Recent research by The University of Essex analysed by The Marriage Foundation suggests that a fifth of marriages have improved since lockdown. Before you get the sherry out, that means four-fifths of marriages haven’t done so well!
So, I’m pleased for all the relationships that have improved 😊and have some pointers for you if you’re one of the four-fifths ☹ that will propel into the other column. 😊😊
The survey showed that in successful relationships ‘appreciation of their partner had increased and commitment had deepened’. The survey goes on to say ‘couples who make extra investment in their marriages – e.g. via occasional date nights – benefit from a more enduring and satisfying relationship.’ And that ties in quite nicely with what I’m about to say.
Because in my experience, the best way to have, say, a completely satisfying relationship, is to be completely satisfied within yourself. That’s because you are then existing in a ‘noticing bubble’ of complete satisfaction which enables you to notice and appreciate other things that completely satisfy you; one of which may be your much beloved.
You see, if you’re angry inside, you’re going to be acutely sensitive to things that annoy you. And if you’re stressed, you’re going to be highly sensitive to things that make you even more stressed. So, the best way to appreciate your partner is to put yourself in the right place to notice all the good things about them, and the best way to do that is to become the quality you’re looking for.
A caveat is that if your relationship shows any signs of abuse or intimidation, you need to take action on that, but otherwise I have some good news for you.
Because you’re in complete control of yourself, you don’t need to change your partner in order to be happy and have a fulfilling relationship. Just put yourself in a happy, fulfilled place. It’s just a question of deciding what qualities you’re going to include in your ‘noticing bubble’.
If you’d like some further practical advice on how to improve your relationship, try the article I wrote earlier this year “Is Lockdown putting your relationship under pressure?” It gives you a few easy steps to work through that will help.
I wish you well.