How to save relationships from collapse? A difficult question when it comes to you personally.
Maybe you or your current or future wife whom you will meet on VeronikaLove! this is not related, but it will be useful to know)
In today's world, the value of the concept of "we" is rapidly declining. More and more people think egocentrically: "There is my opinion and the wrong one." The focus is on the individual, not the public interest.
The development of technology and the popularization of social media catalyze this process. The ability to handle a phone or a computer becomes more important than communication skills. Consider how often our attention is drawn to gadgets during meetings with loved ones.
How does this affect relationships?
It is impossible to call a healthy relationship in which everyone thinks only about himself.
Authoritative family psychologist, professor at the University of Washington John Gottman (John Gottman) studied more than 3 thousand married couples, their behavior and habits. He developed a diagnostic system that allows you to determine with a high degree of probability whether a couple will be together in the future.
One of the questions to help understand this is:
What is the daily behavior of the partner focused on: “I” or “WE”?
In such a difficult matter as marriage, the answer to it decides whether the spouses will part or not. The more selfish their actions, the closer they are to a break.
The temptation to make decisions alone is very strong. The desire for independence and freedom is rooted in human nature. But in family life, permanent independence is destructive.
Thinking and behaving in the style of “I! My! To me!" destroy relationships. Egocentrism is ridiculous in Family Guy and The Simpsons, but in life it leads to collapse. For the first couple of years, you may not notice this, but after a long time, a person gets so tired of the partner’s ego that he is ready to break the connection with him. In 97% of cases, people get divorced after seven years.
Gottman did another study. This time with Robert W. Levenson. The scientists analyzed the past research of colleagues and determined that the seven-year mark in the length of family life is the most vulnerable.
In search of the cause, psychologists have found that “I”-directed thinking leads to a crisis. Egocentrism gives rise to almost daily quarrels, which, in turn, erode the foundation of relationships. It also affects the intimate sphere: the emotions and desires of the partner are ignored, sometimes physical or psychological violence occurs.
Having children increases the chances of a marriage being saved. But if the spouses are not bound by love, but by moral duty, then they will divorce as soon as the children grow up. If there are no children or other mutual obligations (for example, a mortgage), then the couple is unlikely to last even seven years.
But what about "healthy selfishness"?
Is thinking about yourself a bad thing? Indeed, without a strong “I” concept, there is no self-confidence and self-esteem.
Indeed, everything has its positive and negative aspects. But the life of an individual as such and life in marriage are somewhat different things.
Self-esteem is like yin and yang - balance is important. The ability to value yourself is good, if you do not fall into narcissism.
A simple example. You bought a cool sports car without consulting your spouse or ignoring her (his) opinion. In your eyes, you are a lucky person who is envied by everyone. This purchase has increased your ego and perhaps even social status. But what does the wife (husband) feel?
On the other hand, buying, for example, a video game you like does not require discussion at the family council. (Of course, you are not so limited in finances that the choice is between food and play?) Spouses must a priori respect and support each other's interests.
I'm selfish! What should I do now, kill myself?
Many recognize themselves as selfish, but few feel remorse. Is it bad?
In fact, people always act in their own interests. We show selfishness, even helping someone. No matter how altruistic a person is, she is still waiting for a reward - to share joy or receive praise. This is the so-called ethical selfishness. It is seen as a motivational factor - something that makes us do something for others.
However, the desire to help each other atrophies in modern society. The population grows in proportion to the increase in the level of narcissism. Such a phenomenon as a selfie emphasizes a person on his own "I", and the absorption of television content makes him compare himself with the characters on the screens. "Why the hell are they rich and I'm not?"
From childhood, we compare ourselves and others. Me and relatives, me and classmates, me and passers-by. But the media is raising the bar, forcing us to compare ourselves to movie stars and models. Hence the narcissism and the need for constant protrusion of one's "I".
Also, narcissism is characterized by a lack of empathy for people. Such individuals do not show sincere pity and sympathy, even vowing to be with someone in sorrow and joy until death separates
Ok, I understood everything. What to do?
First of all, eradicate the "I"-thinking. Remember the romantic period of your relationship, when you first met or started dating. Then you studied the facets of each other's character and were kind to the opinion of your partner. An amazing metamorphosis took place: two "I" united by common goals and dreams and became "WE". "We get married". "We will live by the sea." "We will give birth to a son."
The romance fades and the ego comes out again. But, believe me, suppressing it does not mean being spineless or abandoning your goals. By abandoning the "I"-thinking, you will return harmony to the relationship.
What saves humanity from death in tragic moments of history (wars, natural disasters, etc.)? That's right, consolidation. Individuals turn into society, relegating disagreements to the background. The picture of the world from the position of "we" is more complete and objective than from its own bell tower. "We" is stronger than "I".
In the face of danger and misfortune, not only spouses unite, but entire nations. Keep this in mind when building family relationships. In his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (published in Russian under the title "Love Map" in 2011), John Gottman gives seven recommendations on how to save a relationship.
Draw a love map. Instead of counting the cracks in the love boat, consider what you are doing to fix it. Do not mindlessly dump your problems on your spouse. The more you seek to understand the desires and feelings of your partner, the more response you will receive.
Cherish love. Offensive words and annoying character traits instantly pop up in memory. Especially in fights. If you want to save a relationship, think about why you fell in love with a person. Write down on paper a list of reasons why you appreciate him.
Be attentive to each other. The couple know each other as they know themselves. If you see that something is wrong with your soulmate (the partner has become deliberately talkative or, on the contrary, silent), do not miss it. Do not arrange interrogations and forced sessions of psychotherapy. Just be there, create the conditions for a loved one to want to share their experiences.
Accept the relationship as a given. You are together, you are a couple. Your decisions and actions affect your partner. Don't act selfishly. Always consider the position of the spouse, consult and come to a common denominator.
Dot the i's. “You throw your socks!”, “And you don’t know how to cook!” Mutual reproaches end in quarrels. Don't criticize - offer a solution. “Honey, can we buy a laundry basket shaped like a basketball basket?” “Honey, can we sign up for a cooking class?”
Look for a way out of the impasse. Both are to blame for the problem. Always. Pouting like a mouse on grits and building walls of imaginary indifference is a dead end. Without the ability to forgive, relationships are doomed. Know how to lay down your weapons and throw out the white flag.
Create common sense. In a relationship, the distribution of roles is important: domestic (I pick up the children from the garden, and I cook dinner) and spiritual. The family differs from the novel in that the two do not just spend time together, but unite lives with a common meaning. Their dreams and desires are inseparable from each other.