Personally, I agree with Mauricio Abadi, author of the book Reality and/or Realities, and his definition of being in love:
“When we fall in love, we don’t see our partner as he or she really is. Instead, the person of our desire serves as a screen onto which we project an idealized image of our perfect partner.”
If you’re upset and your heart is pumping like crazy, you won’t hear anything your spouse is saying, no matter how hard your spouse tries. It’s impossible to have good conversations like this.
That’s because once the amygdala—the unconscious part of your brain responsible for the fight or flight response—is set off, there can’t be any meaningful conversation until you calm down.
If you are bickering with your spouse a lot, odds are that you get on edge fairly frequently.
Traffic is horrible, and you’re yelling in your car at the jerk who pulled right in front of you. You hate your f#$&%@$ job, and your boss is such a jerk. Then you get home, hoping to find some peace and rest. Not today. Here we go again and the fight starts, usually for some utterly unimportant reason.
Then your son comes with a request.
But the poor kid isn’t aware what’s going on. So he feels your wrath too as you snap at him.
So what do you do?
Most people think that if you do a poor job, you get poor results. You do a good job, you get good results. If you do an excellent job, well, then you get excellent results.
To me, this is plain wrong. This is not how the world spins, though I wish it did.
The Gottman Institute did a study that shows that many marriages end due to a loss of intimacy and connection, especially 10 to 12 years into the relationship. Well, that’s not surprising.
But what’s interesting is that a “silent drift apart” typically starts much earlier.
What do you think when you see a senior couple walking and holding hands? I think about love, connection, that invisible force that’s still holding them together. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have that too, even when my wife and I are sitting in our rocking chairs together.
In this post, we’re going to talk about an often overlooked kind of physical affection. Many couples have almost dropped it out of their repertoire even though it’s one of the easiest ways to increase intimacy and help you feel safe, accepted, and appreciated.
Most of us are convinced that we are reasonably good listeners. However, when asked, many partners are unable to give an coherent summary of what their partner just said without missing half of the story.
That’s because many of us are not even consciously aware that we have a tendency to plan what we are going to say next without actually listening to what is being said.
In probably the most reliable survey ever done on divorce, by Joan Kelly, Ph.D. and Lynn Gigy, Ph.D from the Divorce Mediation project in Corte Madera, California, only 20% to 27% of couples said an extramarital affair was even partially to blame for their divorce.
In contrast, 73% to 80% of divorced men and women said their marriage broke up because they gradually grew apart and lost a sense of closeness, because they didn’t feel loved and appreciated.
The facial muscles that make you smile when you laugh are coincidentally (or not!) neighboring the very part of the brain that is also responsible for the production of serotonin.
Serotonin controls sleep, memory, learning, temperature and—you guessed it—mood and behavior.
Here comes a simple truth.
If you’re rolling your eyes at your partner, and you do that regularly, we already know you’re going to divorce. What?!?
Dr. John Gottman and University of California, Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson found that this single behavior is so powerful that they can use it—along with other negative behaviors such as repetitive criticism, sarcasm, and stonewalling—to predict divorce with 93% accuracy.