When you’re married, it’s imperative that you put on a united front even if you don’t feel like doing so at that exact moment. A united front indicates to people that they will not be able to divide and conquer your relationship. It also helps both partners feel supported and feel that the partnership is a cohesive unit. If someone sees a crack they can exploit, they might try to do just that.
So how do you provide a united front?
- Do not argue in public. I’m not talking about a humorous disagreement during light banter. Arguing or fighting in front of others is unacceptable. It makes you look bad and it makes others uncomfortable. If you feel that things are heading toward an argument, stop yourself and agree to to talk things over in private.
- Do not flirt with others, especially not in front of your mate. If someone gets the idea that you’re available – it’s probably because you gave it to them.
- Discuss hot button topics before an event. If your new mother-in-law keeps asking when she’s going to be a grandmother, make sure you and your partner are giving the same answer. If his boss asks how you’ll feel if your partner gets a promotion and has to travel, make sure you’re singing the same tune as your mate.
- Be respectful of one another. Do not tear your partner down in front of other (or at all but especially not in front of others). Have one close friend with whom you speak about your relationship issues. Never put your partner down (name calling, insults, etc.)
- Do not make one person the “heavy” in the relationship. Saying no is a joint responsibility, don’t make one person look like the bad guy. It can’t always be your husband’s fault that you don’t go to your mom’s dreaded holiday dinner.