Are you and your partner friends? Are there things you like doing together? Or stories you can’t wait to share with your parter?
We are bombarded with “facts” and awful stories about the separation and divorce. For many couples this produces fear and a sense of gloom. Nobody enters into marriage/committed relationship because they want to be divorced one day. People get married and hope to stay that way, searching for the illusive “happily ever after.”
what makes marriage succeed?
Dr. John Gottman with his wife Dr. Juile Gottman (www.gottman.com) have been conducting research for the past three decades about what makes marriage succeed. Their research shows a “solid friendship” where you respect each other and enjoy spending time together, as the main ingredient for success. There are other ingredients (which I’ll share in upcoming blog posts) as well, but friendship is the one that makes the most difference and the one you can do something about.
so how do you become friends?
Start by thinking back to the early days of your relationship when you could hardly wait to talk to, or see the other. What did you like about your relationship then? Does this exist between you today? If not, how can you get that back? Or work with what you do have to make it into something you like.
Many couples find that after they have kids their lives change, they change and they feel like they don’t know each other, except as parents. If you thought the key to making your marriage better was to get to know each other again – to become friends – would you do that? How would you do that? You could start by having this discussion with your partner in a light hearted exploring kind of way.
For those of you who are friends; have been working on your friendship or want to develop a friendship, GREAT! Your efforts (and it does take effort) do not go unnoticed. You are building a marriage that is more likely to last and withstand the challenges that come your way.
it’s okay the smallest change makes a difference
If you’re not in the above group, I encourage you to take the first step today and tell your partner something you like about him/her. Remember the butterfly effect – the smallest change makes a difference. Perhaps you can start a discussion with your partner about this very topic. Making the time to do so is another step in the right direction.
Please feel free to send your comments or questions any time.