Thursday, February 2, 2017

FAML 300 Week 5: Behaviors that Negatively Affect Marriage

My husband and I have been best friends almost since the day we met. He has helped me to open-up and talk, since I tend to keep most thoughts inside my own head. Through this open communication we know each other very well; likes and dislikes, joys and pains, hopes and dreams. I believe the best thing that helped us really build our love and friendship was the first two years of our marriage. We were poor college students and were both working on our general classes. We used this situation to our advantage and took a couple of semesters in the same classes together. People didn’t know one of us without the other. I believe this happy foundation has helped us as we entered changes and trying times of life: having children, moving away for school, and more children.

An image of a man’s hand holding a woman’s hand, combined with a quote by Elder Neil L. Andersen: “No trial is so large we can’t overcome it together.”

Even though we have trials in life that worry us, cause us stress, and wear us down, it is nice to know that we have always had each other.

Image result for 7 principles for making marriage work

John M. Gottman wrote an amazing book, “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.” Gottman spent decades as a marriage counselor and also doing research into how to save marriage. Just as most counselors thought, he focused mainly on communication and how to get couples to work through their disagreements. Then the thought came to him to try researching what actually makes marriage work, because every marriage is made of two imperfect people that don’t always get along. So why do some work and some fall apart?

A conceptual photo of family members sitting on one another’s shoulders in a tall stack, paired with the words “You’re Covered.”

Through all his years of researching, Gottman came to the conclusion that healthy marriages have a strong foundation of friendship. He found that some couples would holler and argue an incredible amount, but then they would start laughing or find some other way that diffused the tension. These couples didn’t let the negative feelings override their friendship.

"Laugh about the past—and dream about the future.”—Sister Rosemary M. Wixom

I feel that healthy couples always work on respecting their partner, not being contemptuous or defensive.

  1. They listen and are aware of what is going on in each other’s lives. 
  2. They like spending time together and talking together. 
  3. As I mentioned last week, healthy marriages have spouses that devote 100% to each other.
  4. Their world revolves around each other, and less on their own wants.
  5. They are each others' best friend.

The take away that I feel I learned this week is having a successful, thriving marriage means having a best friend. Being a friend requires effort on both partner’s part. This doesn’t mean they get along all the time and have no disagreements, it just means that they can discuss those disagreements without letting it hurt their friendship.

My best friend

I am thankful for the best friend I married so many years ago. My friendship and love for him has grown stronger as time passes. I had no idea what friendship and love were back in those early days, and I am happy to continue learning and growing.

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