5. Integrating responsible self-care with care for the marriage
What may be perhaps the greatest challenge of any marriage is that of simultaneously addressing and fulfilling one’s own needs without neglecting those of the relationship. Nearly all of the couples that we spoke with were adept at both of these aspects of their lives and tended to see them as so inextricably linked that there was no apparent conflict or even difference between the two. They frequently tended to see their own well-being as inextricably linked to the health of their relationship and approached this responsibility with a sense of privilege, rather than a sense of duty or obligation.
6. Living in gratitude
For most of these people, the glass is always half-full. They are fundamentally optimistic, and that sense of optimism generally spills over to their marriage, as well as to other relationships in their lives. It is important to note that many of them hadn’t always had a natural temperament towards optimism, but had cultivated it in the course of their marriage. Many were influenced by an optimistic partner whose attitude supported them to cultivate a more positive worldview in their own lives. Consequently, there was a strong tendency to feel and express gratitude to each other and to others on an ongoing basis. This tendency to live in gratitude becomes a self-reinforcing experience that over time seems to permeate one’s overall quality of life experience.
Those who are in the graduating classes ahead of us have a lot to offer from their vast life experience. We are wise when we heed their advice.
Written by Linda & Charlie Bloom
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