(This article is from Video talk 7P Principle 1: Enhance Your Love Maps)
So today we are going to talk about the question that may be circling around in your head …maybe because you’ve just gotten married and you’re starting to see things you don’t like and you’ve had disagreements and you’re wondering… did I marry the right person ?? Well Of course you did! Your partner was right when you decided to marry him or her! What you are really asking is, Is he or she going to make me happy? Well that all depends on one thing….and that is, how strong your friendship is! Research indicates that what makes a long and happy marriage is the couple’s friendship. How well they know each other and strength of their connection and bond !
Sure you dated for a long time or even for a short time and found out enough about the other person that you were like, this feels right and I love this person…!Well, do you know my parents were married almost 55 years and my mom was still finding out new things about my dad?
Fact is, our feelings, desires, upsets, dreams change over time! And what you know about a person at one point may have changed, may not be relevant anymore or there are things that just never came up! Deeply “knowing” a person in a biblical way is to be one with them….and this means not only physically but emotionally!
Married people tend to get into the routine of life…..career/work, keeping up with our friends, family obligations, starting a family and they stop trying to get to know each other more deeply. We get trapped into knowing the logistics…what time do you go to work, when do you come back, what are we doing for dinner? Talk about where are we going for vacation, furniture shopping on the weekend, etc. No wonder we get bored in marriage….I’m getting bored right now just listing the logistics!
Remember when you first met and you cannot wait to speak to this person? You look forward to finding out more, hanging on their every word? We have to keep that same spirit going! This is the foundation of what makes marriage work….and work well!
There is a term that Dr. John Gottman uses, he’s the most prominent researcher when it comes to marriage, and it’s called Love Maps. This he says is the area of your brain where you store all the information you know about your partner and that there is space in your mind for your partner and what we need to do is create the habit of enhancing your Love Maps! Now how do you do that??
Stay really curious about your partner !! That builds your Love Map! Ask open ended questions! Instead of how was your day….you can ask, how did you feel about your big meeting today? Or what was your interview like? During a dinner out you can ask, “What’s on your bucket list? How has your outlook of life changed over the past year? “If you could improve three skills what would they be and why?” Ask questions in a way that they open up about something deeper within themselves!! You get the point!
Thich Nacht Thanh, a Buddhist spiritual leader and peace activist says that the greatest gift any human being can give another is the gift of presence… and that spells PRESENCE.. it’s not physical presents… your partner doesn’t want your stuff… they want you…to understand them and them to feel really known by you.
SO PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SPOUSE!! Marriage is hard only if you find it difficult to pay attention! You notice your wife likes to put an ice cube in her hot tea so you have the ice ready for her…You notice your hubby ran out of his favorite cereal so you go and get it for them! It is in these little moments that your partner can feel you care and that they are loved. You know who stresses your husband out and husbands you know who your wife’s best friends are! Knowing this keeps your your friendship strong and your connection deep.
Dr. Gottman tells the story of a husband who came up to him and asked… when are they going to make a pill so women will want to have sex all the time? Like Viagra for women! Dr Gottnan said there already have! It’s called “listening!”
We also have to learn how to love that person the way they want to be shown love…Dr. Gary Chapman identified 5 different ways people want to experience love….
- Words of Affirmation….
- Acts of service,
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time together
- Physical Touch
So just because you love being physical touch doesn’t mean this is your partner’s top choice of receiving love from you! Know how you can find out? You can take the 5 Love Languages test or you can simply ask…honey, what makes you feel most loved by me?
In Knowledge there is strength. When couples get into the habit of continuously keeping up with each other’s worlds they protect their relationship from deteriorating very quickly….one of the most challenging time in a couple’s life is the birth of their first child. During this time the father usually gets pushed aside (find in book) because the mother is tending to the needs of the baby… a connected father will not take a back seat and instead he will do everything he can to help out and tend to the mother as well.
So where does the Love Map lead you to? It leads to your spouse’s heart! So let me ask you, how well do you know your partner? If you look below there is a link To a quick survey and you can find out just how your Love Map fares! You’ll be happy you did!