Negativity in relationships, years of dating before marriage

Dear Mary Jo,

What do I do with a wife who says I’m so negative, but she has some negativity in her own life?

Thank you,


Dear Mike,

It’s common for couples to become more focused and aware with each other’s moods especially when the kids are gone. What you say and how you act toward each other becomes more important the longer you’re married. Therefore, listening to each other and working to restore more intimate communication is important. Sometimes when someone is feeling depressed or blue they see it acted out more in their partner, so I think it’s a good idea to stop the blame game and focus on each other’s positivity instead of one another’s negativity. Telling your spouse what you appreciate most about them is a very good place to begin. In marriage, as in life, be the change you want to see. Positivity is contagious…if you start, she’ll catch it.

Dear Mary Jo,

Is eight years too long to date before you get married?

Thank you,


Dear Morgan,

Marital research supports the fact that dating at least three years prior to engagement is a key factor of successful marriage.

Other things that help divorce proof your marriage are:

  1. Church attendance.
  2. Have a big wedding, but keep it cheap.
  3. Go on a honeymoon.
  4. The less you spend on the engagement ring the better for marital success.

Couples who dated longer showed more intention about their vision and decision to marry. Therefore, as long as you feel it’s right and he wants to have you as his wife, I’d say, “Go for it!”