Over lunch with a friend one day, Kevin was asked about the “secret of your obviously happy and healthy love relationship.”
To put it simply, philosopher Paul Tillich observed, “Any deep relationship to another human being requires watchfulness and nourishment.”
So listen up: Here are the 10 secrets of highly successful couples:
1. Successful couples enjoy each other.
It’s just that simple. They like to be together, talk together, do things together. Have less down days than up, and get on really well. Spend a lot of time together.
2. Successful couples fight skillfully.
“In conflict, be fair and generous,” is wisdom from The Tao. When two people live together, they are bound to have differences of opinion and disagreements.
However, “Using ‘we language’ during a fight helps couples align themselves on the same team, as opposed to being adversaries,” notes lead author Benjamin Seider.
3. Successful couples seek and offer forgiveness.
They may not forgive and forget, but they do forgive and let it go. Successful couples travel the pathway toward forgiving, which is outlined by author Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who cites these four stages for arrival at complete forgiveness:
Forgo: Take a break from thinking about the person or event for a while.
Forebear: Abstain from punishing, neither thinking about it nor acting on (the offence) in small or large ways. Give a bit of grace to the situation.
Forget: Refuse to dwell; let go and loosen one’s hold, particularly on memory. To forget is an active — not passive — endeavour.
Forgive: Make a conscious decision to cease to harbour resentment, which includes forgiving a debt and giving up one’s resolve to retaliate.
4. Successful couples are in for the long haul.
“There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in between,” says professional basketball coach Pat Riley. Successful couples don’t just make promises to each other; they commit.
5. Successful couples are positive about each other.
Marriage researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, says happy couples have relationships “characterized by respect, affection and empathy. His research reveals that happy and stable couples “made five positive remarks for every one negative remark when they were discussing conflict.
6. Successful couples learn and grow together.
Partners in successful couples play to each other’s strengths and interests. If one partner becomes more health conscious, the other joins. If one partner takes up a new activity, the other partner becomes supportive and involved. The end result is a stronger emotional bond and a deeper love.
7. Successful couples never stop dating.
One common element to many marriage masters for more than 40years was their ability to keep the romance going. Some set aside one evening a week for a date, others planned romantic getaways periodically, while others still met most afternoons for conversation at a coffee or tea shop.
8. Successful couples bring each other joy.
Enjoy activities that bring each other joy, spend time enjoying each others talents & gifts!
9. Successful couples adhere to the 60/40 rule.
Boggs and Miller also discovered that “marriage masters” have a high level of selflessness. ‘Most people think marriage is 50/50. It’s not. It’s 60/40. You give 60. You take 40. And that goes for both of you,” commented Walter.
10. Successful couples have shared values.
When asked about her successful relationship of 58 years, “Emma” age 87, smiled and proudly said, “It is quite an achievement. It’s important to have the same basic values. Fortunately, we had the same values on most things. We usually had the same goals — we believed in education; we wanted to be moral; we wanted to raise children to be good citizens and to be responsible in terms of finances.”
Poet Robert Browning put the secret to successful couples in a nutshell when he wrote, “Success in marriage is more than finding the right person: It is being the right person.”
Original Post | Good Men Project