Back when I was getting into all this stuff in the late 60s and 70s, we thought the thing to do was to sit down. We thought that a really happy relationship was where you could sit just talk about the deepest possible stuff, as often as possible. And, in fact, the data shows that’s not actually correlated with a satisfying or happy marriage. That’s not what happy couples do. It’s not that happy couples don’t do that, but that’s not the thing the predicts a couple being happy. The thing that predicts a couple being happy is, when they disagree and argue, do they laugh? When one of them says “hey I heard about this thing that happened…” the other one is interested. That’s called Making a Bid for Connection. So do you make a bid for connecting? It’s simple. A happy relationship to a great extent is made out of just little kindnesses.
You know, at the end of the day the research shows that the advice your wise grandmother gave you, is right. Don’t be mean to each other. When you feel bad, find a way to tell the other person what you need. Every chance you get, be kind. Express love for that person. In every way that you can, build up the sense in your home – this is somebody who really cares about another person.