By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

We owe our moms a lot. While we are lucky that we get to have them around, we have to find a balance between helping our mom and nurturing our own marriage. Over-committing time in a helping relationship at the expense of your marriage will, in the long run, not benefit you, your mom or your spouse.

First, you will need to help your mom understand just how important it is to you to have a successful and loving relationship with your spouse. Talking openly with your mom about your feelings, time pressures, and the stresses on your marital relationship can begin the process of setting some limits and realistic parameters for the helping relationship with your mom. Agree upon available times, routines and tasks you can do to assist your mom and then stick with the plan. While this is not an easy conversation or process, it is essential that you work through these issues in order to find balance in your life.

Our research over the past 26 years suggests that there are a number of useful tips that you can use to strengthen your marriage while helping your mom. Here are a few simple tips:

1. Talk openly with each other about feelings, emotions, and stresses as they relate to helping your mom. In times of stress, the tendency is to keep everything bottled up inside. However, this approach will not work if you want your marriage to survive and thrive. In successful marriages, couples talk about everything. There are, as we say, no sacred cows in successful marriages!

2. Make a concerted effort to keep the flame of your love affair alive with each other everyday. You need to start carving out time today to go for a long walk, watch a sunset together, write a love note, and snuggle in bed a little longer in the morning. More importantly, take the time to let your spouse know how much you love him or her and appreciate their understanding of your need to help your mom.

3. Enhance your loving relationship by providing each other occasional time for privacy and aloneness. The recognition of the absolute need for privacy and aloneness is critical to successful marriage. Lives are so hectic at work, at home, and when helping your mom, that the time to be alone with your own thoughts is critically important to your ability to engage in meaningful communication with your spouse.

4. Be spontaneous. Having unencumbered time is, perhaps, the greatest gift two people can give each other. Don’t always make plans. Sometimes, just be spontaneous and unencumbered with your time for each other.

5. Remember, “Simple Things Matter.” Our research on successful love and marriage has taught us many things, but first and foremost – no love has blossomed or been sustained without doing the “simple things.” Engage in simple acts of kindness by always treating each other with courtesy, kindness, respect, and lots of hugs!

Truth is, the relationship between husband and wife trumps everything else. Make this relationship work and all challenges can be overcome.

Enjoy receiving our new companion hardback book Simple Things Matter in Love and Marriage at no cost with the purchase of the multiple award winning book Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage through special publishers’ closeout of hardback versions.

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
Authors of Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
2009 Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships

Look for Building A Love That Lasts due out in January 2010 (Jossey-Bass/Wiley)

Author's Bio: 

Want to know the secrets of a successful marriage? Want to know if you are truly in love? What to keep the passion alive in challenging times? Now you can order the Doctors' multiple award winning marriage book, and receive their new book, Simple Things Matter in Love and Marriage at no cost. Learn from the Doctors’ thousands of interviews with happily married couples, representing 15,000 years of marriage. Their book exposes the secrets for success through these poignant, real life stories.

Affectionately dubbed “the marriage doctors” by their clients, fans, and workshop participants, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz know that simple things matter in relationships. They understand what makes relationships work because they have conducted three decades of research on successful marriages, as well as sharing personal experience drawn from their own 43-year marriage.

During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 65 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 350 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.

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Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, the Official Guides To Marriage