A Strategy for Couples to Achieve Happiness
Welcome back to the new and improved Flip Side Blog, offering a unique perspective on relationships, love, sex and romance. In the six months since my last post (It’s a Family Affair), the state of marriage in this country has taken some major hits. Of course, there was the usual celebrity marital drama highlighted by Tiger and Elin Woods’ marital exploits that have captivated the nation. But there were also some interesting research findings released that may help strengthen the state of our relationships.
PBS aired This Emotional Life, which discussed the results of new research that confirms that successful relationships, more than any other factor, are the key to human happiness. Can you think of a better motivation to keep your relationship strong? These findings raise the following questions, if successful relationships are the key to our happiness, then why does the divorce rate remain at 50%? And why does the formula for achieving successful relationships continue to confound many of us? It seems to me that this is the one ingredient of our happiness that we can control just by learning the skills that will help us to be happy in our relationships.
But the incredible power of relationships was validated by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley who proved the value of “we-ness” thinking and language in relationships. Couples who routinely use pronouns such as “we”, “our” and “us” behave more positively toward each other and show less psychological stress. So to increase our happiness, all we have to do is join together with our partners and think and act as a unit. Last year I wrote about the need for a couple to see their relationship as its own distinct entity –made up of both individuals but with it’s own personality and behavior. As with a Three Legged Stool, relationships require all three legs to be strong in order to deal with life’s challenges. The couple needs to decide the rules and expectations of the relationship and take responsibility for making it work.
Now that The Flip Side Blog is back we can continue the conversation about the relationships that are important in our lives. Check back every week to read about all aspects of relationships, romance, and love and I invite you to share your relationship questions and your relationship experiences.