Research shows that the quality of a couple’s friendship plays a huge role in their happiness with their marriage’s romance and passion.
Kindness and helpfulness may not sound like particularly sexy qualities, but turns out – they are. A recent New Yorker cartoon summed this up perfectly. A guy in an SUV is talking into his cell phone: “Hey, baby, I just dropped the kids off at school, and now I’m going to the grocery store, and then I’m going home and unloading the car – am I making you hot?”
I’m working hard to nag less, to say “Thanks” more often, to be more light-hearted, and to stop slinking away when I see the Big Man doing a chore.
I’m also trying to “fight right” – to use gentle words, keep a sense of humor, and let the sun go down on my anger.
Here are some phrases I’ve eliminated (I hope) from my conversation. I’ve learned that you just can’t say such things if you’re trying to fight right:
What’s that supposed to mean?
Haven’t we already had this conversation?
Can’t we talk about this later?
Never mind (sigh), it’s not important.
You always do that.
For once, could you XXX without making a big deal about it?
Can’t we just go?
My personal favorite: Can I tell you one thing? (The Big Man has learned to answer “No!”).
Here’s a truly horrible phrase that I actually did say once, and I writhe with shame every time I remember it: “No backtalk.” Aaaaack! Can you imagine?