I’ve been practicing marriage counseling for — well a long time. My hubby and I will celebrate our 40 anniversary this summer. And I’ve been doing counseling for a good part of those years.
NO! Not on him. Stop that. Of course not. I wouldn’t do that. Haha. At least where he would know it. Well, maybe some.
In my practice, one of the things I always encourage couples to do is to plan getaway weekends routinely. It’s one of our favorite things to do together and we vouch for this one activity as being truly one of the most important things we’ve done to keep our marriage healthy, happy and making progress instead of stagnating.
I’ve learned a lot studying marriage and one is there are some awesome folks we can learn a lot from doing some awesome work in marriage research.
Dr. John Gottman is a personal favorite of mine.
In the world of marriage research, he’s a rock star. As someone who has been doing marriage therapy for a lonnnngggggg time, I appreciate Dr. Gottman’s wisdom when it comes to what creates a wonderful marriage. He is the real deal. He has done as much or more research on what makes a successful marriage than just about anybody in the business. This makes him a rock star super hero to those of us in the trenches.
Here is a genius idea
-for free – from Rock Star Gottman’s notes on marriage.
He’s found out in closely studying the behaviors of “happy”and successful couples there are two very powerful signs of a healthy relationships.
Those attributes or attitudes are fostered by appreciating behaviors. If you were to make a list, just for fun, of the things you appreciate about your partner and then make a point of expressing your appreciation or what you admire about them every day, you will build up what Gottman calls “positivity”. This is a sure way to have or build a healthy, successful relationship.
Could you do this everyday? Just one a day?
Is that hard?
Well, for some, it is way too hard. Too much negative, hurt, resentments have built up.
But as a therapist, I have told many folks to just try it. In spite of how your relationship is now or even how you feel. Just try the appreciation exercise for a full week. Make a list. Share an appreciating comment once a day.
It may sound something like this: “Today I was thinking how much I appreciate the way you consistently help with the kids’ homework.” or “Today I couldn’t help but remember how handsome you looked the night we went to Bob’s birthday party.”
These really do add up. Building up just tons of positivity between the two of you. Now, if your spouse will agree to do this also…? WOW!
I’d just go ahead and book that getaway weekend.