5 Important Relationship Lessons You Can Learn From an Arranged Marriage



Some of the most powerful lessons I've learned as I've interviewed hundreds of couples have come from some of the least common relationships. This interview was no exception. You'll quickly see the deep, abiding, and unique love that can be created even if you don't date before marriage.

Here are 5 lessons I took away from interviewing Iskara and Baldev. Don't just read them... apply them. It could transform your relationship.

1. Fighting is overrated

When you fight dirty in a relationship you surrender control of your behavior to your circumstances and your emotions. You become a victim to life, and victims forfeit any ability to choose love, peace, or kindness.

Emotionally intelligent couples take ownership of their thoughts, feelings, actions and moods. They don't blame other people for how they act or how they feel. And when they do feel strong emotions, they have the fortitude to avoid acting impulsively and instead act with kindness.

2. Loving your in-laws is important

One of the most common sources of contention in a committed relationship is the in-laws. Respecting and balancing the needs, wants, and traditions of two (and sometimes more) sets of parents can get really complicated really fast.

To handle this transition Iskara spent a lot of time with her in-laws, even without her husband present. When her parents raised a complaint she explained, "I've been your daughter for 27 years. I've been their daughter for only a few months." She understood that creating a positive and loving relationship with her new parents would only create more freedom and connection for her family in the future.

Become friends with your in-laws. The more they love you the less threatened they will be that you're stealing their baby away from them, and the more understanding they will be when conflicts arise in the future.

3. You're happiest when the person you love is happiest

I know it's cliché to say, but it seems to be consistently true for every couple I've interviewed... when you live as if the happiness of your partner is a priority over your own, you will find incredible joy and satisfaction.

When you go into a relationship thinking only of what you can get out of it, the relationship will not work. The trick to experiencing satisfaction in a relationship is to give up worrying about what you'll get out of it, and instead worry about what you can put into it.

How can you be the greatest contributor of peace, happiness, excitement, and fun in your partner's life? Seriously... ask yourself that question, then take action.

Love isn't love if it's only given with expectation of reciprocation.

4. Complimentary vs. Compatibility

Compatibility is overrated. We put so much emphasis on having common interests, hobbies, and beliefs. To be honest, it isn't all it's cracked up to be... at least not for everyone.

Rather than searching for someone who has everything in common with you, why not consider appreciating someone who brings you balance and pushes you to experience the world in a new way? It's good to have someone in the house who is great with finances, or an amazing chef, or can fix anything with a little wire and duct tape, or who brings a sense of humor to the table... especially if the other person lacks those strengths.

It's fun to have things in common, but it's vital to appreciate and value your partner for their differences.

5. Change means you get to fall in love all over again

People change. It's a fact of life.

You (and the ones you love) are constantly influenced by your experiences, your community, your choices, and your circumstances. You are never the same today as you were yesterday.

To some this is a scary prospect. "What if we grow apart? What it life takes us down different paths? What if things change?"

It is nearly impossible for fear and love to coexist.

Rather than fear change, embrace it. Without change, love stagnates. Look at it as an opportunity to fall in love with a new version of the same person over and over again.

What did you learn from this week's podcast? Did it change your thoughts on arranged marriages? How much of your ability to love is purely based on choice? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

[jbox title="Show Notes:" border="5" radius="15"]

We're launching a 30 Gratitude Day Challenge on July 1st! Want to get the challenge emails sent to your inbox every day? Fill out this little form here:

[gravityform id="2" name="Subscribe" title="false" description="false"]

Here's the tunage from today's episode:


10 Steps to Clean Fighting With The Person You Love


Ground Rules for Fighting

Every couple fights... but how you fight is a HUGE factor in your likelihood of staying together.

Fight clean, stay together. Fight dirty, not very likely.

There's good, clean fighting and there's dirty, underhanded fighting. I love Ze Frank's rules for a good, clean fight... and so I decided to share them with you:

No hitting, pushing, shoving, or any other kind of physical altercations.

That is bad. Always.

No swearing.

Swearing should be reserved for exclaiming about how large a poop is, or how hot it is on a particular day.

No overarching awful generalizations about a person's character.

Generalizations are generally kind of crappy... things like "You always..." or "You never..." Try to stay focused on the content that started the argument in the first place.

You should realize there are actually 2 arguments going on...

One is a feelings argument, and one is a content-specific argument.

Sometimes when the feelings part of the argument gets very very intense, it's probably best not to stay focused on the content, and just deal with the feelings part. For example: Let's talk about the schedule for who makes the bed later on. Right now, let's focus on why you're getting so angry about it.

Allow yourself when things get crazy-heated to have a timeout.

15 seconds to 15 minutes. No judgements. Just walk away. Calm down. Then get back into it when you can. When we become emotionally flooded, we go into fight or flight mode, and instincts are to either retreat, or attack. We lose touch with our sense of humor, and the ability to be empathetic. Take time to calm down.

Don't threaten to leave just for leverage.

That's a playing card that will lose its value quickly, and sour the relationship quite a bit.

Don't use your partner to fight past battles.

If you find yourself saying things like, "You always make me feel..." and you can trace that feeling to past relationships, well, it might be on you.

Hear what the other person is saying.

Repeat back exactly what the other person said. Sometimes, especially when fighting, we hear things that are not said. Try not to fight with what you think the other person is thinking. Otherwise you're fighting with yourself... which is going to turn into a long fight.

Learn how to apologize quickly and in the moment

Sometimes the wrong thing slips out of your mouth. If you can't think before you speak, at least be thoughtful enough to apologize after you speak.

Use the Intent Sandwich

When you have something difficult to say, start with clarifying the intent. "The reason I'm telling you this is that I care about our relationship, and I love you very much. It might be difficult to hear, but hiding it from you would be more damaging than telling you."

What rules could you adapt into your fighting style?