Posts Tagged ‘great marriages’

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.

The Best Marriages – Together Alone

November 9, 2010

Love and Marriage Experts with Couple in LoveOver the past several days, we have been in sunny southern California conducting interviews with selected celebrities including a former priest and his wife and couples with very famous last names. Tomorrow, we tape a segment of the television show, Lifestyle Magazine. It has been a fun trip so far.

There are many recurring themes in the best marriages. These pervasive themes only begin with the “Seven Secrets.”

Over the past year – and including these interviews in California – we think we might have gleaned another “secret” about great marriages. Here’s what we are hearing.

When you pose this question to the best marriages around the world you hear very consistent answers – “If you had the choice of spending most of your time with another human being, whatever the circumstances, who would it be?” The answer is almost always the same! “My husband/wife!”

The most happily married couples we have interviewed tell us that they would rather spend time with their spouse than with any other living human being. And when given the choice of spending an evening with their spouse INCLUDING others, the happiest couples will tell you that hands down, they would rather spend it JUST with their spouse!

As a couple that has been married over 44 years, we almost always put what we learn from others in the context of our own marriage. And truthfully, our secret is out of the bag on this one! Given the choice of being just with each other or being with others, we always choose just each other.

Oh, sure, we have family, friends, and work associates we like to be with. Most happily married couples do. But the simple truth is this – given the choice, successfully married couples would rather be with just each other.

So what does this all mean? Does it mean there is an “8th Secret” for a successful marriage? Do we, the good doctors, need to rethink our message about great marriages around the world? Maybe so. Maybe so.

Couples who love each other deeply, who want to spend their lives with each other, and who cannot imagine life without their husband or wife, will almost always tell you this – the one they want to be with more than anyone else is their spouse. There is no substitute for togetherness when it comes to a happily married couple, make no mistake about that.

Being married to your soul mate is one of the greatest joys of life! Spending as much time with them as you can is icing on the cake. And with deference to your family, friends, and associates, the time you spend with each other is amongst the most precious highlights of your life.

Spend the time wisely.