Marriages are hard. Marriages are worth the effort, though.
From a recent article in TIME Magazine…
… says Karl Pillemer, a Cornell University gerontologist who did an intensive survey of 700 elderly people for his book 30 Lessons for Loving. “Everybody–100%–said at one point that the long marriage was the best thing in their lives. But all of them also either said that marriage is hard,” he adds, “or that it’s really, really hard.”
… and the benefits are numerous, to the individuals, to the family (kids), to the neighborhood and to the society at large. Several sources of unique research… (NIH, FamilyFacts, Marripedia, USCCB) but in general these numerous studies lend to the conclusions that healthy marriages are good for everyone.
Fundamental approaches to marriage that can help… Love is an obvious foundational ingredient in marriage, but what exactly does that mean? It’s very important we have a common understanding and agreement about what love is? As alluded to above, it’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Love is attraction! Love is caring and kindness! Love is commitment! Love is growth; which includes healing and forgiving as we move toward flourishing and fulfillment. Love is service and even sacrificial at times! Love is fruitful! Love is transcendent, that is, it’s way bigger than just the two of us!
Strategies and Skills that lead to the benefits of loving and being loved… As we seek to make those approaches to love a reality, strategies and skills are critical. You can want something and still not know how to do it, get there, or make it happen. We must employ skills of vision, ownership and communication. Vision is what we see, look toward and hold hope in. We need to employ a vision which encompasses a win-win possibility and has the ability to tip toward the positive/best explanation or understanding of each other. Ownership reflects the adult status we carry as we utilize our best, most mature capacity for choice and action. One of the most critical set of skills we can employ well are communication skills. If we can’t talk, share, listen, learn and understand one another, it will be difficult to get, let alone maintain, any of the rest of the above ingredients.
Call for more… Couple Counseling in the office, Couple Coaching via videoconference, and Marriages Alive! workshops and skills clinics.