A Friendship With Your Partner is the Best Protection Against Divorce!

There is no shortage of “facts” in our environment about the divorce rate today. For many couples these “statistics” produce fear and anxiety and at the very least, a sense of gloom. Nobody enters into marriage because they want to be divorced one day. People get married and hope to stay that way, searching for the illusive “happily ever after.”

Dr. John Gottman with his wife Dr. Juile Gottman (www.gottman.com) have been conducting research for the past twenty odd years into what makes marriage succeed. Consistently 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 columns) as well, but friendship is the one that makes the most difference and the one you can do something about.

Please don’t get too upset if you’ve just realized that you and your partner wouldn’t really call yourselves friends, or if you don’t have much time together to be friends. These too, are things you can do something about – if you want to. I want you to think back to the early days of your relationship when you could hardly wait to talk or see each other. What did you like about your relationship then? Does this exist between you today? If not, how can you get that back?

Many couples find that after they have kids their lives change, they change and 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?

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) not go unnoticed – you are building a marriage that is more likely to last and withstand the challenges that come your way.

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

Contact Elizabeth at 519.471.4540

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