In a study at the University of Washington, a psychology professor found that stable couples had at least five times more positive interactions than negative ones – a 5-to-1 ratio. I think it’s safe to assume that the greater this ratio was, the better the marriage. He also found that couples used a variety of ways to interact positively. Here are the nine reported categories of positive interaction;
One way you can show love is by showing an active interest in your partner’s activities. This is done chiefly by taking the time to ask questions about his or her day. It’s also important to stop doing whatever you are doing while you ask the questions and focus on your mate, and to ask appropriate follow-up questions. A positive attitude that reflects a sincere interest is essential.
Obvious expressions of love, such as sexual intercourse, hugs, kisses and endearments are necessary in marriage. Smaller expressions of affection are also meaningful in a good love relationship.
Express consideration and appreciation.
During major holidays, couples normally fairly good at showing they care. They do through small, considerate actions. Rarely do partners in happy marriages point to the big things their spouses did for them over the years. Rather, they have loving recollections of the pattern of small acts of love. Appreciation not only makes a person feel loved, but it also increases the likelihood of encouraging the very quality being appreciated.
Say you are sorry.
Loving people often know when they’ve said or done something to hurt their mate. Once said, it’s too late to take it back – but not too late to apologize. Saying sorry can be tough for some, but find the courage to do so. When you do apologize, most spouses are extremely appreciative.
One form of empathy is listening to your partner’s trials and tribulations and expressing your understanding and concern. Another kind of empathy puts yourself in your spouse’s shoes. Expressing empathy and showing that you are truly concern about the situation is a wonderful gift to someone you love.
Show acceptance and understanding.
It’s a great relief to have someone who accepts you the way you are. This is a form of unconditional love. When you know your spouse really needs it or when nothing particular is going on, tell your spouse how much you love him or her. Do this over a romantic dinner or even when you are eating breakfast one morning.
Couples sometimes wonder if their teasing and silliness is normal or if one day they need to grow up. The truth is that we all have an inner child that wants to come out and play. Teasing, sharing personal jokes and having an uproarious time together isn’t only okay but it will strengthen your love bond, too.
Share laughter and delight.
There are many things to both laugh about and be delighted within a day’s time. Loving couples look for and share these things with each other. The more you use your sense of humor and share your joy with your spouse, the easier life and love will become.