The Secret to A Lasting Marriage

I heard this audio of an elderly man recounting the success of his 60+ year marriage. When asked how he stayed happy in his marriage he said it was remembering, “she didn’t mean no harm.

How often do we get caught up in an argument that we forget the person we’re arguing with is someone we love, and who loves us? When we get caught up in a frantic need to defend our side of things, we forget: someone who loves us, would never try to cause us harm, and visa versa. Forgeting that is the number one cause of strife in a relationship. Why? Because we feel like we are being pained, and when we feel like we’re being pained our body begins a process which we can no longer control.

When we think we’re being hurt — we become defensive and we feel the need toprotect ourselves, our pride, our character.

IT’S FIGHT OR FLIGHT.

In October of this year, Yahoo! Health published an article called, “What’s Going on in your Brain and Body During an Argument by Melissa Bykofsky. In which she discusses with Stan Tatkin what ultimately happens to our brain when our body commits to an argument.

“An overstressed brain is compromised in its ability to manage complex social situations,” says Tatkin. “An overstressed brain is more likely to go to war than one that is not. A warring brain does not care if the threat is coming from a loved one. It shoots first and asks questions later.”

Start every day reminding yourself, “my loved one doesn’t want to hurt me.” Let go of the feeling that they care more about themselves than about you. What this does (in addition to reducing your need to defend) is, creates a sense of responsibility on your side. So the next time you approach your loved one about something that has made you unhappy, you will have already determined that it’s not your desire to hurt them either.

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