Friday, November 30, 2007

Are you feeling distance and loneliness from your partner?

One of the surprises for couples is that they have to work at their marriage and the connection that they have to their spouse. In today’s busy society with many distractions … from work and family to recreation and commitments with community, church, friendships, computers, etc. it is very easy to forget … or feel like there is not enough time to nurture the marriage. It is too easy to grow apart and feel distant from each other, and lonely for each other.

This is one of the main reasons that the divorce rate is so high in marriages where there are young children … careers and childcare overtake couple time and the marriage suffers as the adults do not nurture each other and their relationship. When couples grow distant from each other, they each often turn their time and attention, have their needs filled by, other people or other things. The territory then becomes fertile ground for affairs to develop.

John Gottman (Marital Therapy: A Research-Based Approach, John Gottman, PhD) noted that, in follow-up research, those marriages that were able to sustain changes made in counseling, are also ones who had the “Magic 5” hours of connection each week. This includes having 6 second kisses when you begin and end the day and telling each other 1 interesting thing that happened during the day. Finding 40 minutes each day to talk about what happened during the day (catching up with each other’s lives), finding 5 minutes a day … every day … to kiss, hold and touch each other, 5 minutes a day just to talk about what they like, appreciate and admire about each other and one 2-hour date each week.

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