to get to know the person first before you get involved. What better way to get to know a person than to be friends with him or her first? The benefit does not end at the things you learn about each other. It goes far beyond the realm of basic human understanding. You also receive the confirmation whether the two of you are meant for each other or not. What I have just said is an extension of when you wondered if the person who asked you out on a date was the right one and you said to them, “But I don’t know you.”
What do I mean by extension? When you say to someone, “but I don’t know you,” your heart wants security. It wants you to have a safe and secure love relationship. It wants an assurance, confirmation that the two of you connect at the heart. The only way that can happen is through a friendship first, when the two of you give each other the chance to get to know each other.
The human heart is very powerful, isn’t it? Successful relationships and marriages can be achieved if you follow its instincts.
The late Princess Diana must have known something; she must have learned something on her own to lead her to advise her firstborn that he should not marry anyone unless the woman was his friend, first. Perhaps, what she was saying was that she wished she had been friends with Charles before getting married to him. That might have helped her know more about him before she got involved. It could also be that because she failed to develop a successful marriage, she did not want her son to experience the same.
My advice to you is the same as I give my clients. It is the same advice I followed myself before deciding to date my partner, enter the relationship, and get engaged. I followed this principle because I didn’t want to see my marriage end up in divorce and become another statistic. So… BE FRIENDS FIRST.