The observation of 15 to 20% of long-term happy couples has allowed psychologists to unearth some of their secrets. Even though they have faced the same crises and conflicts as unhappy couples, they have learned to react differently.
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Secret # 1: Sharing power
The members of happy couples have a balance of power … as equals. So they share the power, or at least they alternate it. They make the least compromise possible because, in a compromise, both are losers. They are demanding about their couple, but are organized so that there are always two winners. They decided to be happy rather than trying to find out who’s right, who’s wrong. Unlike unlucky couples, they do not seek the approval of their partner but appreciate it when they get it.
Secret # 2: The Right Distance
Happy couples have learned to balance the need for emotional fusion with their desire for autonomy. Being well differentiated, they are then capable of true intimacy. They have found a balance between moments of frustration, which maintain desire, and moments of satisfaction, which revive their happiness. They understood that intimacy is not synonymous with fusion, but that it takes two to be in a relationship. Moreover, they are as happy alone as they are together. Fusion couples are actually the most dysfunctional.
Secret # 3: A True Friendship
The fundamental basis of happy long-term couples, contrary to popular belief, is not passion, but love and friendship, a feeling based on real knowledge of the world. other and not on the intensity of sensations and emotions. Passion may have been the source of their attraction, but it has slowly transformed into a more peaceful, more stable love.
A happy couple is made up of two people who, from passionate lovers, have become two lovers, two parents, two partners, two friends who continue to make love together and carry out projects in the short, medium and long-term. Like friends, they focus on what brings them together, rather than what opposes them. They consider each other as a very special guest in their life.
When questioned by psychologists about the secret of the longevity of their love, the main response of happy couples members is most often: “I never tried to change my partner”.
Secret # 4: Defusing
Happy couples also experience crises, but instead of challenging their relationship, they use their energy and creativity to develop the art of negotiation. Far from outbidding, they defuse any escalation with excuses, humor or giving reason to the other. Psychologists often say that it is the way couples make war that is the true predictor of their evolution and not how they live in peacetime. They organize themselves so that they never need to say: “Do you want to erase everything and start from scratch? “.
Secret # 5: Realism
Happy couple members also read fairy tales, romance novels and watched languorous movies, but they did not take them for reality, even though they could to dream there. They quickly got rid of the many illusions surrounding the couple, love, communication … They were able to give up their adolescent perceptions, egocentric and/or narcissistic. They know that the famous “soul mate” exists only in their head and they have accepted their partner in his daily reality, with his qualities and his faults.
Secret # 6: An Appropriate Partner
Opposites are said to attract each other, but marital science shows that at least 70% of the likeminded partners greatly increase their likelihood of being happy together. Far from having found the famous “soul mate”, which is only an illusion, the members of happy couples are sufficiently compatible to avoid polarization on insoluble marital conflicts: they thus ensure stability and good understanding. But they are also different enough to influence each other, stimulating their creativity and their ability to evolve, but in the same direction.
Secret # 7:
Mutual Trust No relationship – romantic, professional or commercial – can survive if this relationship is not one of mutual trust, mutual respect and admiration. Members of happy couples do not watch each other. Even when they do not agree, they respect each other’s point of view and do not question they are good faith. Even if one does not approve of the other’s personal projects, he will support him, morally and financially, in the realization of his projects.