The first is a little depressing,
"In a series of studies over 13 years, Gottman and his researchers observed couples from the first few months of marriage through the birth of a child. This year, he announced that 67 percent of the couples in his studies experienced a drop in relationship happiness in the first three years of a baby's life (and were twice as likely to divorce)."
67 percent is a staggering number! I was really surprised that it was that high. To avoid that he talks about how important it is become a team early on, before the baby comes and make sure there are no pre-existing problems.
The second point was a really good idea I thought. Peter Fraenkel, a doctor talks about how some couples are so busy they never have time for each other. He also suggested that scheduling time together wasn't much better as it just made for one more task to add to your already busy schedule. He suggested coming up with a list of 60 second pleasure points. These are all things that can be done in less than a minute like telling a joke, one long kiss, etc. Couples are encouraged to send a quick text message or e-mail links to a funny website or a restaurant review (and a note: "Let's do takeout from here tonight?"). I think those are cute ideas that would let you stay connected to your spouse.
The last thing I liked was how they talked about not waiting until you have a really horrible relationship before you try to fix it. They suggested three questions to ask yourself at least yearly:
- Does my partner feel safe being emotionally vulnerable with me?
- Does my partner feel accepted?
- When I feel that life is yanking the rug out from under me, can I go to my partner for nonjudgmental support?
If you answer no to even one of these then there is a serious problem.
Brad and I have a great relationship but these are great tips to make sure it stays that way.