This practical book was written for You because you have decided to share your life with the person you have chosen AND to enjoy being together for many years (till death do us part).
In many fairytales the ending is magic: they marry and live happily ever after… the fairytale is over but the story is only beginning… How do they manage to be happy ever after? What is their secret?
In fairytales, couples often come from two different countries or places. This means that both the Prince and his Princess have two different cultures but they do live happily ever after… Dream or may be lie?
In this book I will describe a situation similar, but true, that of two people from two different parts of the world. They fall in love and marry. They want to be happy and be a family — a happy family. However, they don’t know HOW. This book is to help you to understand the way to happiness for two people in a permanent relationship. This book concerns itself with the science and the art of happy family life and intimate relationships. Science means an exact knowledge. Art means feelings and inspirations. You need both parts to form a happy family. It is about learning and practicing. It unlocks hidden secrets which you can use for a successful future.
Does this book also concern couples with the same nationality? Yes, it does, because some aspects of family life are so fundamental that the partners could be coming from next door but at the same time they could be so different as if they were from two different planets.
Why was this book written?
It was written because there is an urgent need to help people looking for a permanent relationship. Every third marriage ends up in separation or divorce after a few years. Russian wisdom says, that you are supposed to eat together one “pud” (an old fashioned Russian measure for 16 kilos) of salt before you can say that you know your partner in marriage well. People eat an average of 5 grams of salt a day. Two people eat 10 grams. It takes at least 4 years to eat together 16 kilos of salt. Statistics show the peak divorce rate between the 3rd and the 5th year of marriage. Conclusion: you do not know the person you married. Is it not a good idea to know how to build a long-lasting relationship? I think it is wise to spend your time to learn and to become an expert in this subject.
I live in beautiful Denmark and have been happily married to a Dane for 17 years (I am Russian born). I am the exception. I have a happy and wonderful life.
However in my profession (I run a well established clinic where I treat family problems daily for people from different backgrounds) I observe the same patterns repeating themselves: my patients make the same mistakes and fall into the same traps.
I have decided to write this book based upon my personal experience and as a result of many sessions of family therapy (I am professional counsellor, hypnotherapist, writer, and yoga teacher).
It is impossible to remain fully healthy if your private life is unsatisfactory. If you do not feel comfortable in your private relationship, it will affect your health. It is better to be happy and healthy than unhappy with health problems. This book is about the good healthy family.
Allow some time to read this book as it is interactive: I need YOUR participation in the process of creating Your Happy Family. Get started. Take a deep breath. Use the exercises in the book, as a way to better understand yourself and your partner.
Also, use this book as a material for discussion. At the end of each day after reading, ask yourself:
— What did I learn from these pages?
— How can I use it for self — improvement as a partner and family member?
— What did I enjoy most?
Learn — Use — Enjoy — This is the book’s philosophy.
It is my personal belief that in the future the topic: “Forming a Family” will be included in the school curriculum all over the world. Education is the only way to develop yourself because it gives you KNOW HOW and bases your knowledge upon the experience of the past generations (the science part!). We teach our children mathematics, computer science, biology, but not how to be a good husband, wife, mother, or father. And then they create THE FAMILY, hoping it will last all their life and later they wonder why problems start to accumulate.
Do I have such a problem in my family life? Yes, I do, but I know how to deal with it and STAY HAPPY. And I would like to share my secrets with you, my dear friend who, I expect, is in a similar situation, married, engaged or may be taking steps to find a loved one, and who would like to achieve a happy life.
We start from scratch. We start with the question: why do we marry a particular person? How do we find our dream partner? How do we create a happy Family?
Here is the interaction plan. You can choose to go directly to the chapter you need to solve your problems or you may choose to follow my plan. Each chapter has a practical part, usually situated at the end of the chapter and which can be used directly.
Here is the sequence of topics which we will study:
— Science: How to choose the right partner
— Marriage: tradition or biological need?
— Love and family. Myth and reality.
— Family patterns: what should I follow in a mixed (two nationalities) marriage?
— Needs of the woman in the couple relationship
— Needs of the man in the couple relationship
— Sex and intimacy in family life
— Everyday routines in family life: The Golden Rules.
— Conflicts and ways to solve them with dignity.
— Children: for or against — the future of the family
— Family traditions and Science of growing together
— Be happy and live longer by staying in a permanent relationship
Excited? Now let’s get started…
1. Science: How to choose the right partner?
Do you remember how and why you chose your partner? What criteria did you use to make your dream come true? Was it love at first sight? Was it real or did you regret it later? How many mistakes did you make before you managed to choose the right person?
When you go to the grocery shop to buy carrots you know the type of carrot you want to buy (organic, with tops, small, big, colour, from a special area, local produce, etc…). If you make a mistake it is easy to correct and not too expensive.
When you buy new furniture, you look through catalogues, do some research in different shops, try to borrow some to see how it will fits in your room — it is more complicated and takes more time — you try to be professional and to learn as much as possible on the subject. Mistakes cost more time and money.
What happens when you choose your “dream partner”? “I met this girl/boy last week and fell in love… Why? I don’t know but I FEEL GREAT!!!”. How many times have you heard this from your friends?
And two weeks later: “You know, I found out that we do not suit each other, I am glad we did not get married!”
What happened? Such a person never formulated his/her criteria for the ideal partner. But how do you get it right?
If you ask your parents how to choose a partner (are your parents really happy?), they will tell you: you know, you just feel it when it is the right person for you. How do you feel it — they do not know themselves.
Their choice was probably intuitive and lucky.
If you come from a traditional Muslim family, your family may arrange everything for you, and historical records show that it can work.
But in our western culture we dream about LOVE: Cupid shoots his arrows in both hearts at the same time and we are filled with happiness. Reality is not so simple….
Now, to the practical part:
You need: a piece of paper, a pencil and a timer.
Put the timer for 20 minutes (the time I give to my clients during consultations), take a deep breath and start writing:
My dream partner:
— Physical appearance (tall, blond, eyes colour, skin colour, weight etc…): as many details as possible: you draw the portrait of your dream partner.
— Age range
— Name if it is important (it was important but disastrous for me –I will explain later)
— Nationality (where could your partner be living now, in what country?)
— Personal qualities (be honest and open: what do you really wish to see everyday in your partner?)
— Religion (be honest and remember it is your dreams and not the expectations of your family)
— Financial situation
— Social group
— Attitude towards children (how many)
— Attitude towards home (your nest)
— Health!!! (Many say that it does not matter, BUT it does!!!! Bad health will create problems AND affect the next generation — be realistic!)
— Sex life
— Leisure interests
— Attitude towards YOUR family (mother/father)
— Family traditions
— Personal habits
— Social life, friends
— Creativities, hobbies
Do it in such a manner that you answer ALL the questions (honestly — it is about YOUR dream) then leave it till the following weekend and DO NOT SHOW it, DO NOT DISCUSS it with anybody during the week: let the answers “mature” inside you.
The following weekend: Open your answers, read them carefully, make some alterations and count the score against each answer:
1 — Very important, essential,
2 — Important, but not 100%,
3 — Not essential, can be dropped.
Now the work is almost done!
On a new page, write down those qualities which have scored 1 and 2. Read again carefully.
This activity is the same as creating a sculpture and making it come alive. You are the creator and you are responsible for what you create. Be sure to write what you want because it is what you will obtain soon.
I remember that one of my girl friends was trying this method. It worked for her in all the details. She got her dream partner after about 6 months, but she forgot to write down that she hates people with body hairs. She got him with all the qualities she wished for and she is very happy apart from his body hairs. She hates it but she still loves her husband.
Be clever! Do not make the same mistake!
Now to the next step: do you know a person as you have just described?
If the answer yes: go and get him/her!
If the answer is no, try to find out where he/she can be? In your own town? In another one? In another country?
Stand up and be ready for travel: this may be the most important trip of your life, to fulfill your dreams! Come on! Don’t be lazy! He/she will not come to you if you do not do something about it! It requires some effort — but in the end, it pays off! Don’t give up if you don’t find your partner within the first week! It will happen! I promise you!
Talk about him/her with everybody! Describe him/her again and again! Devote your day to find him/her even when you are at work! Dream about him/her again and again! Make his/her portrait and display it on your wall!
Do some research on internet about special features which you want and you cannot be without, for example, nationality. If you like Italian girls, find out about the national character: in Italy women talk a lot. Is it good for you? On the other hand, in Thailand women are very quiet and smiling. Better??? Do some research and discover the national characteristics BEFORE you decide, what is good for you!
It is just the same procedure when you buy a dog: you have an idea about the size, and the appearance. I have a Scottish terrier: my beautiful little black Bella. But before I bought her, I learnt that this particular type of dog is not easy to train because of its very independent character, but I like such a combination: compact, clever and independent.
My second husband Leif is Danish, and I learnt in Moscow, before my marriage, from my Danish teacher Erik, that Danes are more “introvert” than Russians, they do, not show their emotions easily. Therefore I was somewhat prepared for somebody different from a Russian — and I was right! He was very different from the average Russian of his age and social group.
I chose my first husband Vassily because of — would you believe it — his name! It was the same name as my lovely grandpapa Vasja whom I loved and I made a stupid promise to myself and my granny that my husband’s name should be the same! When I met this boy at university I felt — lucky me — it’s him! His name decided my destiny for the next 12 years, my first marriage! — and it wasn’t a sufficient reason to stay happy. The marriage didn’t last. I learnt a lot about myself. No more stupidity!
What about love?
Love? If it is your dream partner, you WILL feel attraction immediately, because you LOVE your dreams. You know them. It is inside you. When you find your dream partner Love will happen naturally.
Love demands the ACCEPTANCE of the other person and an ACTIVE participation in another person’s life to make that person happy. That is all about love. Not satisfied with this answer? Learn more about love in this book. But this is the truth.
Remember: Love, as a sexual attraction, is blind! You ask why? Because of the purpose of Mother NATURE! Nature creates a hormonal process and builds a very strong sexual center in our body to fulfill HER (NATURE’S) task: to maintain the continuity of life, the survival of the specie/race, (it is not your wish to have a hormonal center inside you but it is inescapable, you were created with it). All living creatures in the world have it and feel sexual attraction and sexual desire. Many people misunderstand it and call it LOVE, which it is NOT! It is a hormonal process, it is not conscious, it is not feelings. Are you still having the sexual drive of an animal or are you a little more civilized and can distinguish between the hormonal (natural) desire and your own personal wish?
Therefore only a SELECTIVE approach to your future partner will give the best and healthiest results! Be selective! Be clever! Build the best ground for your relationship!
We will talk later about love. It is an important issue, and usually misunderstood but we will make it clear.
Remember! We are all food to each other’s life! Another person (your partner) helps to nourish your body, mind and soul with different foods: emotions, experiences, impressions, and events. All of this forms your body, mind, and soul. All this helps you to fulfill your dreams. You become that special person due to all of the inputs. Wrong input — wrong results (bad health, unhappiness) like in computer business: rubbish in — rubbish out. And this process is mutual: you are also responsible for the active development of your partner. It is a daily, continuous job and a very pleasant one because you can see the results everyday.
But what if you have already met somebody? How do you check it is the right person for you? Answer the same questions as you did before to find you dream partner but this time, in addition to your dream picture, list also the qualities of your present spouse (you can use a different colored pen). Are the answers about your present partner very different from those about your dream prince/princess? Be honest with yourself!
If you have been in several short-term relationships, check again: do I find this quality in my former partner: say yes/no. If the “NO” answers dominate, ask the question: why do you fall into the same trap again? Where is your weak compromise point? And DO NOT repeat it again! Learn form your mistakes!
You will be rewarded in the future with a healthy and long lasting beautiful relationship!
And what if you are in a serious relationship now? Or you are still dreaming about the right person? Come back and answer all these questions yourself. Make a new evaluation a week later. Do I find this quality in my present partner? (Say honestly: Yes or No). If the “NO” are the majority answer, he/she is definitely NOT your dream partner. What do you do? Make the right conclusion from your research.
A lot of people who were in therapy with me were divorced later because they found out that they had betrayed their dreams. And when you kill your dreams, you kill part of yourself. Now most of my patients live happily alone or in couples, but they have learnt to respect themselves and their dreams.
2. Marriage: tradition or biological need? Is it the way to be happy?
Do you need to be married? Whose need is it? The society’s? To create workers in order to support the society’s existence? Or is it your parents’ dream? Or maybe, it is the pressure of your social surroundings, your friends, your colleagues? Clarify it for yourself before it is be too late!
Look around! How many of your married friends are really happy? What about your parents or your relatives?
How many happy couples do you know?
Leo Tolstoy (who was very unhappy in his family life) wrote in his novel “Anna Karenina”: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. What I can say?
Happiness is the individual state of being, which is achieved (temporarily), when your criteria to be happy are fulfilled: it is so easy! But the criteria of happiness are different from person to person and vary during the course of a lifetime. It is dynamic and it changes together with the person’s individual development!
What most people wish for in their life is to be happy. For one, it means to have a wedding with 200 guests, for another to climb Everest. Everybody is different, but one thing is in common the state of happiness cannot be permanent. As the Chinese proverb says: Nothing is permanent but change! If you achieve it once you will wish to repeat it again. We will talk about it later. You will learn how to stay in a happy marriage AND satisfy your need for variety. Be patient!
I met one person among my clients whose criteria to be happy included among other things the cleanliness of water glasses in his home: a small drop of moisture on the glass created a total state of irritation and influenced his feelings of happiness. You can say that it is small beer, but for this person it WAS a real problem.
Now you are ready to create the next practical instruments:
My criteria of happiness:
You know the procedure now: Take a piece of paper, stop watch (20 minutes), good pencil, 3 deep breaths and:
Let it happen! Create your list for happiness.
I feel happy when:
Start writing everything that can make you happy (if you dream about it): What should happen to make you feel happy? What are the necessary conditions? Who is necessary? What is necessary?
Work hard! DO not think too much! Write! Are you stuck? Here is a little guide to help you:
I feel happy when I am involved in:
Activities (doing something specific)
Finished? Fine! Put your list aside until next weekend. And again: do not talk about it to anybody, do not show it to anyone: let the idea of happiness crystallize inside you.
The following weekend, you know what to do:
Open your answer sheet again, read it carefully, corrects some of it and mark a score against each item: 1 — very important, essential, 2 — important, but not 100%, 3 — not essential, can be dropped.
Now the work is done!
On a new page, write again only the qualities which are very important for your happiness now (remember, that after one year the situation could be different!) and at the end, write the qualities you may include in your list for happiness, but they have not such a high priority now (score 2). Is it marriage? Draw your conclusions.
3. Love and family. Myth and reality
Every language reflects the level of development of the whole nation (cultural, social and spiritual). Primitive nations have a very simple language to describe some complicated ideas, but it can also be very developed to describe very specific things, which have a special value in their society. For example, the Bedouin language has 40 different words for camel, and the Greenland Inuit language lists 30 different words for snow. It only shows that language reflects the stage of development and meets the needs of each nation or society at a specific time. Language is a communication tool and the mirror of the “nation’s consciousness” for groups of people who have common tasks to solve and therefore a need for communication.
The ancient Greek society was very developed in many aspects, including at the level of philosophy. In the Greek language, there are 4 words for Love:
Everybody is familiar with the first one: Eros. Eros can be explained as sexual passion, or by using biology terminology, we can describe Eros as the hormonal (natural) love from nature’s side. Eros appears when people feel the need to have sex. Eros and sex are coupled together. Eros (the hormone cocktail in your blood) is the physical attraction of two bodies to create a new life. Eros can be controlled from the human side, but it takes a special education and skills to do it. Eros changes with the variations of the sexual hormone level inside your glands. Eros blinds people and they do not see the reality: they only want to satisfy their sexual desire. Eros is in our bloodstream, not in our mind. Eros is NOT intelligent but very primitive, for example some well respected people (i.e. B. Clinton) demonstrate it. Eros comes and goes. You cannot build a relationship based upon Eros. But you can enjoy the state, which Eros gives you: the sexual attraction with somebody to share the body experience. Eros is about you, not your partner, therefore in the marriage there are common problems about sexual desires from the male side and periods with sexual activities from the female side (only during special periods). It creates tension in family life because these two processes have different time tables for men and women. What is the solution? In the East, the solution is to have a variety of women at home — a harem (this solution is natural and honest). In the West, the solution is pornography, onanism, sexual frustration/dysfunction, prostitution, unfaithfulness. (These are unnatural and dishonest).
In nature, the duration of sexual activities is limited in time — once a year, usually in the springtime or during some special periods correlated with the moon cycle. The aim of this activity is the creation of the next generation — and only that.
People, by contrast, can have sex (Eros) daily — the more, the better — to achieve happiness, but are they really achieving it?
Some animals (insects) die after sex games because of exhaustion — sex NEEDS a lot of energy from both partners; therefore some therapists advise it as a substitute to physical activity, i.e. in weight regulation strategy.