Dr. John Gottman, who has researched couples for a few decades at The Gottman Institute, has determined that if you have 5:1 ratio of good interactions to poor interactions, your marriage will be solid. What if you had 10:1—or more? 5:1 seems as though you’d have some pretty sh!**y days on a regular basis. Please don’t set a low bar for yourselves.
What does investment look like?
1. Be complementary; say what you appreciate or are grateful for
2. Touch, even a quick squeeze on the shoulder just for contact
3. One cooks and the other cleans up
4. Truly seeing and hearing each other (20 minutes/day)
5. Find out what your partner loves the most in bed and get really good at it
6. Do things to give pleasure to your beloved, even (and especially) if it’s out of your comfort zone
7. Make time for each other—when you still have energy left, not as the leftovers
8. Give small, medium or big gifts once in a while (flowers, new tools, a trip, something related to a hobby, etc.)
9. Talking about your relationship and what you want to do to make it even stronger
10. Spending time doing what you each enjoy (not all one person’s likes)
11. Carve out time for individual needs as well (exercise, hobbies)
12. Remember your marriage comes first, your kids a close second (your healthy relationship is the roof over their heads and teaches them how to have healthy relationships when they grow up)
13. Get away overnight without kids a few times a year (you can do a kid swap with friends to allow this to happen if you don’t have family nearby)
Add more to this list. Your investments can pay off in the short and long term.