Don’t Let Summer Pass By Without Doing This One ThingMay 26, 2021
Imagine a friend or family member that has, in your opinion, an ideal marriage. One or two couples probably come to mind immediately. On the other hand, if you picture a relationship that is less than ideal, there are likely also a few couples that stick out. What sets them apart? Successful marriages tend to have one thing in common…they CHOOSE to see the GOOD in their relationship/partner.
The Magic Ratio
Renowned marriage psychologist, John Gottman, revolutionized marriage conversations with the introduction of his “magic ratio.” Gottman’s research revealed the rule of balancing five (or more) positive interactions to every negative interaction in a conversation...the “magic ratio.”
The reality is that there is GOOD and bad in every relationship, and we get to choose which spreads. What Gottman discovered was that when couples seek to communicate with overwhelming positivity in this 5 to 1 ratio, they experience more effective conversations that build trust and results.
Based on his research, Gottman talks about marriage success in the face of good and bad by noting,
“When the masters of marriage are talking about something important they may be arguing, but they are also laughing and teasing, and there are signs of affection because they have made emotional connections.”
Gottman discovered that the best way to make sure there is more GOOD than bad in a relationship is to reflect on the positives of the past together. i.e. How did you meet? What was your first impression of one another? What was your first date like?
Talking about the happy events of the past helps many couples connect or reconnect. We have helped couples at their worst melt significant tension by asking questions about how they fell in love, what it was about each other that was so attractive, and how good things were while dating. By doing so, we are helping couples do what Gottman teaches...learn to look at your partner through “rose-colored glasses.” Instead of trying to catch your partner doing something wrong, catch them doing something right and point that out instead. EVEN THE LITTLE THINGS!
Top 5 Moments
Do you want more GOOD than bad in your relationship? The best way to sport those “rose-colored glasses” within your own relationship is to take time to reflect on your TOP 5 Moments. This can be Top 5 Moments of summer, Top 5 Moments of the month, Top 5 Moments of the year...it really doesn’t matter. The key is taking time to focus on the GOOD in your relationship. Call it out. Shout it from the rooftops. Create an environment in your relationship that pours gas on the GOOD and water on the bad.
DON’T LET SUMMER PASS BY WITHOUT DOING THIS ONE THING!
Find time to sit down with your spouse and discuss your Top 5 Moments together. Heck, do it for July, do it for August, do it for the whole summer. The more you do this together, the better you will be able to maintain the proper perspective on the most important relationship in your life. Some examples range from big things like your engagement, wedding, or birth of a child to more regular things like favorite trips, watching the sunset, or that one weekend where you had nothing planned. We’ve even had couples turn negative moments into Top 5 Moments because of the bonding, team work, and problem solving skills required in situations like job loss, taking care of each other while sick, or even that one time that you got a flat tire.
After starting this habit, you begin looking for and planning for more Top 5 Moments. If ever it becomes more difficult to complete the list, revisit lists of the past and find what’s missing. It becomes a fun game of creating moments that literally change the DNA of your relationship.
We Never Claimed to Be Smart
We never claimed to be smart or to have it all figured out. In fact, we are just short enough of smart to keep it simple. This simple conversation is an activity that The Meaningful Marriage uses in all of our conversations with couples. We have seen it improve marriage after marriage! The more regularly you reflect on these meaningful moments; the more you revisit all of the reasons that you fell in love with one another, and ensure your glasses stay rosy.
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