Gardeners of the garden of love


If there are such people among your relatives and friends, take care of them: it seems that such a phenomenon in nature is less and less common. And since you have such a unique opportunity, observe how they behave together: how they look at each other, talk, touch each other. Evaluate how each of them is revealed in this relationship, and admit: they are clearly good together.

We are talking, you guessed it, about those whom we call the happy couple. “Personally, I was lucky as a child,” says 34-year-old Polina, “I often visited one such family: my uncle and aunt. Such a wave of calmness, confidence, tenderness and joy of life emanated from them that I literally bathed in it. They shone, and their radiance was transmitted to others. “

It is a great success to meet such a couple. This is a guarantee that after decades we will be able to say to ourselves: “Yes, it is possible.” It is possible to live together for more than seven years – it is at this time, according to rumor, that the threshold of fatigue comes. It is possible to love each other deeper and deeper. Perhaps one energy of this love to build your home, your life, your world … Yes, it is possible.

Talented relationship

The first and absolutely essential trait of a happy couple is the length of the relationship. So here we are not going to talk about doves in love, who, after three or four years of living together, still do not take their eyes off each other and merge in a passionate embrace, not only in private, but also in public.

We are rather interested in those unions that still look promising after 10, or even 15 years of marriage. After all, such couples have already inevitably passed a very important stage: “they were able to transform their initial love, passion (the“ trigger mechanism ”for most families) into a deep connection,” explains family psychotherapist Inna Khamitova.

But the duration of the marriage is, of course, not enough. It happens that over the years, people have literally merged into a single whole, but have not been able to accept the dissimilarity of another or have lost their originality. Speaking of a loving couple, we do not mean some higher beings who live as if on a floating cloud, without clashes and quarrels, far from ordinary family conflicts.

“Well, something, but crises are well known to those who live in a happy union,” continues Inna Khamitova. “Such couples are so strong that they were able to go through the trials, without which life together cannot do.”

Even being irritated, they are able to remember the talents and merits of the person with whom they once wanted to live life

They just knew how to adapt to difficult situations every time. They learned to live together after many years each one existed on its own. Together we went through an emotional shock when the child was born. Coped with the burden of everyday worries and the arisen routine. Withstood the gaze of his or her relatives … And they were able to accept those shortcomings of the other, which in blessed times they did not even suspect.

Each time the relationship is not allowed to collapse, the couple grows stronger. According to John Gottman, director of the Relationship Research Institute (RRI), happy spouses have a significant level of emotional intelligence: “They manage to find and maintain a balance in everyday life that does not allow negative thoughts and feelings towards each other (which all families) to absorb positive “one

In other words, even being annoyed with a partner for not putting things in place or forgetting about important anniversaries, they are able to remember the talents and merits of the person with whom they once wanted to live life.

What the statistics say

According to a survey conducted by VTsIOM in 2019, most Russians consider it necessary to create a family. Moreover, marriage registration for them is an optional condition. 89% consider divorce acceptable, for 10% divorce is unacceptable. According to the survey results, the optimal age for marriage for women is 24 years, for men – 27 years.

Tending the garden of living together

In order for this ratio to remain, and the desire to be offended and to slam the door give way to constructive dialogue, you need a solid foundation: a deep desire for the couple you have created to continue to live and develop. And also the understanding that there is nothing more important than the relationship that you yourself create day after day.

Family therapists Stephen and Ondrea Levin have been together for 26 years, so they can be trusted when they identify the three key components of a successful relationship: self-esteem, clarity of intention, and a commitment to developing and growing together.2

On this foundation, according to them, their own relationship rests: “We raised three children together, and we, no doubt, had to go through moments when our hearts were closed to each other, when we moved away from each other … But we have always been are determined to deal with it, to work on the difficulties in order to open up to each other even more and understand what is behind the words and actions of the other. After all, what defines us is different for everyone. “

“Yes or no”

“In a relationship between two, it is this choice that is most important” – this is the main discovery made by the psychologist John Gottman, working with married couples. “It’s very simple,” he explains. – My conclusions fit into the only metaphor: this is a salt shaker with holes. Instead of pouring salt into it, fill it with every possible way to say yes. “Yes, that’s a great idea,” you say. “Yes, a brilliant idea.” “Yes, let’s do it” … You weave these “yes” into your communication. That’s what a good relationship is. Conversely, when partners are at knives, the salt shaker is filled with all sorts of ways of giving up. Husbands react to any requests from their wives in the same way: “In no case”, “This cannot be”, “Don’t command me”, or even just “Shut up” … If a man does not want to share power with his wife, the probability of divorce is very high – 81% “.

Union can develop

At the same time, the word “work”, which psychotherapists like to repeat when it comes to harmonious union, causes rejection in many. It is so unromantic, so unlike the dreams and pictures of passion that from time immemorial have attracted us in love relationships.

“But you don’t have to consider it work,” Inna Khamitova is sure. – Life as a couple is more like exploring a new planet, discovering unknown feelings, emotions, behavior. If we do not try to enclose the other in our usual framework, but try to study him, this development of a new space will become very exciting. Moreover, our own framework will expand, and the inner world will become richer. “

Another way is to think about relationships in terms of abilities and skills, and then a couple is a place where everyone should develop not only as an independent person, but also as a companion of the other. Then happy those couples in which the partners have agreed to seriously engage in the development of the “craft” of living together.

And let the romantics calm down: for such a grandiose undertaking, you first need to meet someone or someone who will awaken in us the desire to exert so much effort. After all, love remains the driving force behind this project.

Long term project

You should not marry, guided by the principle “endure – fall in love”, says family psychotherapist Anna Varga. What else prevents a successful start?

“Relationships should not start forcedly and hastily – for example, because it is already unbearable to live with parents,” notes Anna Varga. – The partners should have enough time to get to know each other better. They need to be in different circumstances – both on vacation and in ordinary life, and in some difficult situations, to meet friends and relatives of the other.

None of the partners should have a feeling of internal compromise: something suits me, something does not, but for the sake of something I am ready to be patient. In the early stages of a relationship, internal compromises are destructive. Of course, you can understand that you, for example, have different tastes, but you should like the way you treat each other, what you are in these relationships.

And of course, you don’t have to marry the idea that this is a trial version. These thoughts undermine the relationship, and such couples tend to separate. Still, a family is a long-term project, and from the very beginning it is worth setting up for this. “

About it

  • Virginia Satir “You and Your Family”, Institute of Humanities Research, April-Press, 2018
  • Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ ”, Mann, Ivanov and Ferber, 2020

one J. Gottman “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail”. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, 2007.

2 The Utne, March-April 2006.

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