A+ Family Dentistry November 2018

San Diego Location: 3780 El Cajon Blvd., Unit 1

Poway Location: 12915 Pomerado Road Poway, CA 92064 Phone: 858-748-5100

San Diego, CA 92105 Phone: 619-265-2467

MADE TO LAST How Relationships Stand the Test of Time The Happy Tooth

This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful for my marriage. Roger and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary on Nov. 1. Since my parents’ 45th anniversary is just a few weeks later, we’ve decided to do something big this year. We booked rooms at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Beach and have reservations at Brodard, my parents’ favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Orange County. The next morning, my brother and sister will join us with their families for a big brunch at the Ritz Carlton, and I have arranged for a family photo shoot while we’re all together. I am so glad to be celebrating 15 years with my amazing husband, and I can’t help but be impressed to see my parents celebrating 45 years together. Most relationships just don’t last that long these days. Roger and I are working hard to make sure we get there together. When I look at the long relationships of my parents and my grandparents before them, there are a few lessons I have learned that I believe will help us make it. Being Faithful Isn’t Old-Fashioned When I was younger, I didn’t believe being faithful was really that necessary. Fortunately, I had my parents and grandparents as mentors to teach me that being faithful is the most important thing in a relationship. When you aren’t faithful to your partner, it damages any trust you have built. Relationships don’t last if partners can’t trust each other. I have seen many couples fall apart because one person contributes a lot more to the relationship than their partner does. Usually, this isn’t because their partner is lazy or because they don’t care about the relationship; they just don’t see the imbalance. But the person doing more work will eventually grow to resent their partner and cut ties. It’s not good for one person to do all the heavy lifting in a relationship, but many times in these situations, I have noticed a distinct lack of communication. The couple never took the time to express what they wanted out of their relationship, come to an agreement in terms of their responsibilities, and communicate when one person felt like those responsibilities weren’t being fulfilled. Additionally, you need to make sure you are listening and understanding when your partner is trying to communicate. Learn How to Communicate With and Understand Your Partner

There was a point in time when Roger and I would talk, but it didn’t feel like we understood each other. It wasn’t intentional or malicious, but sometimes we would be distracted and not really paying attention when we were together. We came to realize this problem, and now we work to make sure we really hear each other. Surround Yourself With People Who Value Their Relationships as Much as You Do Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you want to have a relationship that withstands the test of time, you should surround yourself with friends who want the same thing. Sometimes relationships go bad. Maybe it wasn’t a good match or something happened that the couple just couldn’t move past. This can happen, and it doesn’t mean the person who decided to leave the relationship is a bad person. But if you

Mom and Dad, 1973

have a friend who doesn’t value their relationships, isn’t faithful to their partner, or engages in a vicious cycle of never taking responsibility for the mistakes they make in their relationships, then you have to wonder how their bad habits will rub off on you. I have made the conscious decision not to stay around people who don’t value their relationships, because to me, loving and respecting your partner is a sign of character. These aren’t guaranteed steps for a perfect relationship, because no relationship is perfect. Everyone faces their own struggles throughout their life. The important thing is to be willing to do the work when you know your relationship is stronger than the struggles. Putting in the work is how couples go from one year to 15, then to 45, and beyond.

–Dr. Justene Doan

November 2018 Edition

A+ Family Dentistry | 619-265-2467 | P1


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