Staying Together: It’s a Decision
When a couple hits the 50 year mark in their relationship and celebrates that partnership, it’s not just chance. Luck does play a role, in the sense that two people cross paths with each other. What happens from there involves lots of decisions. There is the decision to treat one’s partner with respect and to accept influence from your partner. There are small decisions every day to create mutual give and take about issues that are important to your partner. There are decisions about how we communicate needs and preferences so we accept differences and resolve them without conflicts.
In a New York Times article, the actress Julia Louis Dreyfuss and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi sat down for a frank conversation about balancing demanding careers, kids and marriage and they both agreed that making the necessary adjustments to keep the relationship working is a decision.
JLD: “I married the right guy for me, and that was lucky. But my marriage and my family have been a priority. That may sound stupid. Many people would say exactly that. But I worked very, very hard to keep us intact. And it’s been my pleasure, because it’s the only way I could have survived in this business — with my family unit in place.”
NP: ” I think Julia said it perfectly. A successful marriage is a decision. You decide it’s going to work. You can’t always be there, but you have to be there enough. And you have to make sure you are where you’re needed most. Sometimes it’s here, sometimes it’s there; sometimes it’s a tie and you have to prioritize. But it’s always a decision. My husband and I met in college. We couldn’t have thought of every possible thing back then. But here we are. We just had our 50th wedding anniversary. It’s worked.”
What decisions do you make that keep your relationship moving forward? There are many decision points throughout each day that affect your relationship. Attunement is about being conscious of those decision points and making the right decision for your relationship. In the next blog post we’ll address the idea of “it’s worked” vs. “it’s work.”