How can you experience stronger love and deeper connection with your spouse?
How can you get a happier marriage?
Listen to these ladies (Pat Love and Eva Berlander) discuss 4 simple ways to do so
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Before we go on let me ask you a question: What is the most sited reason for divorce?
No not sex, money or even cheating. These may play a part in causing conflicts, however most divorce people say that they grew apart.
They no longer feel close, connected and comfortable with their spouse. They are like ships passing in the night. They want more from the relationship and if they cannot get what they bargained for it is no use staying in a boring empty relationship.
How do we get this connection and closeness and prevent divorce?
1. Stick with it
The first thing that jumps out at me from the conversation these women are having is that you have to stick with it.
To enjoy the close connection and bond with someone you cannot just jump ship when there is some sign of trouble or lapse in interest.
They spoke about the “lollipop” syndrome. This is the mentality that the next lollipop (in this context the next lover) may be better. However the reality is the next lollipop is essentially the same and you will come to the same lull as you are now experiencing. However when you stick to your commitment, eventually you get to experience the true depth of the person.
It reminds me of some research I read somewhere of couples who were going through bad patches in their marriages. Some decided divorce will make them happier and perhaps another spouse would make the difference. The other group considered divorce but decided to stick to their marriage commitment.
Five years on, the divorcees were no happier and somehow the ones who stuck to their marriage commitment were very happy. Interestingly some of them couldn’t remember the details of the problem they were having. It was also interesting to note that most of never even went to marriage counselling.
Like any new business you have got to stick to your relationship to experience the results you want.
2. Experience the person.
This means you should be available, present and tuned in to whatever the person is saying, explaining, feeling or doing. You need to pay focussed attention.
A great example of this is children.
I could be in the room or yard with my children but they know when I am not tuned in with them. So my son would say, “Daddy, Daddy, watch me do this.” And he looks to see me connect, before acting. Then after his performance he looks again to get my response or feed back to what he has done.
I would usually clap or say well done. He feels that I have paid attention to him and it means the world to him.
Young teenage boys constantly punctuate their talk with the phrase: “You get me…..You get me?”
They are checking if the other person not only hears but fully understand where they are coming from and how they feel.
When someone feels understood, it means the world to them. You do not have to agree with what they are saying or doing but if you understand their motives and actions then you have connected to them.
“You pay attention long enough till you get me,” Pat Love says.
4. Respond appropriately
“Your behaviour shows me that you get me and that you have been paying attention to me, then you respond appropriately,” Pat Love
In the example of my son, he needed me to respond (validate or praise him) for what he has done. When he hurts himself he comes crying because he needs me to understand his pain and respond by soothing him. If I do this correctly, by simply asking to see the bruise and blowing on it, the crying spell quickly subsides and he is usually back doing the very thing that cause him pain in the first instance.
Our spouse needs us to respond appropriately to their needs. Sometime its just enough to listen, hug, squeeze their hand or tell them the you wish you could make their world perfect.
According to Pat Love (and I totally agree) one of the greatest turn on, is someone who understands, tune into and gets you.
No wonder many clients fall in love with their therapists. No wonder people become infatuated and cheat with their work colleague who listens to and empathise with them.
If you want to deepen you love and connection with your spouse and have a happy marriage start today to:
- Tune into your spouse (listen, pay attention)
- Experience and connect – get him/her, touch (caress, kiss, and hug)
- Respond appropriate by validating, empathising, affirming or praising him or her
I guarantee that your relationship will experience greater heights of joy and deeper depths of connectivity.