Friday, February 11, 2005

A Recipe for Loving Relationships


My family practice counselor, with whom I meet more or less bl weekly, for psychological well-being "preventive maintenance" writes a periodic column entitled "Family Matters." This week she wrote about a metaphorical couple "the Valentines" to whom she had given pre-marital counseling and who returned seven years later with a threatened marriage. She offered the following four ingredients as a "prescription for marital medication." It occurred to me they might be of value, too, for younger couples with deep relationships who have not yet made a commitment to marry. Her "ingredients" follow:
  1. Acceptance of each other's indivuality and separateness coupled with a willingness to work on your own self- definition.
  2. Willingness to de-focus from your marriage and children (relationships do best when people aren't analyzing them to death) while staying connected - to spend talking when not wanting to talk and listening when not wanting to listen.
  3. Commitment to a larger vision of your marriage - including healthy confrontation - that incorporates pewrserverance even when there is reistance to change and growth.
  4. Curiousity and connection with your families going back to your grandparent's generation which gives depth and strengtrh to adulthood, especially in recognizing the patterns that need reinforcement or eradication.


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