September's theme for our social media and blog posts is devotion/faithfulness. Kermit Rowe, one of our Relationship Facilitators shares about the skills needed for a lasting marriage, that many times are in short supply.
Devotion and faithfulness seem to be in short supply in our culture these days. So, when you see these two qualities alive and well in a lasting marriage, you’ve got to wonder what that couple has that about 50 percent of the couples who enter into holy matrimony don’t.
According to the Gottman Institute, the single greatest predictor for a successful marriage is what founder John Gottman calls “repairing skills.” These refer to a couple’s ability to resolve conflict. Of course, this includes having the ability to communicate effectively. Effective communication to marriage is like oxygen to fire – without it, the flame flickers and dies.
This is where nearly every struggling couple who comes to Encompass Connection Center for help in their relationship comes up short. And if you aren’t communicating well, you aren’t going to be able to resolve many conflicts. Our time-tested RINGS curriculum helps couples communicate better, which leads to marital happiness and longevity.
There are other things we can do to aid the devotion and faithfulness found in lasting marriages. One of those is having empathy for one another. Empathy fuels connection which is a key component of intimacy.
Another is the ability to listen. There is a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a physical function; listening is a heart function.
Implementing these repairing skills earlier rather than later is very important. If not, the resentment and ill feelings towards one another may fester and make things worse.
The question is: How? Focus on the Family offers these six predictors of marital success that make for a good marital tool kit and build upon the pointers we’ve already shared:
It’s easy to see that fostering devotion and faithfulness in marriage is hard work. But the payoff is marital bliss.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.