"No friendship is an accident." -O. Henry, Heart of the West
Marriage doesn't have to be complicated or even difficult, what couples need to make a marriage last is friendship - says Dr. John Gottman. Friendship is at the core of a strong marriage. Friendship in a relationship means couples know each other intimately. They know each other's likes, dislikes, personality quirks, dreams and hopes
After 40 years of research Dr. John Gottman found that relationships don't have to be complicated. Happy couples aren't smarter, prettier or healthier than other couples. They've learned to let their positive feelings for one another override their negative feelings for one another. They not only honor and respect one another, they understand one another. Believe it or not, what Dr. John Gottmans research has found is that happy marriages are based on friendship. It actually is simple. Here are eight tips to help get to know your spouse better:
"A pure and lasting relationship, has fights, has trust, has faith, has tears, has hurt, has laughter and has weird stupid and unnecessary arguments." Kemmy Nola
"You are so stubborn!"
"Whenever there is a problem you always blame me!"
"I've never been able to pursue my career it's always your career first!"
"I just can't stand to look at you!"
Have you ever said any of these things to your partner or has your partner ever said any of these things to you? If your answer is yes, then, you are not alone. These are also known as The Four Horsemen:
Defensive behavior is ruining your relationship. The four horsemen are the biggest predictor of divorce in a relationship, and they also aren't good for the children. Communication is important in a relationship, but how you communicate is really what is important. Not only can your words be defensive, but your tone and body language can also be defensive. Remember, it's not what you say but how you say it. Here are five strategies to help change your defensive behavior:
"Catch your partner doing something right." The Gottman Institute
I'm sure you are familiar with a savings account. You start a savings account by making a deposit. If you continue to make deposits, then your savings account grows. If you only make one deposit, then your savings account doesn't grow. Apply that concept to your relationship. This doesn't mean keep score, this means work towards building a positive perspective in your relationship. The Gottman Institute research suggests this is a great way to build a reasonably happy relationship. Here are ten helpful tips to help build your emotional bank account in your relationship:
You've just made the huge step of moving in together or getting married. Congratulations! Now, what's next? The dream of hot sex whenever you want it. Splitting the finances 50/50. The possibilities are endless.