Sustaining a Healthy Romantic Relationship

By Paris Finner-Williams, Ph.D., L.P., Esq. and Robert D. Williams, MSW, ACSW, DCSW, LMFT

In their book “Marital Secrets: Dating, Lies, Communication and Sex,” marital counselors and real-life married couple Robert D. Williams and Paris M. Finner-Williams give ideas on how to avoid costly marriage mistakes and enhance the commitment in your relationship. Read this excerpt for some helpful tips on healthy marriage:

In our society, romance and sex are indeed a significant part of civil and covenant marriages. When you hear someone say sex or romance is not important, it is usually not the truth and it is their defense to the dissatisfaction they may be having in their marital romance or sexual life. If you are not satisfied with your marriage, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I…

  • Being careful to avoid any thoughts of jealousy, suspicion or distrust?
  • Actively participating in family events and including family members in weekly family discussions in the home?
  • Giving and insisting upon mutual respect among all family members?
  • Aggressively seeking to eliminate or prevent all crime, violence, drug use or abuse of any kind in my home?
  • Going out of my way to add romance to my spouse’s life?
  • Paying careful attention to the traps and patterns that have caused trouble in the past?
  • Developing immediate (next 12 months) and long-range (next 5 years) goals in terms of my spiritual, family, financial, mental, social and physical life? Do I have a timetable for my goals and a plan to monitor progress?
  • Always learning about my spouse?
  • Letting my spouse know verbally when something is wrong, instead of displaying negative attitudes or body language?
  • Displaying romance as much as possible, complete with kind and loving gifts such as massages, favorite meals, intimate presents, surprises, etc.?

If you answered “no” to several of the above questions, consider these suggestions to assist with sustaining a healthy, romantic marriage:

  • Be honest about your relationships with other people. Have full disclosure about all relationships with females and males.
  • Agree on how the two of you will relate to each other’s family members, friends, former lovers and others.
  • Have a zero tolerance level for adultery and any abuse by either party.
  • Don’t accept your situation as being your final situation; expect that those temporary and temporal things will change.
  • Except in cases of abuse and a few other biblically-based exceptions, view separation and divorce as no options to a marital problem.
  • Allow your roles and responsibilities to change and make gracious transitions as life conditions so dictate.
  • Socialize with in-laws, children, friends, co-workers, etc. together instead of separately.
  • Identify those areas of your life that need to be healed and get assistance or support to heal and bind all of those open wounds.
  • Learn to enjoy your own personal company without the closeness of intimacy with another person. Refuse to surrender to the feelings of desperation and loneliness.
  • Maintain a lifestyle that can easily be supported by one income and avoid taking on heavy financial commitments.
  • Don’t socialize with single friends of the opposite sex who despise their singleness and want to get married.




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For ideas on how husbands and wives can connect, check out the Finner-Wiliams website at:
You can also buy their book on Amazon.

Marital Secrets: Dating, Lies, Communication and Sex


Dr. Scott’s 365 Reasons to Stay Married
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