You've got two demanding jobs, two families who want your time, two sets of friends you're bringing together.
Your relationship is going through a lot of big and exciting changes.And, oh yes, you are planning a wedding together. You guys have LOT on your plate.
What's really important right now -- and always, in a marriage -- is staying connected and nurturing your relationship. Even amidst all the hubbubb and to-dos.
Here are 3 very simple things you can do:
1. Pop That Champagne Cork. Don't let that beautiful orange bottle of Veuve Cliquot sit on ice, waiting for a special occasion. Research shows that couples who regularly celebrate the good times have higher levels of commitment to each other, intimacy, trust, and relationship satisfaction. Did you decide on a wedding venue? Did a meeting at work go well? Get a new car? Close on a house? Get a raise? Book the DJ? Celebrate together, even the little things.
2. Increase The Nice By 5. You and your fiance have hundreds of emotional interactions every day. It's not humanly possible for all of them to be perfectly sweet. Take note of those little lapses -- when you are mean, snide, dismissive, critical, defensive, withholding or worst of all, when you roll your eyes at him. For every not-so-nice moment, research shows that you must have 5 positive interactions to compensate. A kiss for no reason. "You look handsome in that color." A hug. In stable marriages, there are at least 5 times more positive interactions than negative ones. Keep this 5:1 ratio in mind, and increase the nice by 5 after the nasty.
3. Just Do It. Maybe you're both really stressed out with work and the wedding. Maybe you've been together for a long time and that stay-in-bed-all-weekend phase is ancient history. It's normal for sex to become less of a priority for couples. But research shows that after 5 minutes of even "going through the motions", the powerful bonding chemicals vasopressin and oxytocin are released, and you're likely to start enjoying yourself. Regular sex improves your mood, makes you more patient, damps down anger, and leads to a better, more contented relationship. So, don't think about it: just do it!
So simple, right?
Don't you think every couple you know would benefit from learning about these 3 simple things?
Will you share this article with your friends?
PS Research cited here is from 2 books on marriage that I wholeheartedly recommend: For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage by Tara Parker-Pope and The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman.