What’s the key to having a happy marriage? I have some very clear ideas about what makes a successful and stable couple relationship. Some ideas come from having been blessed enough to have been born to two parents who loved each other, functioned at a high level emotionally, and who adapted to eachother’s quirks and made this adaptation look effortless (even though it most certainly was not). Some of it comes from being a clinician with over thirty years of experience helping couples in distress. Some of it comes from being a student and studying Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Some of it comes from the research of a number of stellar researchers, especially John Gottman. Here are six crucial insights:
1. Nurture each other. One overriding rule: intimate relationships are nurturing relationships. Everyone realizes that children need to be cherished and supported for healthy development. Well, your romantic partner needs you to encourage and nourish him/her everyday as well. Paying careful attention to your partner and giving yourself in this way to him/her will create a very powerful bond of love and trust between you.