A mere half century ago, life in
Spouses need time together to form a team. Marriage provides the foundation of the family. Husbands and wives start or blend their families based on their love for each other. Marital vows are statements of voluntary commitment and of assuming voluntary responsibility. Unfortunately, many newlyweds feel the victim of “bait-and-switch”, when after the wedding, they come head to head with the reality of life as a full partner in the marriage. But whether they have worn rose-colored glasses during courtship or not, it has always been much easier to get married, than it is to live inside of marriage. After the wedding, those who wish to succeed in marriage must learn to function well as a couple and solve their problems together.
Parenting is also a dedicated partnership. Research on marriage suggests if your spouse doesn’t think you’re a good parent, they probably don’t think you’re a great spouse either. Poor ratings as a parent can seriously interfere with marital satisfaction. When spouses lack confidence in their partner’s commitment to good parenting, they feel the need to take more of the responsibility for their children, and this disappointment can lead to resentment and distance in the marriage. To prevent this deterioration, couples must communicate what they expect of each other as parents, learn to function as a parental team, and solve parent-child problems together.
Another key to close relationships is synchronicity. While work often feels like a relay race, family life is best approached in unison. This means that people eat, sleep, and work or study at the same time. When we do not spend adequate time in the same place doing the same things, it is easy to disconnect from our spouses and children. Miscommunications thrive when we disconnect from each other, leading to wider cracks in the family’s foundation. On the other hand, when families synchronize their schedules, they have time for shared experiences and opportunities to enjoy being together. Family members must devote time to learning how to work together in a supportive way. In other words, you’ve got to be in the same place at the same time.
Schedule your time around your family. Too many of us have fallen into the trap of putting our jobs first. It is natural to put work first when we fear the loss of our job, and when we work for others who do not support family life, but beyond that, many of us fail to put family life on our daily calendars. Once at home, many adults continue to involve themselves in solitary projects which continue to exclude their families. Unfortunately, isolation at home yields further lost opportunities for intimacy with our mates and lost opportunities for closeness with our kids.
Before computers, cell phones and video toys, it used to take two people to play most board games or card games. Before the explosion of television and home movies, most activities required greater interaction between participants. While these technological miracles have revolutionized our lives in wonderful ways, we must not forget that the elementary component of our relationships is each one of us. The fundamental contribution that we have to share with our mates and children is our time. For that… there is no substitute.
©Copyright, 2009, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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