Relationship Advice: Voices of Experience on the Radio

A few years back I was on a radio talk show out of New Orleans called "The Andre' Show" discussing "What Makes a Marriage Successful".

The producers had seen my column in the New Orleans paper and decided to create a talk show topic from the column. So now I'll create a column from the talk show.

Are you with me so far? OK.

The format of the show was for the host and I to talk about what makes a successful marriage and to take calls from the listening audience. We received dozens of calls from listeners on what had made their marriage successful, and we were not able to get to them all.

I was on as the supposed "marriage expert", the real experts were the people calling in to offer what had made their marriage a success through the years.

Let's take a closer look at the themes and the advice of these experts on creating a successful marriage.


The strongest theme throughout all the calls was the notion of commitment, both to the other person and to the marriage. This came from callers who had been married anywhere from ten to fifty years. And these were not people who had stayed together "for the kids" or because it was the "right thing to do." These were people who seemed to actually be enjoying marriage and their partner after so many years.

Many of these callers spoke about how rough it was in the beginning. They each spoke about how it was their commitment that held them together through the early rough spots. As one caller stated, "The beginning can be rough, but staying through the tough times to get to the good times has definitely been worth it. Besides, it's what we said we would do in our vows."

Shared problem-solving

One of the key factors that seemed to keep the commitment alive was the notion of shared problem-solving. One caller shared the traditional cliche "We just don't let the sun go down on our anger." My comment was that there might be many people who never got any sleep with that notion! But what the caller went on to say was this, "We don't have to think alike, we have just learned to think together".

Excellent advice.

Another caller made this interesting distinction about arguing and problem solving - " We always make sure to argue as 'friends' and not as 'husband and wife.'" This one had me really curious, so I aked the caller two questions:

1) could they elaborate, and

2) could I use this notion in my work.

They said yes, I could use it and went on to explain how when arguing, they focus on holding each other in the high esteem of a long time best friend, and not in the position of someone who is trying to beat them in an argument. The notion seems to work for them and also seems to be working in my office so far.

Humor and Laughter. Putting your spouse first

One gentleman said that he beleived that one of their secrets to success was that early on he decided that "whatever is good for my wife is good for me."

Now pop psychology would say that this man is codependent, that is, too dependent on his wife, etc., etc. While there is a useful place for the notion of co- or over-dependency on someone, it's a notion that has been taken to an unhealthy extreme.

Just think about it , you are "co-dependent" on the chair you are sitting in to read this articel, for goodness sake.

What I beleive this couple has discovered is the power of "interdependency", the ability to trust and depend on each other.

He sounded very happy, and I'm willing to bet his wife is pretty happy as well.

I received quite an education while in my supposed expert role, and these are just a few of the themes that came out on the program.. What I've come to believe is that the real experts are those folks out there who have created successful marriages.

So here's a couple of questions:

"What are the things that have made your marriage so successful?"

"What's the difference that makes the difference? Let us hear from you at the web site below.

After all, you're the real experts!

Visit for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

In The News:

How to Mend a Work Relationship  Harvard Business Review
Putting relationships first
What Playfulness Can Do for Your Relationship  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

10 Reasons Why Married Couples Grow Apart (Part II)

This is a continuation of part one of this article... Read More

Interview with Tigress Luv: How To Get Over A Breakup

Recently I had the opportunity to interview my personal favorite... Read More

Why Men Cheat

"Big, little or short or tall, Wish I could have... Read More

Making New Friends

How do we make friends? More importantly if dropped into... Read More

Relationship Advice - 10 Ways to Put Sizzle Back in Your Relationship

It seems that no matter how much we love someone,... Read More

Moving On to Much Better Things After Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult, but being alone can... Read More

Preteen Relationships

Even preteens have relationships that are important to them. In... Read More

Love - Entrepreneur Style

For many of us, love has become a distant ideal.... Read More

Players: How to Deal with Them

Eventually, we'll all either play or be played. I'd like... Read More

Easy Ways to Turn Any Evening Romantic

If you don't have the time, money or energy to... Read More

When Are You Ready to Move onto a New Relationship?

Breakups can be painful and difficult on so many difficult... Read More

Global Conflict and Inter-Religious Dialogue: The Importance of Understanding Others

As is learned in the study of Comparative Religion, the... Read More

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen After Wife Gets MBA

"Hesh, where is your business plan?" It was a question... Read More

Noon (A Love Story)

Noon (A Short Love story, dedicated to my wife Rosa)Marina,... Read More

How realistic are we?

So often when we think of our ideal mate we... Read More

Coping With A New Culture: Problems And Solutions

Coping with a new culture has never been the easiest... Read More

What Men Hate in Women

Without wasting much time, here are some of the personality... Read More

Great Relatinship Advice: The Ability to Meet Emotional Needs

Harville Hendrix, in his book ``Getting the Love You Want''... Read More

A Dream of the Perfect Partner

Your dream is so beautiful and it is never to... Read More

Relationship Red Flags Do Appear Early On

So often in the bloom of a new romance we... Read More

African Dating - Pride and Ambition

It is no secret that African culture is known for... Read More

The Narcissist and His Family

We are all members of a few families in our... Read More

Reading Body Language in Depth

Body Language can tell you a lot about what is... Read More

Five Tips for Breaking Free of The Drama Habit and Developing a Healthier Arguing Style

We all feel angry from time to time, but feeling... Read More

Zodiac Love Match ? Can the Stars be Right?

As a somewhat older gentleman (but still fairly good looking... Read More