Yes, it’s leap year again. In ten days time that window of opportunity when women can ask their man to marry them will come around again. Sounds fairly innocuous, but ladies, think twice!Research carried out by the University of Denver indicates that this may not be such a good idea
.It seems that men who move in with their girlfriend without proposing to them beforehand, are less likely to be committed to any subsequent marriage. Men need to decide to commit to marriage rather than slide into it.
The research shows a difference between men and women insofar as women are generally committed when they move in with their boyfriend whereas men are not committed until they actually make that decision to get married.
Women assume they are both equally committed because they live together, but this is not always so. I have had quite a number of men clients who have been in live in relationships for years and who see it as living with their girlfriends, which is not the same level of commitment they’d feel if she was his wife. They just never made that decision. Women are usually in for the long haul and assume he is too.
It can seem a romantic gesture on a woman’s part to pop the question, but it is probably worth paying attention to the research findings. If you really want to be married to him, then perhaps it is wiser to simply raise the subject and have an adult to adult conversation about his intentions and both your future plans.
One of the great Relationship Masters, John Gottman and his wife did an extensive study of what made marriage relationships successful; looking at those couples who stayed together and made their marriages work.
They found that they could predict with 96% accuracy which couples would break up. The looked for patterns that separated the Masters from the Disasters.
The Disasters had these traits in common, they blamed each other and became defensive, and presented themselves as a Victim. They were critical of their partner whilst seeing themselves as superior and talked down to the other in a contemptuous way, or they would Stonewall them, not speaking to them for days at a time..
The Masters on the other hand, took responsibility for their own behaviours
One of the big differences was the Masters had the ability to repair the relationship; to say they were sorry and wanted to make things better. They wanted to maintain friendship with each other, and they were also receptive to the other partners repair attempts.
Gottman called the four most damaging habits, the four horsemen of the apocalypse;
If any of these are present in your relationship, know that it will not last unless you seriously set about eliminating these behaviours today!
The concept of Love Languages was popularised by writer Gary Chapman in his book, The 5 Love Languages. Geared to promoting relationship harmony and a happy marriage, he talks about the fact that there are 5 main ways that people receive love, and these are;
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
As a rule what happens with most couples is that they show love to their partners in the way that they like to be loved, which may not be the way their partner receives love. For example a wife might feel loved if her husband helps her with household chores, and he might feel loved by being touched and caressed. It is likely that he will express his love with kisses and cuddles when she might really wish he would help with a bit of work around the house. She might cook lovely meals for him to show she loves him, but he wants to be touched. Both finish up feeling unloved and unappreciated.
How do you like to be loved? How does your spouse like to be loved? Why not check this out with each other. You may get a surprise
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Many couples tend not to consider the developmental nature of relationships, and the process of moving from being single to becoming a couple; how we move through various stages from meeting, dating and then perhaps falling in love.
But being in love with someone is not the same as being in a committed relationship with them. Moving in to live with someone certainly is the action of someone who appears to be committed but that is not always the case. What can be commitment to one person can be cosy convenience to another. This is why couples need to have explicit conversations about commitment and where that may lead.
This video talks you through the evolution of a relationship.
Love well and be happy!