Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Secrets of Super-Happy Couples

I got these from my therapist friend, and they seemed like a good idea, so I'm putting them up. Most of you don't need them. They may help me some though. The article starts below.

Twelve ways to keep your relationship thriving.

Why do some couples seem so head-over-heels? It's not that their lives are any easier or more perfect than yours-- but they do know how to keep the daily grind from eroding their relationship. Get some of what they have by incorporating these happy-couple strategies into your love life.

1. Fall in love all over again. Make a conscious decision to be in love. The more you act as if you are in love, the more you will feel like you are.

2. Remember the good times. Treat your partner like you did at the beginning of your relationship. Make a list of all the things you used to enjoy doing together and add any new fantasies to the list. Plan for them and make them happen.

3. Help your partner feel more loved and secure in your love so that he or she can open up to you and express feelings and ideas without fear of being attacked or judged. Compliment, praise, give a hug. Small gestures make the grandest statements.

4. Don't make unilateral decisions. You're a team in many ways, so act like one. Check in and make decisions together about things large and small. Be willing to compromise.

5. Be present. Train your mind to stay in the moment -- not at work, thinking about the new color you want to paint your kitchen, or how it's time to take the dog to the vet.

6. Pay attention to your physical appearance. Take the time to stay in shape and look good for each other. It does matter.

Couples in crisis focus on all the ways they are different, whereas those who are in love zero in on their similarities and think their differences are cute. Build compatibility by taking turns planning activities to do together. If you don't like your partner's choice, don't complain; it's your turn next.

8. Do not place blame. Replace blame and criticism with solutions and tenderness. Problem-solve together -- sit close, hold hands, touch each other's face or hair. Be playful. When was the last time you laughed together? Rent a comedy movie to tickle your funny bone.

9. Plan for sex. Spontaneity is great but smart couples know that good sex doesn't just happen. Like everything else, it takes time and planning.

10. Fact-find -- don't mind-read. You may think you know but you can't assume. You may believe he should know, but that's not fair, either. Always clear up misinterpretations and misunderstandings to make sure they don't throw you both off course.

11. Fight fair -- and by appointment only. Schedule a limited time to discuss a problem and confine your comments to that issue only. It's easier to relax and feel free to enjoy each other when you know you won't be ambushed by a litany of complaints and criticisms.

12. Prepare for checkouts. Even in the closest marriage, everyone needs time alone. Don't take it personally and don't make each other feel guilty if you need to spiritually and emotionally regroup. Just be sure to tell each other when you are checking out (max, one day) -- and when you're checking back in.


spoon said...

Fabulous suggestions, maybe one day I'll have an opportunity to use them! hehe

Glamourpuss said...

I am forwarding these to my cat - she's getting really grumpy these days.


Echomouse said...

These are really helpful and good I think. Mind you, I've never been married. But reflecting upon certain couples I know, this is definitely true.

mist1 said...

I swear, I'm not in a relationship. It was the bubble bath and vodka talking. Still, I will commit these to memory, just in case.

Matt said...

When pigs fly, CEO. That sounds like a great fairy tale....

Lee said...

If I ever stop despising men, I will print these up and stick them on my fridge.

Wicked H said...

Not part of a couple but if it ever happens will re-read these then.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

These are excellent suggestions, all.

When Flip and I wrote our marriage vows, we promised to value our commitment to each other more than our individual wills.

A lot has changed in our lives in 15 years, but we are still best friends, maybe because we have always tried to make life easier for each other.

Two stubborn people have learned to apologize and really mean it, which is doubtless a factor, too.

Anonymous said...

I can see how all of this is helpful. But, if we plan for sex someone is usually not in the mood or kids are sick or whatever. Spontineity seems to work best on that one.

And I like mind reading, it's poor bill who isn't so good at it. hehehe.

Odat said...

These are all well and good....and in fact, I even tried to live by these when I was with my hub. But there are so many other factors that may come into play that you just can't plan for. I still remain good friends with hub, but can't live with him!

The CEO said...

They all don't work for me and Judy either. We couldn't schedule a fight if we had to, we're too spontaneous.