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The Secret to a Happy Marriage

13 Apr
happy relationships wilmington, nc

The Secret to a Happy Marriage

The number one predictor of a relationship that will succeed is attention.

Simple as that.  Your relationship needs love and nurturing, no matter how short or long you’ve been together.  The uniqueness of the romantic relationship means that you have chosen that person to be the more important than most other relationships in your life.  You’ve chosen this person to be vulnerable with and open up your body and mind to.  In the beginning stages of dating, we hold this relationship in its special place.  In the exploration phase of a relationship, we are excited to learn about the other person.  After a while, we can stop learning about our partner and assume we know what they want.  Couples begin to turn toward others in their life to open up to or have new experiences with.  As a couple this is where you need to turn toward one another and recommit to giving your relationship attention.

Simple small moments of positive attentionmarriage counseling in wilmington, nc

Positive attention is when a person is actively engaged in conversation or activity that is typically shown through their body language and verbal responses.  We feel loved and heard when our partners are attuned to what we are saying or doing.  It is important to foster the moments of positive attention.  Look for everyday opportunities.  Pause the TV when your partner wants to talk you.  Smile and laugh with them. Rub their back.  Lean in to the conversation.  All of these gesture to your partner, “I’m listening and you’re important to me.” How special it is to know that our partner appreciates and loves the small moments of positive attention we give them?!

The little things make a big difference

Valentine’s Day and anniversaries call for grand gestures of romance. Candles, flowers, roses, and sex. However, when you ask couples “how do you know your partner cares?” they do not cite those grand romantic gestures.  They will say the small things make all the difference.  Think to yourself right now, what is one thing your partner has done to show they care about you?  It maybe them scooting close to you on the couch, it maybe the funny nickname they gave you, it maybe the text you received in the middle of the day because they were thinking about.

5:1 ratio

marriage counseling in wilmington, nc

The Gottman Institute has conducted decades of research on couples, marriages, and families.  Their research supports that 5:1 ratio.  For every negative interaction during conflict, a stable and happy relationship as five or more positive interactions.  Conflict will happen, it’s evitable.  It is how you navigate this conflict as a couple that will lead to a successful relationship.  Negative interactions during conflict are criticism, belittling, eye rolling, invalidating, or not believing your partner’s side.  Positive interactions can be keeping a light tone, introducing the conflict with a soft opening that will decrease defensiveness in your partner, and making eye contact.  Touching or holding hands while discussing the conflict.  This positive attention to the relationship will help you navigate through conflicts more easily and keep your relationship on a healthy track.

Remember, it’s the small moments of our lives that take up the biggest moments of our heart.  If your ready to enhance your relationship and give it the attention it deserves, let us know.  We’re here to help you reconnect.  Get Started Now.
 

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