How do marriages stay happy and not end up in divorce?
In an article by Fatherly, couple therapists, including Dr. Dana McNeil, shed light on some of the most important things that couples should do to keep a happy and healthy marriage. They have put these views together in a list of the 7 Signs Of A Rock-Solid Relationship.
To top the list, Dr. McNeil stressed that building friendship in a marriage is one of the foundations of building a strong marriage.
“Like a real house, if something is going on with the slab or in the crawl space and you try to put the enormous weight of a house on it, you’re asking too much of the foundation and will have problems,” McNeil says. “Those three things go into the basis of friendship, which gives us the foundation to build upon.”
She also believes that couples must work as a team in maintaining their household. They should learn how to be interdependent with each other.
“It’s not codependent but interdependent,” she says. “It’s thinking, ‘My life wouldn’t be the same without you’ and ‘I know what to expect with you even though the entire world is chaotic right now.’”
Applying Gottman’s principles, Dr. McNeil also stated that happy couples always accentuate the positives in their relationship and marriage.
Another simple way to think about it is to practice what many people are taught in grade school: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, McNeil says.
Part of having a positive perspective, per McNeil, is asking, ‘Do I give you the benefit of doubt? Can I be ‘curious instead of furious’ when conflicts arise?’