Real (Not Sugar-Coated) Secrets to a Happy Marriage

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"I'm Not Your Mother"

Q: What's the most common mistake women make, both before and after saying "I do"?

Dr. Phil: Many women try too hard to be a good sport. They tell their partner what he wants to hear and try to be who he wants, in a go-along, get-along sort of spirit. But by pretending you're one way when you're not, you betray yourself and your partner, and if you end up getting married he's going to feel deceived.

There's another reason why being overaccommodating is absolutely the wrong approach, and I'll tell you why in two words: his mother. She's the most significant woman for any man until he gets married, and even then she's the "other woman" in his life. Mom has nurtured and probably spoiled him, so women inherit a guy who's used to being taken care of and waited on hand and foot. As a result women have to stand up for themselves and redefine the relationship. They've got to tell their husbands, "Hey, I love you, care about you, and want to be with you, but I'm not your mother and this has to be more of a partnership."

The other fact is that a man loves and respects his mom because she has given him guidance and direction. Guys won't admit it, but they secretly like a lot of guidance and direction from the women in their lives. So to be truly effective with your man, you've got to decide who you are -- your strengths and your weaknesses mentally, physically, spiritually, and personality-wise -- and ride that horse all the way to the finish line. We all need to be flexible and to compromise in marriage, but you've got to be true to your core traits and characteristics, what I call your authentic self.

Continued on page 3:  Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is


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