Friday, January 11, 2013

Happier... Marriage

"Where thou art - that - is home."  --Emily Dickinson

Ok...  The holidays are over and I'm back to reading Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.  (I was going week by week, trying to implement some of her ideas...  And having a lot of fun doing it!)

I left off with "shelf by shelf" - going through the house and cleaning out, organizing, and purging every closet, drawer, and shelf!  I LOVE those days!  In fact, last weekend, hubby and I went through the entire kitchen getting rid of anything we don't use and that is just taking up space.  We ended up with two Rubbermaid totes full!  Who knew?!

The chapter I've been reading this week is about Marriage.  Small steps to a happier marriage.  Here's a couple of short excerpts I found interesting:

"A strong marriage is associated with happiness for two reasons.  First, because people who are already happy make better dates and easier spouses, they get married and stay married more easily than do unhappy people; both men and women are attracted to happy partners.  At the same time, marriage itself brings happiness, because support and companionship are such important elements to a happy life.  To be happy, we need more than casual acquaintances; we need intimate relationships of mutual understanding, love, and support."

"I had high expectation for my marriage - which, I learned, was a good thing.  A study led by psychologist Donald Baucom showed that husbands and wives who have reasonably high standards for romance, passion, and respect tend to have marriages that reflect those values; those with lower expectations often get what they expect.  Couples who don't tolerate much bad behavior from each other at the beginning of the relationship are happier in that relationship later."

(A couple of years ago, I heard a joke: 
"What is the secret to a happy marriage?" 
"Low expectations." 
Ugh!  That rubbed me the wrong way...  And I've never been able to get it out of my head!  I'm happy to hear Ms Rubin and Dr Baucom refute that!)

So, Ms Rubin's small steps toward a happier marriage included:
1.  A kiss in the morning, a kiss at night.  (Check.  Mike kisses me good-bye every morning, and we always kiss goodnight...  and possibly a few times in between!)

2.  Give gold stars.  (Check.  I have a funny little way of leaving notes for him, telling him reasons I love him...  We also are good at saying "thank you" and "I appreciate it when..."  We can always work on "upping" our game here, but I do feel like we do pretty darn good!)  This is a great section of the book to read, though!  Good information!

3.  Make the positive argument.  (Basically, when you're about to criticize your spouse's actions, create an argument in your head that they really do have good intentions and are doing their best - before criticizing them!  By creating the positive argument in your head, you begin to believe it, and are less likely to criticize.)

4.  Take driving lessons...  Or learn a skill that can help your marriage or bring you closer to your spouse.  (This is the one I'm thinking about - what can I learn and do to benefit our marriage in new ways?  I got a couple of things swirling around...  But haven't quite put my finger on what seems best, yet.  It's kind of interesting to think about, though!)

Afterall, "It isn't enough to love, we must prove it."

Do you have any secrets to share - to having a happier marriage?

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  My hubby.
2.  Sharing stories.
3.  Beginning a new journey.
4.  Punch Pizza.
5.  "Would you be willing...?"
6.  This article
7.  The Muddy Pig.
8.  Stout beers.  Yum.
9.  Finally watched "The Help."
10.  Yummy Chocolate Brioche pretzels...


Mom said...

Hmmm....Be willing to laugh at yourself:)

Megs said...

Oh yes! Of course - that's probably why there is so much laughter at our house! LOL. Half of it is at ourselves!

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