Love The One You're With

It is time to find out what you are made of.  Are you willing to do what it takes to make your marriage rise above the mundane into the magical?  We hope so, because this week we will share how to Love The One You're With!  

You loved them enough to marry them, now make the choice to enjoy them.  The blessings of this choice will be far reaching for them, you, your family, and friends.

"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can transform our imperfect relationships into purposeful growth and soul-filling companionship.  It is the foundation on which strong relationships are built" (Goddard 66).

How do you Love The One You're With?  


 Dr. John Gottman calls this the Third Principle in his book, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.  He says turning toward your partner is an easy accomplishment, and that real-life romance is fueled by what we would consider humdrum scenes (Gottman 88-89).  

"In marriage, couples are always making what I call 'bids' for each others attention, affection, humor or support. Bids can be as minor as asking for a back-rub or as significant as seeking help in carrying the burden when an aging parent is ill." 
(Gottman 88)

When we hear, see, or think our spouse is calling for a "bid" do we turn toward them and honor the call or turn away and pretend not to notice?  Research confirms couples who respond to their spouses bid an average of 86% of the time remain married, while those who end up divorced only responded 33% of the time (Gottman 88)

"Having faith does not make everything easy.  Rather, faith makes life and it's challenges both bearable and meaning-filled" (Goddard 67). 

Each time you turn toward your partner you are adding to the emotional bank account of your marriage (Gottman 88).  Here is a short list of things to do to turn toward your partner.  You can do them together...or you can do one of these bids for them.  Either way, you will be turning toward them. (For the full list of 50 see Dr. Gottman's book pg 95-96)


1. Reunite at the end of the day and talk about how it went.
2. Shop for groceries. Make up a shopping list.
3. Cook dinner, bake.
4. Clean house, do laundry.
5. Call and/or think about each other during the workday.
6. Exercise together.
7. Read aloud together.
8  Walk the dog together.
9. Find time to talk without interruptions.
10.Go on weekend outings (e.g., picnics, drives).

These are little ways to turn toward your spouse, but they give BIG returns for your investment to have an enjoyable, happy marriage.

"Remember, working briefly on your marriage every day will do more for your health and longevity than working out at a healthy club" (Gottman 279).

Dr. Gottman found a successful practice for couples.  This dramatically affected their marriages in positive ways.  They only had to spend an extra 6 hours a week, but the results, he said, were phenomenal (Gottman 278).

Partings: Spend 2 minutes each day of a work week (5 days) while saying goodbye to find out what your spouse will be doing that day.  TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes.

Reunions: Spend 20 minutes at the end of the day (5 days) to have a stress-reducing conversation about your day.  Also take time to kiss and hug...the kiss should be at least 6 seconds to make it count. TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 40 minutes.

Admiration and Appreciation: Spend 5 minutes a day communicating genuine love and appreciation, with your words or as a response to their bids. TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

Affection: Spend 5 minutes a day showing physical affection, like an embrace before bedtime.  TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes.  

Weekly Date/Date Night: Spend 2 hours once a week on a date.  Just the two of you.  TOTAL TIME: 2 hours.

State of the Union Meeting/Companionship Inventory: Spend one hour to talk about your relationship that week.  Make this a sacred time where you take turns sharing your appreciations and concerns.  A time where you are each safe to express yourself without defensive reactions.  Keep it gentle and loving.  You can go over short term plans for the following week and long term goals as a couple. TOTAL TIME: 1 hour.

GRAND TOTAL: 6 hours a week

(Gottman 278-279)

That is it!  The magical six hours to keep you turning toward your spouse with love, gratitude and affection.  There are no rules against spending more time, but this is an example of the little bids it takes to make a marriage a great success, where happiness and enjoyment is felt by all.   

President Howard W. Hunter taught us that "whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives.  If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives.  If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives."

Work Cited
Gottman, John, Silver, Nan. The seven principles for making marriage work. Harmony Books. New York. 2015 edition. Print.

Goddard, H. Wallace. Drawing heaven into your marriage. Joymap Publishing. Utah.  2009. Print.  

All Photos are found on the enet with no copyrights given. 


Popular posts from this blog

Treating In-Laws like Family, not Out-Laws

Sex as God Intended It

United We Stand in Marriage, Families, Communites, the World, and with God