John & Julie Gottman are two of the leading researchers in the field of relationships and marriage. They created a ‘Love Lab’, a fabricated apartment with a beautiful view and cameras to study couples who stayed overnight, as part of their sixteen years of research into marriage and divorce.
A few of the myths about marriage they proved to be incorrect were:
- Personality issues ruin a marriage (this doesn’t include severe mental illness)
- If you have common interests, you will stay together
- Mutuality in tasks in the marriage will make it work
- Avoiding arguments means you will stay together
- Affairs are the main cause of divorce
- Men are not made for marriage
FRIENDSHIP was the defining factor for both men and women in achieving a happy marriage. What is friendship in marriage? It is having mutual love and respect for one another, loyalty to your partner and knowing one another’s preferences and dreams.
Having a friendship with your partner looks like thinking about them during the day and preparing a meal you know they will love. Texting them when you are going to be late home from work. When you have a solid friendship and mutual respect, it is easier to overlook the moments when they answer you in a sharp voice. You don’t take it personally.
Drop an emoji if you have found the happiest relationships for you have included a solid friendship.
Reference: Gottman, J. M. (2015). The seven principles for making marriage work. Random House: New York, NY.