If you watched Survivors season finale a couple of nights ago, the only question we have for you is: “Wasn’t it awesome?” If, however, you DVR’d it and haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, don’t worry – we aren’t going to ruin it by dropping any spoilers here. What we are going to do however, is wrap up our series on how Survivor’s #blindside can show up in your marriage, and how to avoid it.
Having discussed the fact that blindside divorces do happen, and the fact that they are usually the result of wives who are unhappy for long periods in their marriages, we would like to move on with our advice on how husbands can avoid them. In the previous article we gave you a breakdown of some simple things you can do to make your marriage better for both of you. In this segment, we are going to get some advice from the experts.
The “happiness ratio”!
According to John Gottman, PhD, a renowned researcher of marital stability, one thing that will help enormously is for husbands to pay attention to that ratio that research shows govern marital stability: the five to one ratio. What this means is that a husband (and a wife as well!) should direct a minimum of five positive remarks to their spouse for every negative one they have to offer. DR. Gottman says that marriages fall into the ‘danger zone‘ for divorce when the ratio of positive to negative interactions falls below five to one. So keep the kindness and compliments coming!
Watch the bidding!
Another suggestion was made by Howard Markman, PhD, an acclaimed researcher, author and educator on the subject of relationships. His belief is that a husband should “pay attention to his wife’s “bids”, specifically, their bids for attention, affection and anything else that would help to sustain the relationship.” A bid could be any comment or action that is designed specifically to engage one’s spouse and result in interaction or intimacy. So if your wife is trying to get your attention during your favorite show, or have a conversation about something that doesn’t really interest you, remember – she is actually trying to engage you as a person. Her timing may be rough, but what she really wants is you.
Touch it up!
James Coan, PhD, a psychologist in the psychology and neuroscience departments at the University of Virginia, has put forth the theory that physical touch is critical to relationships. In fact, he says it can make a huge difference in the way a couple helps and sustains each other. The simple act of a man holding his wife’s hand can go a long way to reduce the stress of anticipated pain, in the same way that regular sex can help to insulate a man from the negative health effects of chronic stress.
It’s the little things!
These things may seem small, or even insignificant, but they make an enormous difference to the health of a relationship. Paying attention to your partner’s needs, and their efforts to have those needs recognized by you, will make a big difference. Making a point of saying more kind and supportive things than critical ones can go a long way toward putting your spouse in a more positive frame of mind. Paying attention to the way your spouse bids for your attention in order to have their own needs met will really help your marriage. And finally, the simple act of touching your partner more often, giving a few extra hugs or back rubs or cuddles may make all the difference in your future marital happiness.
We hope this series has been helpful to you, and that you are able to secure a more meaningful and lasting marriage in the future. If however, your marriage has already reached the point where you don’t see anything salvageable, we are here to help. The skilled divorce attorneys that The Kronzek Firm have decades of combined experience helping people to work through their divorces and move on to better futures. Call us at 517-886-1000. We are here to help.