7 Things Harry Must Do In Order For His Marriage to Thrive

photo of groom putting wedding ring on his bride
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Pexels.com

Harry the time has come.  All the guests have arrived. You finished your rehearsal and now that you have a few minutes of quiet time, it’s time to think about 7 things you must do as you prepare for marriage. Yesterday Meghan thought about several things, now it’s your turn.

  1. You didn’t just choose her, she chose you, too! That is very important to understand because that mean Meghan truly is aware of the drama that will consume your lives on an everyday basis. She is ready and willing to take on the challenge and take it on with you.
  2. Embrace her independence. She isn’t expecting this marriage to totally change her life now that she is marrying you. She is going to expect to continue to reach for her goals and to champion her causes like gender equity.
  3. Meghan’s not her family. Just because her dad was allegedly colluding with the paparazzi and her sister is trying to cash in on the fame doesn’t mean that’s her. You fell in love with Meghan for Meghan. Even though it’s nice to have family cohesiveness it doesn’t mean the marriage won’t work if you don’t.
  4. You can lean on her for support. You know there were times where you suffered from depression. Being married and eventually a father has its own set of pressures. Don’t think you need to take that on all by yourself. Have the courage and be vulnerable enough to share these issues with Meghan when they bubble to the surface. She will hold you up.
  5. There will still be times where she will need your protection. Even though Meghan is a very strong, centered, independent woman, keep in mind she is the one making the biggest adjustment. She’s moving to a new country, putting her career temporarily on hold in order to acclimate herself to a whole new set of norms. Be vigilant when you see things are getting overwhelming. That is what a good husband should do.
  6. Be Patient. Things may not click in right away and she may need to take a break and return to the U.S. early in the marriage. It’s a big adjustment.
  7. At the end of the day it’s just the two of you. Once the wedding is over and you strip away all the pomp and circumstance, it will just be you and Meghan. Enjoy getting to really know her and growing old with her.

7 Things Meghan Markle Must Do For Her Marriage To Thrive!


This weekend there is another royal wedding. Prince Harry is marrying Meghan Markle. This is sure to be a royal wedding like no other. One reason is that Meghan was born in the United States and two she is of mixed race. Folks are already fascinated to see if there will be any more interesting things that happen during this event. This wedding has created a lot of hoopla and fanfare as England and the world prepare for this event.

Even though this event has already been highly publicized, this is only the beginning of the type of media coverage they will receive during their marriage journey. Prior to the wedding the couple has also been receiving pre-marital coaching in order to help them navigate through all of the challenges they may face.

As a relationship coach, if given the opportunity there are 7 important topics Meghan would need to understand going into the marriage.

  • Think about any media event and multiply it by 100. – The coverage and the excitement over every move in your marriage will be covered. I know you are used to some of it during your time as a celebrity, but it’s even bigger. Lean on Harry when you begin to feel overwhelmed. He will help you navigate these challenges.
  • Remain independent – You have built a career for yourself as well as a platform. You your new title to make some of the changes that you have only dreamed of.
  • Utilize the 3 C’s (Communicate, Compromise, Compassion). Marriage in general is challenging enough, especially in the early years. Understanding how to best communicate, compromise and how to show compassion can go a long way to getting through the bumpy episodes.
  • Remember, he chose you! Prince Harry had the opportunity and the access, he chose you to be his wife over everyone. This was different than his father, who was ultimately in love with his current wife Camilla. This is important, especially when the paparazzi or just the haters try to put a wedge between the two of you.
  • Show Respect – This will be a key component to the success of your marriage. Men always want to feel like they are respected even if he is a prince or a pauper. We tend to think that respecting him in public is sufficient, but don’t forget to respect his abilities, his judgement and his voice. There is no quicker way for a man to fall out of love if he doesn’t feel respected.
  • Enjoy the journey and be present. – Part of being present is doing one thing at a time. You will easily get sucked into many engagements for the royal family and will forget other things. Understand that sometimes, you will have to say NO. It will be up to Harry to understand and protect your need for your time. According to Michael Formica, psychotherapist and author of 5 Steps for Being Present states that being present is, in a sense, a meditation without meditating. The stillness here, though, comes from action – breathing, attending, witnessing, releasing and breathing again.

Doing these things early in your marriage, Meghan will help you stay on the right track. Stay Tuned for tomorrow as I provide the 7 tips on What Harry Must Do for His Marriage to Thrive. 

Keith Dent is a relationship, life coach at Strive2Succeed Coaching. He is the author of the In The Paint: How to Win at the Game of Love and his work has appeared on sites like The Good Men Project, MamaMia, and The Real Dad’s Network. If this is you and you feel you are having trouble telling your partner about that you are cheating, contact me via email and let’s have a chat.

Letter to My Younger Married Self


Dear 29-Year old Keith,

Tomorrow when you wake up you’re going to have a brand new title Mr. Keith Dent married man to Priscilla Gordon. I know that you have already been dating for a year and a half, but this will be different.

The vows that you just echoed to all of your guests at the wedding will take on a meaning that you can’t even comprehend.

Your view of marriage will be challenged many times over. It will make you question your choices, but in reality it will make you question your abilities as a husband and a father.You are used to a patriarchal marriage that was full of energy and was captain of the ship. Your wife will not share these same views. She’s an independent woman who was raised to speak her mind when things look  out of whack and she will do so often. Don’t worry, it will be for your own good. Even after twenty years of marriage she will still continue to reiterate that you were the only man she would’ve married.

With that said, here are five things you will have to look forward to in your marriage journey.

Sharing in Caring.

This is maybe the most important thing you will learn. You’re wife is very generous, especially with the people she loves. She will expect the same from you.This will be evident when she buys you a honey bun as a surprise.When you eat the whole thing without offering her a bite, it won’t taste so good.

Your expectations as a husband will change.

Her strength and upbringing  will be an advantage especially when you figure out that corporate America isn’t for you. When you take that job delivering papers to support your family she will never look down on you. She will support you every step of the way. She will embrace your hard work and will do her part because teamwork makes the dream work.

Your children will challenge you in so many ways.

When you were growing up, your dad was the true leader of the family. He was the breadwinner, the planner and the disciplinarian. When he spoke, you listened. But, when you were younger you didn’t develop your own voice. You won’t have to worry about that when it comes to YOUR kids. They will laugh at you and question almost everything you say. Be prepared to teach and coach. It will be worth it. Your children will be your biggest legacy.

You will learn conflict and love are part of the deal. 

When you first meet your wife’s family, especially her sisters you will be thoroughly entertained. They can be loud, opinionated and most of all competitive. They will never let you live down the times they beat you down in a game of Taboo and Street Fighter. Even though they fight with each other, you won’t be able speak ill of any of them. They will teach you that conflict is okay and that’s what being in a family is all about.

She will help you laugh at yourself.

You are going to end up making so many silly mistakes from going to concerts on the wrong night to not remembering when summer camp for your youngest son is two years in a row. Your wife will know how you beat yourself up over these things. She will help you laugh at yourself. You live, you laugh, you learn and you buy Luvs will be one of her favorite sayings.

All in all your marriage will be one of the most important fulfilling relationships you will ever have. It’s a tremendous blessing that you met Priscilla at Jasper’s wedding. Look forward to twenty more years of a wonderful journey.


49-year-old, Keith

Do you need a project done! Make sure you Speak the “Guy” Language!

I didn’t do a scientific study on this, but I know what would get me to respond. I am also sure there are other’s like me. You might be wondering what I am talking about? I am talking about wives’ wanting their husband to do projects that is long overdue.

Case in point..my wife, PG was telling me a story of a friend of hers that asked her husband to do a major “guy” project. Take care of the car maintenance. That project remains undone, and has no signs of being completed anytime soon. PG, nodded in agreement with her like she understood what she was talking about. Of course my forehead wrinkled up on that as I began to wonder what projects she was talking about.

I began to ponder when wives’ ask their husband to do a project that make take a little time and effort, why does it take forever to get it done? The reason, they don’t ask in “GUY” language.  You may ask, “What is guy language?”

Most men usually fall in three categories.  They either play or watch sports, play video games, watch action movies or some combination of the three. Why are men so fascinated with these things. Let’s look at the common denominator of these activities. There is a prize at the end. You win something. In sports, you win the championship; in video games, you kill the bad guys, get the most points; in action movies, you kill the bad guy and get THE GIRL.

You know when you have seen your husband in one of these scenarios, he is like a different person. Till this day, PG still doesn’t understand how my behavior transformed from a laid-back, happy guy, to the HULK while I was playing a friendly game of pickup basketball.

As men, we are wired as youth to compete, win at all costs no matter what it takes. We spend most of our childhoods racing the boys on the playground, playing football and competing with our boys trying to get her number. Everything is a competition. We love to win and be a winner. You will see the most mild-mannered man turn into a beast if you put a game in front of their face and start talking “smack.”

When it comes time to doing projects, you as our wife expect us to just do it because you asked us to. Because you know if it was the other way around, you would certainly do it.  Well as we know that doesn’t always work. You may say, he didn’t get away with that when lived with his parents. Of course not because we still believed it was a competition. We would either lose something; money, fringe benefits, or a sore behind. Either way we were losing.

So if you have a project you want your husband to do this weekend, try something new. Make it a competition.

  1.  First tell Husband, he is a winner, the franchise player, the go-to guy!
  2. Ask them the project you would like done this weekend.
  3.  Tease him with the reward he might win, or lose if he doesn’t do it. You might want to give him a deep passionate kiss or send him a picture like the one below on his phone, or in an envelope as a reminder of the trophy that you are.
  4. If he doesn’t do it..He might be sitting the bench for a looonnng time.
  5. Watch him get to work. If he doesn’t you might need to either contact me, or the doctor because he might not have a pulse.

Hey..We don’t make the Rules..We just like to play games.

Have a Good Weekend.

Coach Keith

Marriage Music Monday – A Letter to my couples about to be Married?

Dear Bride and Groom,

I know it’s wedding season. Just like you, brides and grooms all over this nation are in different stages of planning for their wedding. They may have spent months, even years putting their blessed event together. This is it! The Super Bowl of your lives together.  At some point before the festivities, you might get some quiet, reflection time and these thoughts may come to your head echoed in this classic tune made popular by James Ingram and Patti Austin. “How Do You Keep the Music Playing”.

How do you keep the music playing?

How do you make it last?

How do you keep the song from fading too fast?

I expect they will, especially when most of your conversations heve been centered around a common theme, the wedding, the invitations, and the reception. Sudden changes or disruptions around that bond can cause a void in your marriage. You often feel a sense of fear of what will we do next; what will we have to talk about.

You can be exceptionally vulnerable to challenges early on in marriage because usually you have never experience adversity. Everything is great. In the dating phase, you focus on if he/she is the one. The passion and chemistry that you have between each other can overpower any subtle challenges or obstacles that are evident to an innocent bystander. As your dating relationship progresses, you begin to discuss the future and how great it will be to committ yourself to the other. Finally, when the gentleman finally pops the question over the Jumbotron, or in a movie theatre, the whirldwind of excitement goes into overdrive.

It’s great and it should be. Weddings are wonderful and should be celebrated. These thoughts are natural, even expected. It’s how you handle them that’s important. As you are about to take those final steps down the alter, consider these 5 tips to bring calmness to the next stage in your relationship.

  1. If you have fears about your upcoming marriage, face them. If you avoid them it will diminish all you have worked for up to this point. – Don’t allow your fears about the future to feaster. If your intuition is telling you there is a problem, discuss it. Avoiding it will deepen not only doubt in your partner, but in yourself.
  2. Embrace that you will have to stretch in you marriage. – In order to grow in your marriage, you will have to go beyond your comfort level. You and your partner will go through a set of growing pains of flexibility and compromise to have the type of marriage you want.
  3. Your primary relationship is with your partner, not your wedding planner. – If you have issues regarding details of the wedding, do not use your wedding planner to do it. If you can’t discuss important details with your spouse around the wedding, how will you do it when you are married?
  4. Committment is not just for the wedding day, it’s an ongoing process. – Your marriage will go through challenges..Its at these times you will have to remind yourself that I am committed to this man/woman even through tough times.
  5. Don’t keep your feelings of gratitude silent. – Sharing openly with your partner that you are thankful for them and the journey you are about to take can go a long way to deepening your connection.

If we can be the best of lovers
yet be the best of friends
If we can try with every day to make it better as it goes
With any luck than I suppose
The music never ends.

Take this to heart, and things will turn out great.


Coach Keith

Do you want to get Married Today? Let’s go to New York!

On a drizzle filled Friday, I decided to drive to the NYC Marriage Bureau, about 15 miles from West Orange, the town that Jumpstarts Love.  I was there to see if the city would be interested in providing my marital education program to the hundreds of couples that enter their doors every day to tie the knot.

As I entered the double doors, the hair on my arms started to stand up. I thought it was strange since I was already married, but I couldn’t help but reflect back on my wedding 14+ years ago and all the preparations that went into making the day special. I just couldn’t get over the frenzy and excitement and future possibilities they were about to experience. The couples were all shapes, sizes and colors. They ranged from the being traditionally dressed to looking like they had just rolled over to the spot after a night out on the town.

One guy was nervous that his marriage wasn’t going to happen because his witness hadn’t showed up yet on this rainy afternoon. He asked me if I had time.

One thought that came to mind was that even though each couple had to stand in line and wait for their number to be called, there was a sense of peace and joy. Maybe it’s because these couples were simply there to celebrate marriage.

According to letsrunoff.com, some of the reasons why people elope is because it eases the stress of money and time it takes to plan a traditional wedding. Other reasons include:

  • It’s more intimate.
  • Easy.
  • Less stress from family.
  • Reduces opposition in your partner for religious/cultural reasons.
  • Want a quickie wedding.
  • Want a small wedding.
  • Dislike attention.

My wife of 14 years would have preferred this type of matrimonial service than all the pomp and circumstance of our wedding. I didn’t listen. I wasn’t a coach back then so my listening skills weren’t as good as they are now.

So if you wanted to get married today, would you take a number?

Keith is a certified relationship coach and President of Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services. He has over a decade of experience in the field, counseling and  individuals, couples, teens and their parents to help them improve their relationships and their ability to achieve their personal goals.  He works with couples to help them achieve the kind of relationship they envisioned when they first made their commitment to each other. Strengthening communication and  revitalizing their understanding and empathy for each other helps couples regain the romance and closeness they long for – even in their everyday “real” world.

Having a coach is like having a GPS for life. Keith can help you get a realistic picture of where you are and focus on the best path toward your goals.  Think you need a jumpstart and a plan to get back on track, call for an initial consultation at strive2succeed@comcast.net or call 201-486-4467.

What I will say to Will & Kate (Session #3) – Expect Conflict! How will you handle it?

As much as the media is excited about your upcoming nuptials today, they will be just as excited tomorrow to report a conflict. The funny thing about it is differences are going to come. You are getting married because you are attracted to each other’s differences. 

It’s inevitable these differences will cause disagreements, but the better you deal with them the greater your communication will be. Would you rather create an environment that has greater truthfulness, trust and respect or an environment that is built on resentment and disappointment?

If the answer is yes to the former, here are 4 tips that will help you in the process.

  • Establish that you will create a FOUNDATION that is based on respect and that you embrace your differences instead of trying to eliminate or change them.
  • Establish what BOUNDARIES you will have when it comes to discussing issuew with outside friends and advisors. Your disagreements over brunch in the morning can quickly become tabloid news in the afternoon.  
  • Know and express your true FEELINGS. No matter what reaction you get, the other person is going to be upset. So it’s better to be open and honest with yourself in order to not build up that resentment.
  • Finally REFRAME and acknowledge challenges and offer “we” statements on how to make things better. A team environment is key to uplifting and building your marriage to greatness.

 Your marriage will only get stronger with on-the-job training. Even me as your coach, can’t force a great marriage onto you. It takes ACTION on your part. So simply allow yourself to embrace there will be conflict by going through it rather than always seeking comfort from others.

What would I tell Will & Kate (Session #2) – How will you maintain your own identity?

Kate and William are now intriqued with what I am about to say next. And I might not win any points with the royal family, but it’s important, nonetheless. Kate & Will! Will & Kate…It will natural for outsiders even your family to link you together for everything. That closeness will slowly erode all the love you have built up over time.

This marriage in itself is a fairytale. The prince finally marrying his princess; the princess finding her prince. The marriage alone will not be able to sustain them for the rest of their life. Both will  need friends, satisfying work, some solitary time, fun and other experiences in their life to fulfill the needs that are deep in their heart.

Because there are many kinds of love. For example there is parental love, platonic love, the constant love of friends, and a deep enduring love of a long-standing marriage. Kate and Will will not be able to love each other in all the ways they need to be loved. Understanding this early and putting themselves in the position to fulfill the other types of love from others will relieve the pressure.  

This will be very important for Kate. William wasn’t just attracted to your beauty and that you would make a good princess to show off. He was attracted to you because of your personality, independent spirit, intelligence, tenacity and warmth. So eventhough your status in the world is changing, he will expect you not to change.

So Kate, figure out what sort of legacy you would like to leave as the new princess. Since you are the first princess to have a college degree, the world is your oyster. Find out your passion and pursue it.

On the flip side, William if there is something new you would like to pursue, now is the time to do it. I would like to see the both of you establish yourselves individually and as a power couple? In order to do that ask each other these questions?

  1. What do you dislike?
  2. How do you like to spend your free time?
  3. What do you enjoy doing with me?
  4. What do you need when you’re unhappy?
  5. What kind of support works for you?
  6. What turns you on?
  7. What turns you off?
  8. What do you really love to do?
  9. What brings you great joy?

By asking these questions, both of you will find that you can build a life together individually, and as  a couple.

What would I tell Will & Kate? – Your Marriage will not be like your Parents.

If you haven’t watched any TV or read any newspapers, you might not realize that Prince William and Kate Middleton are getting married this Friday. This wedding has created a lot of hoopla and fanfare as England and the world prepare for this event.

Even though this event has already been highly publicized, this is only the beginning of the type of media coverage they will receive during their marriage journey. Prior to the wedding the couple has also been receiving pre-marital coaching inorder to help them navigate through all of the challenges they may face.

As a relationship coach, if given the opportunity there are 5 important topics I would discuss with them prior to the wedding . Today’s topic would be YOUR MARRIAGE WILL NOT BE LIKE YOUR PARENTS.

Kate & William should realize very early that their relationship will be different from their parents. Kate’s was a product of a wonderful marriage where her parents worked together, so they had an opportunity to share their love of the airlines and later build their own business, while in William’s case, he had to live through the trials and tribulations of a high profile divorce. So both of them enter the marriage with different perspectives.  So I would start out our session with these questions.

What does this marriage mean to you? – It would be very important for the each of them to define why they want to get married and what expectations they have from one another.

If you had to create by-laws for your marriage, what would they be?  – It would include things like:

  • How you will do with conflict?
  •  What topics are off limits to the media?
  • How you will address communication issues?
  • How you handle past friendships?

What  family traditions will you bring from each of your families? What new one’s will you create? – Because William is from royalty, there will be many traditions that they will have to uphold in their marriage. On the other side, because Kate didn’t come from that lifestyle their maybe some traditions that are important to her. It would be imperative to bring in some her traditions in order to have a voice. It will also be important for the both of them to establish their own.

What steps will you take to maintain Spritual, Social, Physical and Emotional Balance individually and together? – Kate has only received a taste of the media attention that she has received. Like THE POLICE so eloquently state in their 80’s hit “Every step you Take” her moves will be scrutinized to the highest degree because she is the Princess.  It will be very easy for both of them to lose their balance with all the social engagements they will expected to attend in the next few months. Establish some boundaries and find a special, secretive space where they can just be.

Now that I have got Kate and Will’s juices flowing. We will go a little deeper tomorrow when we talk about how they maintain their individual identity!

Coach Keith – Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services