One morning awhile back, while sipping on our morning coffee-hot chocolate, Donna and I found an article in the Globe and Mail newspaper about 2 psychologists in California that are using magnetic resonance imaging to study the brains of couples that are still passionately in love after at least 20 year of marriage.
One comment that caught our attention was what one of the researchers, Elaine Aron, said about how important it is to make your relationship a priority. Dr. Aron said,
“Making your relationship a priority pays off. I would bet the people who are passionately in love after many years didn’t end up that way because they never saw each other. It is very valuable to help a person through a hard time, we know that, but it’s also important to celebrate a person’s success, to get in there and open a bottle of champagne.”
It’s easy to make relationship a priority when things are hard. You band together to get over a rough spot. What about when things are good? What does it really mean to make a relationship a priority?
A relationship is often a “priority” by default. We have to consult our partners
about getting a mortgage, but getting the mortgage is the real focus. We have to coordinate schedules to go grocery shopping but getting the groceries is our real goal.
How would it look to make our relationships a voluntary priority – not something we have to do in order to get something else accomplished, but a way of being together in life where the goal is being there for each other, having each other’s back, and living a sizzling “heart-nership”.
It could look like deviating from the usual grocery list to buy something just because you know it is your partner’s favourite. Maybe it’s doing something together – games, reading, crosswords, going to movies or concerts, weekend getaways for 2 – just to spend time together.
Maybe it’s carving out regular time just for each other even if that means excluding the kids for an evening or a weekend. That’s a hard one, but sometimes your relationship has to come first. A few years ago my (Jason’s) Mom put it this way,
“I love you kids with all my heart, but one day you will leave your Dad and me. John and I will be together for the rest of our lives.”
When I was growing up my parents created date nights regularly. They would prepare a romantic dinner in their bedroom and shut the door. My brother, Sean, and I were told not to knock on the door, open the door, or make too much noise in that part of the house unless one of us on death’s doorstep, my Mom said, only partially kidding :-). It was their special time together. We didn’t mind at all. We never questioned how much we were loved. Besides, Mom set us up with pizza, dessert and movies, so Sean and I had a blast. Kids are not as fragile as we think they are.
It can be a challenge making a partner a voluntary priority year around rather than just on birthdays, Valentine’s Day and anniversaries. That being said, it’s habit well worth the effort of forming.
Having the “heart-nership” you want is about focus. Are you focusing on what you like or what you don’t like about your partner? Do you know what to focus on at all? Our work is about showing you what’s important to know about men and women so you can start creating habits that will reduce stress and multiply well-being in life and love.
For the complete blueprint for what makes your partner tick attend an upcoming “Between Men and Women” Couples Wellness Weekend or book a private relationship retreat in the beautiful and majestic mountain community of Banff, Alberta. For details click here:
Small Group Retreat: “Between Men and Women” Couples Relationship Retreat
Private Intensive: “Between Men and Women” Private Relationship Retreat
Enjoy this video and as always, come back and let us know about your comments on this post. Make it a great day.
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