Archive for February 2011

The “We” versus “Me” and “You” in great marriages

February 23, 2011

Great marriages require We versus You and MeOne of the key ingredients of a successful marriage is a feeling of togetherness – we are in this together and are stronger because of our relationship. While the importance of togetherness is easy to understand, for many couples it is difficult to put into practice in their relationship.

Happily married couples become one without losing the individual identities of each other. Their relationship is NOT focused on you and me, but rather it is all about WE!

Here are the three most important actions you can take to build togetherness as reported from our thousands of interviews with happily married couples:

1. Be the number one cheerleader for your spouse. Support your spouse in every way that you can. Let your partner know just how important they are to you and to the rest of the world. Perhaps the best help that you can give your spouse is to give them the confidence they need to become all that they can be in everything that they endeavor to do. Be your spouse’s strongest supporter. Become their cheerleader. Remember that when your spouse reaches the top of the mountain, you will be standing there with them.

2. Learn how to use comprise as part of daily living in your marriage. No one can have it all his or her way. We share the bed, the toothpaste, the car, the house, and the bills. While this sounds so simple, it can cause some unusual challenges as the two individuals in a marriage have to discuss and work out mutually agreeable arrangements for such minor issues as who uses the shower first and who takes out the trash, as well as major issues such as where to live, if children will be a part of the family, and what car to purchase. Discuss how the two of you will make decisions. When you share a marriage, you must learn the art of compromise—giving a little to gain a lot.

3. Carry the burdens of your marriage on four shoulders, not just two. Helpfulness should become such a matter of habit that you feel and act like a winning team. Both of you individually are good, but the two of you working together can be a dynamite team. The old saying that two heads are better than one is very true in a marriage. Ideas that the two of you generate can be better than most ideas generated alone. As you begin working together you will learn to sense when your spouse needs help, even when they do not ask for it. You will have a “sixth sense” that tells you when your spouse is in need. Sharing life’s burdens on four shoulders is certainly easier than on just two.

Successfully married couples report the importance they feel of always being able to count on their spouse for moral support when they are down in the dumps. This comes from the togetherness they have established in their everyday interactions with each other.

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