How often do you laugh with your spouse? Can you be yourself and know that you’re accepted and loved? Couples that are successful in marriage have the ability to focus on the positive in their spouse and let go of the negative. Acceptance is part of this process since we can’t change our partner, but only ourselves. Relationships thrive when couples make consistent deposits to the marriage and limit the withdrawals. Research shows that couples need 8 to 20 positive interactions for every negative one.
So how can you build a greater friendship and connection in your marriage? As I mentioned last week, know your partner’s fun list and be intentional in connecting through these activities. It also can be helpful to identify and express the positive qualities of your spouse and be grateful for what they bring to the marriage. Schedule time for uninterrupted conversation and share thoughts, feelings, and personal goals or dreams. Remember emotions connect people and can be achieved through intimate conversations. Find out your partner’s love language and focus on expressing your love in this way. Friends are forgiving, respectful, attentive, and encouraging so be sure to remind your self and act on these characteristics.
We all want to be loved, accepted, respected, admired, and valued. Working on the friendship part of our marriage is a life-long process that will reap tremendous benefits. For some couples it simply requires re-focusing on each other since they have been consumed by life demands. Others have to learn new skills and ways to connect with their words and actions. Life is more joyful, fulfilling, and exciting when you share it with a good friend who loves experiencing life together. Share, Play, Laugh