A recent Thomson Reuters/IPSOS Tribune poll reported in the January 5 Chicago Tribune reviews the results of a survey completed by 1783 adult Americans. It asked questions about the level of their happiness with their relationship. Ninety-four percent expressed satisfaction with their relationship. We have written before about the things that make a relationship happy and satisfying including nearly every one of the suggestions listed in the article, but we also know that we all need to be reminded from time to time about things and practices we already know, but have let slide in the busyness of our lives. Today we have listed some of these things and offer them as a reminder to think about how we, as couples live together and how we might perk up our relationship.
Some things to think about:
People are learning to stop the escalating kinds of quarrels where I say something negative and then she says something more negative. It’s that cycle of negativity that really messes us up.
Two upset people cannot have a decent conversation. So one of us takes a walk, and when we’re calm later on, we approach it again.
Research shows that only 31 percent of our problems are solvable, 69 percent are perpetual. They’re basically differences in personality, in values. It’s really accepting the differences.
Physical intimacy (defined broadly – including kissing, touching, hugging) directly correlates with friendship and is a barometer of the relationship.
Accepting differences isn’t the same as “settling”. Couples who set the bar high are couples who succeed. They have high expectations that I am going to love my partner and my partner is going to love me.
Husbands are still behind, but successful couples show a high level of mutual parenting.
Successful couples support each other’s interests and priorities.
A couple’s relationship benefits when they do novel, challenging, exciting things together (Novel and challenging for them, not necessarily risky or exotic.)
Celebrating a partner’s success also correlates with happiness. Rejoice in the other’s big and small accomplishments.
Just being noticed contributes to happiness. Small gestures, like saying ‘thank you’, ‘I love you’, ‘you’re special’ – affirmation and validation – are really important.
We can say that each of these suggestions have been a factor for good in our marriage. We hope that whether you have been married a few weeks or many years the suggestions will give you something to think about, discuss and find some of them helpful, also. Getting stagnated in our busy lives is likely one of the major things that keeps a marriage from being alive and growing. Stopping to assess where you have been, what you are doing and where you want to go is always valuable in living out the commitment we make. Enjoy thinking about your relationship: what is good and what you might need or want to change. We have published previous posts related to most of these. If something especially interests you, you can look back through our archives for more information. Send us some feedback on what you learn.
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Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.