5 ways not communicating can enhance your marriage.
Stop the presses! We have discovered the most important ingredient of a successful marriage! And you know what it is? The answer is . . . drum roll, please . . . allowing time for those who inhabit the relationship to be alone!
Successfully marriedcouples around the world over our past 30+ years of interviews have told us this very simple truth during our interviews with them – the secret to their successful marriage is having time to be all to themselves – to their own thoughts, their own meditations, their own self, and their own physical space.
Isn’t this an interesting notion? In the best marital relationships between a man and a woman, having time alone tops the chart of what makes their marriage work. You can take this advice to the bank!
We have heard this expression, or some variation of it, over and over during our travels and interviews on the world’s seven continents. The amazing consistency of the stories we have heard about aloneness have surprised us on the one hand, but have assured us on the other. Here’s why.
This is what we have learned to be true – the most important ingredient of a successful marriage is to be content with yourself. Only those who are capable and willing to spend time alone can be described as content with themselves.
This contentment with self is so very important to a successful marriage. What we have learned from these successfully married couples is this – if you can’t live in your own skin, it is difficult to share yourself with someone else. Being content with oneself is the pre-requisite to engaging in a healthy, happy, and successful relationship with another human being.
There are many lessons to be learned from this notion of aloneness in a successful marriage, but the most essential are:
The most important pre-requisite to a successful relationship with another person is this – being content with yourself. Learn to live within your own skin. Liking you comes first. Liking yourself allows for the development of positive relationships with others. Work on this notion as if your marriage depended on it!
Respecting your own need for privacy and aloneness is an important first step in building a loving relationship with your spouse. There is a fundamental predisposition of every human being to have time alone. Recognizing and understanding that need in yourself and your spouse is a huge step towards building a love that lasts.
Aloneness is not a bad word! Spending time alone is good for everyone. Not recognizing this need can be highly detrimental to your relationship with the one you love. Learn this lesson well. If you never give yourself or the one you love time to be alone, you do so at the detriment of your relationship.
Too many failed marriages report to us this fact with alarming consistency – their spouse would not give them time to be alone to themselves. When we probed the meaning of all this they reported to us one important finding – "My spouse suffocates me!" The meaning of suffocation in a nutshell – I had no time to my own thoughts, my own being, and my own feelings. My spouse did not respect my need nor their own, to be alone. The suffocation destroyed our marriage!
We feel assured that the need to be alone is a "universal truth." Successfully and happily married couples around the world have reported this "truth" to us repeatedly and overtly. This notion is not an American thing. It is not a European thing. It is not an Asian thing. The secret ingredient for the best marriages around the world is to respect the need for privacy and aloneness in yourself and in the one you love. Never forget it! All successful marriages are built on this foundation.
1. The Ceramic Squirrel Incident. In December of 2013, a South Carolina woman named Helen Williams went totally bat shit on her husband when he didn't come home from the store with beer. Doing what I'm pretty sure any of us would do in the same situation, she reached for her trusty ceramic squirrel and proceeded to stab her main squeeze with it. When authorities showed up, Helen told them that her husband fell and cut himself all while being covered in blood herself. Not only is Helen a ceramic squirrel-wielding beer fiend, but a horrible liar too.
2. The "Dog Got Served Before Me" Incident. When his wife dared to give the family dog water before serving his dinner, New Jersey man Darryl Camp went after her with a machete ... along with a figurine from the fish tank. But before we peg Camp as some sort of abusive loon, we need to take a step back and realize he was just protecting himself from his wife — who, according to Camp's attorney, once tried to run him over with a car.
3. The Cheez-Its Incident. In April 2012 after enjoying a delightful "Earth Day" concert, a Florida woman returned home to her menacing husband, Andy Gatz, who wasn't in the best of moods. For reasons that were not entirely clear, Gatz became enraged that his wife had gone to the concert so he hurled a box of Cheez-Its at her.
4. The McChicken Incident. When a 911 dispatcher in Des Moines, Iowa took a call from a pregnant woman, the dispatcher probably couldn't have guessed what they would hear next. What did the pregnant woman have to say for herself? Oh, just that her husband, Marvin Tramaine Hill II, had thrown a McChicken sandwich at her not once, but twice then proceeded to rub the bun on her face.
5. The Weekly Attack Incident. Having suffered at the hands of his abusive wife for years, a Chinese man decided to take control of his abuse and allow his wife to attack him once a week. Mr. Zhang admitted to a local Chinese paper that he fell in love with his wife because of her "strong and independent temperament," so he sort of knew what he was getting into when he decided to marry the woman, don't you think?
6. The Fifty Shades of Grey Incident. If you think back to 2012 really hard, you'll probably be able to recall that that was the year that Fifty Shades of Grey came out. You couldn't go anywhere without people talking about the book and suddenly you found yourself in awkward conversations with your mom, because yes, everyone and their mother was actually reading it.
8. The Facebook Photo Incident. When a Claxton, Tennessee resident, Lowell Turpin, noticed that his girlfriend had posted a photo of a man he did not know on Facebook, he had a bit of a breakdown. First he demanded to know who the man was, then he threw her computer at the wall and punched her face.
9. The "White Day" Incident. Just last month, on March 14th to be exact, a Japanese woman was arrested for trying to kill her husband because he didn't give her a gift on "White Day." By Japanese tradition, it's the women who give gifts on Valentine's Day; then a month later it's the man's turn to give their loved ones a little something special.
10. The Hat Incident. After her husband refused to buy a hat for her in Nashville, one fine September day, Sommer Trent lost her cool and attacked the man. They were outside Jimmy Buffett's in Margaritaville when Trent took her husband's cowboy hat from his head, hurled it into the street, then viciously grabbed him by the throat in front of horrified onlookers. Trent was arrested and booked and we're guessing she never got that hat she wanted so badly.
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts
**For marriage advice and hundreds of practical tips, read the Doctors' best-selling and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts. Available wherever books are sold. Learn How to Marry the Right Guy when you read the Doctors' latest book--2014 Mom's Choice Awards Gold Medal for Best Relationship Book and 2014 Eric Hoffer Gold Medal for Best Self-Help Book, and the Learn more about America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
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