How to stay in love? 3rd Virtue of Fidelity to strengthen marriages.
Familiarity brings closeness and conflict. All couples fight and have their own issues to resolve. Some issues are resolved by acceptance of each other’s quirks and idiosyncrasies. Some issues seem small, but its recurrence can cause division. It is how we work out these issues, either with kindness or contempt, that can make or break the marriage.
Dr. John Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, spent four decades studying couples to determine what causes a rift between them – and how to remedy it. He noticed a clear pattern among couples that didn’t stay together and identified what he felt is the #1 predictor of divorce – it’s contempt. The hostile humour, passive-aggressive comments, mimicking, eye-rolling, disgust, negative-thinking contempt.
We must reverse this habit of contempt in our relationship before it’s too late. Direct communication based upon mutual respect, appreciation and practising the virtue of ‘fidelity’ is the solution. Marriage thrives when we fulfil our promise of absolute faithfulness to each other, focus on the positive aspects and commit to love one another. We avoid back-biting and casting blame. We call on our courage to resolve differences face to face. Relationships die by ice rather than by fire, contempt smothers the love and erodes the bond that holds couples securely together. They eventually stop trying to dialogue, growing cold and distant. Identifying contempt, therefore, is the first step towards getting the relationship back on track. If you and your spouse need a little extra help, you may benefit from couples counselling in FLS which provides a safe and non-judgemental space to rekindle the love and build contentment in your marriage.