by Seth Eisenberg
Although Amy Railsback was born 12 years after Danny Bonaduce and his much adored Partridge Family topped the charts in 1970 with their debut hit, I Think I Love You, she’s surely heard the tune by now. The couple got hitched this week in a ceremony at the Maui Four Seasons that was as much a surprise to Railsback as millions of baby boomers who have loyally followed Bonaduce’s tumultuous life since ABC aired his last original Partridge Family episode in 1974.
The couple reportedly met nearly three years ago in line at a California Starbucks, where Railsback shared her appreciation for Bonaduce’s public revelations of his struggles with addictions and the pain of his divorce in VH1’s, “Breaking Bonaduce.”
Bonaduce, 51, and Railsback, 28, have had ample time to get to know each other over the past three years. She left California to join him in Philadelphia, manages his career and assists with his morning radio show on WYSP.
While shopping at Whole Foods or Trader Joes may help the couple skip the tabloid headlines, Bonaduce and Railsback don’t have to look far to know that many celebrities have a particularly hard time sustaining happy, healthy marriages, especially those who have struggled with addictions.
Here are six unsolicited tips the couple will hopefully find in their inboxes when they return to Philadelphia.
- Make it a priority to regularly and naturally meet each other’s needs for bonding. Addictions often emerge from the pain people experience from not getting their needs for emotional and physical closeness met. Creating rituals for ensuring you’re always able to be yourselves with each other, that it’s safe to confide and be vulnerable, and that you’re regularly affectionate with each other will go a long way to alleviating a root cause of addictions.
- Regularly ask how you can be a pleasure in each others’ lives. What’s a pleasure at 28 can be very different from what’s a pleasure at 51. Many couples fall into the trap of assuming that what’s a pleasure for one person is the same for the other. You have to ask, share, and listen to know. Whatever it is today, it will likely change in the future. Keeping the lines of communication open should always include talking about how you can stay a pleasure in each others’ lives.
- Create and nurture true passion in your life together. That goes far beyond sex to include the full range of sensual experiences, connecting intellectually, emotionally, and building on your shared interests.
- When you make mistakes, which all humans do from time to time, own them, look at them together with compassion and empathy, and learn from them. The belief that we can’t be vulnerable and fully human with the person we share our life with can sabotage love and intimacy. Being vulnerable requires a partner who responds with empathy.
- Make the relationship the foundation of your lives. Work is never done. There’s always a new project, assignment, opportunity or challenge to tackle. The idea that our most significant relationships get time and attention only when everything else is finished is a recipe for pain, distance, and, too often, the loss of the wishes, hopes and dreams couples share when they say, “I do.”
- Enroll in an evidence-based marriage education class together. Programs such as PAIRS Essentials have helped tens of thousands, including many famous celebrities, learn to sustain loving, pleasurable, fulfilling relationships. You’ll learn powerful, practical skills for improving communication, understanding emotions, and solving the conflicts that invariably arise in any close relationship. You’re willingness to share the story of your own journey with others will make a difference in their lives too. (There’s a weekend class at NOVA University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida coming up December 18th and 19th. You’re invited!)
Millions who have followed Danny Bonaduce’s life will be rooting for the couple’s happiness, health and success. Experience empowering thousands of couples who fell in love learn skills to sustain love leaves me confident these six tips will go a long way to making those hopes and dreams come true.
Seth Eisenberg is President of the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation in Weston, Florida, an industry leader in relationship and marriage education.
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