The 1 thing you should do to guarantee relationship success – Check Your Mate

love-is-puppiesExcerpt from The Affair – by Sue Hickey and Philippa Sklaar

If you’re thinking of getting married or starting a serious relationship, Check Your Mate on the list below. Don’t even think of embarking on a romance without it.

Is it any wonder that 50% of marriages end up in divorce? If it’s a second marriage the odds are worse. But the least likely to succeed are marriages that begin as affairs. 80% fail.

A friend of mine who knows numerology said that 2017 is a great year. 2016 added up to 9,  never a good idea to begin anything new as 9 means endings. 2017 adds up to 10.  A great year for beginnings. Wonderful news to begin the New Year.


  1. What characteristics of his/her do you admire?

2. What characteristics bother you?

3. Have you discussed them?

4. Does your list include?




5. Fidelity:

What level of loyalty do you expect?

What behavior qualifies as infidelity?

Will infidelity be a deal breaker?

If not, how will you choose to resolve it?

6. Conflict:

How will you handle disagreements?

Have you agreed on a set of rules of conduct?

What is unacceptable when you have disagreements?

What is the timeline to resolve disagreements?

Is going to bed fighting acceptable?

Is distancing and punishing allowed?

Is arguing in front of others allowed?

Is arguing in front of your kids allowed?

Is it allowed to persuade your kids to take sides?

Is resolution the goal rather than who is right or wrong?

7. Have you defined each of your roles?

Who takes out the trash?

Who does the grocery shopping?

Who does the washing up?

Who looks after finances?

Who makes coffee in the morning?

Who dresses the kids?

Who wakes up when they cry at night?

8. Does he/she respect your opinions?

9.Does he/she respect your family and friends?

What happens when we don’t like each other’s friends?

When one of you wants to go home and the other not, what is the agreement?

How do you see socializing in the future?

How much time is spent in pubs or out with friends without each other?

10. What is his/her attitude towards money?

Is he/she generous?

Is he/she responsible?

Do you agree on what the financial priorities are?

Who manages the monthly financial affairs?

11. What are his/her thoughts around children?

What are his/her views on discipline?

What agreement is in place when you differ on what permission to give?

If this is a second marriage, what agreements do you have in place?

What happens if there is a disagreement between the children and non- biological parent?

12. Have you agreed that you are both on the same team no matter what?

13. How will you treat your parents-in-law?

How often may they visit?

How will you handle not liking them?

Do you both understand what is expected of you?

14. Do you have the same views on alcohol and drugs?

Do you feel anxious about your partner’s use of substances?

15.How will you re-connect when life takes over and you lose the romance?

Do you have time set aside on a weekly basis for real communication?




I was married to not one abuser, not two, but three. I fled from South Africa and from an extremely violent and traumatic marriage to a very well-known Johannesburg personality and resolved to learn a lesson and be more careful next time. In America I met a man who, on the surface, was everything that my second husband was not. Until I owned her own contribution to the dance of abuse I was destined to repeat the pattern. My story exists as proof of this. I am driven to help abused women as I know all too well what it feels like to be misunderstood and ashamed of my inability to let go of a relationship that was killing me. “It’s like wanting to hug a shark – why on earth would anyone do that?” I understand because I have been there, emerged damaged and broken from there and then – heaven forbid – went back! I know what it feels like to yearn for the love of a man who pulled out your hair, spat in your face and tried to choke you. I know what it feels like to tell people you are back there and watch their faces and see them thinking, “then you deserve what you get!” By telling my story, I hope to lift the veil of shame off abuse and encourage women to do the same. Un-silencing the voice is where true healing begins.

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Posted in abuse, codependency, dating, domestic violence, love, marriage, relationships, Uncategorized

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