In part 3 of our 10 most interesting marriage studies for 2012 deals with the subject of cohabitation. Contrary to what we hear in the states about cohabitation, the benefits of marriage diminish over time, while unmarried couples who live together over 6 years experience greater happiness and self-esteem.
The February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family, “Found that differences between marriage and cohabitation tend to be small and dissipate after a honeymoon period. Also while married couples experienced health gains — likely linked to the formal benefits of marriage such as shared health care plans — cohabiting couples experienced greater gains in happiness and self-esteem,” said study author Kelly Musick, an associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology, in a journal news release. “For some, cohabitation may come with fewer unwanted obligations than marriage and allow for more flexibility, autonomy and personal growth.”
So let’s discuss. I would love to get some answers to this response. Personally, PG and I lived in totally different states. She wanted to move in together, but I was hesitant to her dissatisfaction. Eventually, we did live together for a short period of time before we got married.
1. For those couples that lived together for a long period of time, do you feel your relationship is good the way it is? Why? How would marriage change it?
2. Did your relationship improve when you got married after living together, or did it get worst?
Part 2 of our discussion series surrounds the alleged Honyemoon Phase. It turns out couples are happiest AFTER their first year of marriage, according to an Australian study. Newlyweds were found to have a lower happiness score than couples who had been married longer. This was also substantiated in one my previous post The 5 things I learned after 16 years of marriage.
Researcher Melissa Weinberg attributed this to a “wedding hangover,” or the depressed feeling couples get when the wedding is over and the marriage begins.
So let’s discuss, did you have a Wedding Hangover? What remedies can you offer newlyweds to avoid the symptoms?
It’s always nice to hear from my readers. So, I decided to take the top research findings of 2012 to start a discussion.
Let’s get started with research finding #1. According to a Brigham Young University study, couples reported lower marital satisfaction when one spouse’s gaming interfered with bedtime routines. Seventy-five percent of gamers’ spouses wished their partners would put more effort into their marriages; however, when both spouses gamed, a majority reported greater satisfaction in their relationships.
So ar you, or your spouse a gamer? How does it affect your marriage? Have you wanted to join your spouse in gaming, but he/she hasn’t taught you how to play?
Welcome back Strivers. I know it has been awhile since my last post. I have been developing a lot of new an innovative things due to an exciting 12-week entrepreneur class I attended called the Community Business Academy given by an organization called Rising Tide Capital. I also happen to work there, but it’s a totally different thing when you focus on your own business. So in the year 2013, expect some exciting changes in relation to this blog.
One of things I was working is an empowerment call for couples that happens once a month, called ILOVESTRONG. The topic for the month of December was giving the gift of gratitude.
What is gratitude? – It’s the quality of being thankful;readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Having gratitude means respecting its value and treasuring how unique and beautiful or indispensable it is.
Here are five reasons why you should give the gift of Gratitude this holiday season!
- Provides incentive by reciprocation. According to Amie Gordon, a psychologist from U.C. Berkeley, couples who had ongoing reciprocal appreciation were less likely to break up in the next nine months and even reported being more committed at the end of that time. The researchers concluded that a nourishing cycle of encouragement and appreciation provides extra incentive to maintain our relationships. In other words, when we appreciate our partners, we develop trust and respect. When we feel appreciated, we feel needed and encouraged.
- Deepens your communication skills. In the second Gordon’s study, researchers observed how couples of all ages—from 18 to 60—communicated appreciation. The team noticed that “highly appreciative” pairs tended to use body language and response skills to show that they valued their spouses. When their partner spoke, appreciative spouses leaned in, made eye contact, and responded thoughtfully to what they were saying. They made it clear that they were listening to and digesting what their spouse said, thereby showing that they valued their spouse’s opinion. Appreciative couples also used touch and physical encouragement such as handholding or an encouraging pat on the leg.
- It show’s your partner that he/she matters. Whether they know it or not, your partner likely notices what things give you joy. If they do little things for you on a daily basis and you stop paying attention, and acknowledging the action, they’re likely to stop doing them for you. This might not be a conscious decision they make, but if they’re doing something solely to please you and it doesn’t seem to be working, why should they continue?
- The gift of gratitude can lead to a greater level of marriage intimacy. If you have read my Intimacy Series, you know I feel it’s very important foundational piece to a strong marriage. Gratitude can enhance your intimacy with your spouse if you need to have a conversation with them about something you’re unhappy about, starting by telling them all the things you appreciate is likely going to get you much further than beginning by telling them the things you want to see changed. It’s simply common sense that if someone feels nothing they ever do is good enough, they won’t be doing much for long.
- Gratitude can jumpstart your marriage. The key to sparking healthy relationships with gratitude is to take the initiative: “Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship,” says Dr. Gordon.
Don’t wait for the other person. Jumpstart your marriage and remove the Scrooge!
What simple things can you do today to show gratitude toward your spouse?
Happy Holidays everyone!
Gratitude is a skill that you cultivate—nurture it in yourself, and soon your will see positivity radiate back at you.
Since I will be featured in a Webinar on Sunday on how showing Gratitude can empower your marriage, here are 5 obstacles that I want to discuss?
- Why is it so difficult to realize that your spouse is more likely to listen to you if you listen to him/her?
- Why is it so easier to focus on the negative aspects of your marriage and not the positive?
- Why is it so difficult to motivate yourself to do the right things in your marriage when we know that results come only through motivation?
- Why is it so difficult to say thank you to your spouse when those are two of your favorite words to hear?
- Why do we dread adversity in our marriage when we know that facing it is the only way to become stronger, smarter, and better?
I look forward to hearing your responses and discussing them during our Sunday ilovestrong Web Series at 9 p.m. est. See the link below.
Keith has over a decade of experience in the field, counseling and coaching individuals, couples, teens and their parents to help them improve their relationships and their ability to achieve their personal goals. Having a coach is like having a GPS for life. Keith can help you get a realistic picture of where you are and focus on the best path forward toward your goals. Unlike counseling, coaching focuses on the future, not the past.
As we head toward the homestretch to the holidays and the end of the year, I figured I would get you started with an iLoveStrong Question of the Day?
What is your fondest Christmas memory with your spouse?
This weekend was my 16 year wedding anniversary to PG! It started out great the minute we closed the car door and we didn’t have to hear the phrase, “Are we there yet,” by our wonderful children.
It got even greater, when we checked into our hotel room and what did we find, a mirror TV.in the bathroom.
Then to cap off the evening, we saw Jonathan Butler at Blues Alley.
As I look back on our 16 years of marriage, here are 5 things I learned!
- If you can get through the learning curve, you can understand how your spouse thinks and feels. In an article from the New York Times, they mentioned “A marriage is likely to change shape multiple times over the course of its lifetime; it must be continually rebuilt if it is to thrive.”
- You can thrive as a partnership when you utilize each other’s strengths and not to minimize them. – My wife is a strong woman, and even though I felt threatened in the beginning, I have come to realize it’s comforting when my wife and stand on her own two feet, and we can drive the family bus together.
- Even though our bodies aren’t as tight as they were 16 years ago, she is just as sexy as ever.
- Sex is more satisfying now with no worries of baby bumps showing up 9 months later.
- I made the right choice. And she did too!