20 Feb Creating Marital Bliss
Whether you’ve been married 2 or 20 years, you know that marriage is work. It doesn’t always come easy. As a newlywed myself, I learned that being “in love” is great. It feels great, but it’s kind of like “being on drugs” as I’ve heard one therapist say. It blinds us from the real work it takes to have a successful relationship. Yes, love and having those romantic feelings for your partner are absolutely important, it’s likely this is what led to you get married or be in a serious relationship, but love sometimes just isn’t enough. It would be fantastic if it were that easy! Sadly the Beatles led you astray with their hit “All We Need Is Love”.
So what does it take to have marital bliss? Well let me tell you what I’ve learned so far. I’ve learned that being intentional in my relationship has been my #1 go to rule. I love my husband but some days he just gets under my skin! And during those times it’s not always my natural instinct to be a loving, caring, and considerate wife. This is normal for any couple. There will be days you don’t feel like talking, being affectionate, or understanding. This is where being intentional can really help. What I mean by being intentional is being deliberate. So I might even have a mental checklist in my head: Have I shown my partner affection? Have I affirmed him? Have I thanked him today? …and so on, whether I feel like it or not. You might even think of it as your relationship bank account as marriage expert Willard Haryley suggests, “Every time you have a positive interaction with you partner, such as affection or affirmation, that’s a dollar in the bank.” Another marriage expert, John Gottman, believes couples need 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction. The more your relationship bank is full of positive interactions, the better off you guys are. Being aware of how empty or full your account is can remind you when you need to be intentional or deliberate about making positive interactions in your relationship. So having a full “bank” will not only help build intimacy and satisfaction, it will also act as a cushion when you experience difficulties in your relationship.