Monday, 9 July 2012
Marriage-Killers - Part 4
In the May 26, 2012 issue of the Vancouver Sun, Tara Carsman and Douglas Todd “embarked upon a highly unscientific study” to find out what academics, counsellors and divorce survivors thought were the Marriage-Killers. In the May 26, 2012 issue of the Vancouver Sun, Tara Carsman and Douglas Todd “embarked upon a highly unscientific study” to find out what academics, counsellors and divorce survivors thought were the Marriage-Killers. Not surprisingly, a lack of connection was one of the top culprits.
A constant state of conflict, even arguing over small issues, slowly but eventually reduces the intimacy in the relationship. Although this in itself is not the cause of the breakdown of the marriage, “it undermines the connection, the glue that keeps people together”, suggests relationship counsellor, John Bolland.Ironically, Mr. Bolland points out that another Marriage-Killer is ‘avoiding conflict’. He goes on to explain that avoiding conflict can lead to disconnection. So “if there’s tension, it’s best to bring it up”, deal with it and move.
A successful marriage requires a couple to enjoy common interests and fun activities together; a chance to reconnect over something other than parenting and paying bills. The key to having fun together is to find pastimes that are mutually entertaining, rather than pushing one spouse to learn to enjoy the hobbies and prefer adventures of the other.
I would offer that searching for things to be done together, enjoyably, can be its own exercise in personal growth, and allows spouses to become further ‘tuned in’ to the needs and wants of the other spouse.
And while on the topic of “Connectivity”, I would like to add in another Marriage-Killer: children!Although Ms. Carsman and Mr. Todd separate ‘Lack of Connection’ and ‘Child-centric Relationships’, I think that they are intricately interwoven. According to John Boland, a child-centered family is at the top of his list of “ways to mess up”. The relationship of the spouses becomes secondary to the needs of the children. I suspect that such Child-centric parents are not spending time together as a couple only since they are busy being parents.
The greatest challenge to couples with children is finding the perfect balance of doting parent and attentive partner. ..if there is a perfect balance.