One of the best things I was ever taught in my psychology classes at university was by professor Dr Jodie Bradnam, who taught the 'Love, Sex and Relationships' class.
Jodie taught me her secret for marriage and it really stuck with me. So much so, that I use it with my couples counselling clients.
The Behavioural Marriage Jar
Anyhow, the 'Marriage Jar' is a simple concept that the mind can easily 'get.' It is amazing how this simple idea can adjust one's behaviour every day. Basically, it works like this: When you are first together, the jar is full. As time goes by, the jar empties. For every kind gesture, kiss, supportive comment, intimate moment, lunch pack made, etcetera, two marbles go in. For every sarcastic remark, episode of not listening or avoidance of connection, five marbles come out. (Ratio 2:5)
The Love Note Marriage Jar
The “Marriage Jar” can even be a real jar. Some people put post-it notes of gratitude in a bowl or jar for the other person to read. So that the partner knows they are appreciated and the little things don't go unnoticed. Notes that say, 'I love it when you bathe the kids without me asking.' 'You looked so hot the other night when we went out. ' I was impressed at your skills changing my car battery.' 'Thanks for paying that parking fine.' These little notes can mean so much to a couple that are under financial strain, have little time for date nights, or have a multitude of pressures.
The Empty Marriage Jar
When the marriage jar is running on empty for long periods, it cannot be sustained. One person will inevitably ditch the relationship, or release the pressure of conflict with a third party (cheating). These simple concepts are preventative measures. The marriage jar needs to be replenished regularly. It should be cherished and FED DAILY.
What Fills the Marriage Jar?
Kindness, thoughtfulness, appreciation, nurturing and encouragement are just a few things that can fill a marriage jar.
Say, "Thank you." Say, "I fancy you." Say, "I think you are beautiful."
Instead of noticing what your partner does not do, focus on the positives. We can't control another person, but we can reinforce behaviour that we like
Couples Counselling: Get some new strategies for conflict resolution. Better communication. Do a workshop. Invest in your relationship.
Learning your partner's Love Language will also give you brownie points. Go to: www.5lovelanguages.com
Remember the golden rule for our base needs from our partners. Think of it as the bottom (foundation) of a relationship pyramid: The currency for men is Admiration and Praise. The currency for women is Safety (emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, personal growth) and Protection.
Let's have a chat over a cuppa.