OUR SEX LIFE IS AMAZING BUT OUR MARRIAGE SUCKS
He woke up horny. He started touching his wife on her breasts.
He flipped her over. Got on top of her. He started kissing her, but she seemed not interested. He turned his game up, kissed her on her neck as he spread her legs. She looked away.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Us,” she said.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
R IS FOR REPAIR
Repair is easily my favorite concept in the entire Gottman encyclopedia. Typically, we think of repair in terms of what we have to do to a car or a washing machine or a botched haircut. As in, it’s broken, it needs repair. But in relational terms, repair is less about fixing what is broken and more about getting back on track.
What is a repair attempt?
Masters of relationships repair early and often. And they have lots of strategies for how to repair. Gottman describes a repair attempt as “any statement or action — silly or otherwise — that prevents negativity from escalating out of control.” The reason I love the concept so much is because of that word “any.” It leaves a ton of room for creativity. And because every relationship is different, finding the repair strategies that work for you can actually be a unique game that belongs to just the two of you.
P IS FOR PROBLEMS
John Gottman’s research revealed that about ⅔ of relationship problems are unsolvable. One of my favorite questions for couples is whether that statistic is discouraging or encouraging. Think about that for a second. Does the idea that 69% of your issues are not going away bum you out? Or does it give you hope?
Most couples I know are frustrated by the fact that most of their problems are unsolvable. It’s hard to have the same battles over and over again. My personal bias, however, is that I’m glad to know that we’re normal. My wife and I spent way too much time arguing over the fact that we were having the same fight that we ultimately forgot what we were fighting about in the first place.
Dr. Gottman has said that the number one thing that couples fight about is nothing. I can vouch for this. This past weekend, my wife and I got into an argument over fruit flies. It was really stupid. Later, when our older daughter (age 11) was explaining the argument to her sister (age 7), she said, “It’s never about the fruit flies.” Indeed. What’s it about then?
HOW TO DEAL WITH ARGUMENTS IN A RELATIONSHIP
Conflicts in relationships can arise for the smallest of reasons, but there’s a simple way to avoid hurting a partner emotionally. Find out how to deal with arguments in a relationship, by looking within.
Do you end up arguing with your lover for the smallest of reasons?
It may be no one’s fault or both your faults.
But you really need to understand that arguments in a relationship don’t make one of you win, but actually make both of you lose in love.
If you really want to know how to deal with arguments in a relationship, you need to look right into the problem.
THE POWER OF WORDS CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR RELATIONSHIP
Relationships, as firm as they may seem, are fragile. Learn how the power of words you use can change the direction of your relationship in no time.
15 SUBTLE THINGS THAT CHANGE WHEN YOU GET MARRIED
A lot of things change after people get married, but some things change more subtly than others. Here’s a list of the changes you might not notice.
Once you get married, you automatically assume that the things you’re used to will change in a significant way–that’s why you prepare and get all your ducks in a row. Whether it’s a spur-of-the-moment Vegas wedding or a year-long, prepped gala, the marriage part always seems to throw everyone for a loop.
The obvious changes include addressing each other as husband and wife, assigning responsibilities in the household, realizing that you can’t break up without a lawyer present, and having to actually share your money without a legitimate reason to resent the idea.
Why do things change after marriage?
Some people think that things don’t change at all when they get married. Surely it only happens when they decide to have kids, right? Not exactly. In fact, some think that everything changes after the vows have been said, and nothing’s the same ever again.