According to John M. Gottman, a Psychology Professor at the Washington University, there are SEVEN fundamental questions you should ask yourself, or ask each other in order to know where you stand in a relationship.
- Do we take interest into each other's lives?
- Do we have respect and admiration for each other?
- Do we wish to share our emotions?
- Are we ready to let ourselves be influenced by the other?
- Are we capable of solving minor conflicts?
- Are we ready to question ourselves in order to solve a conflict?
- Do we share the same conception of life and of our future?
If you answer "YES" to all questions, you're one hard rock couple.
If you answer "No" or hesitate over one question, you need to think about making your relationship a sound one.
Here are the typical, normal, I always hear conversations or see scenes between husbands and wife whose lives am part of. Because they're friends, acquaintances.
Husband yawns, puts on the slippers an heads to the bathroom. No second glance at the rumpled ed covers.
Wife in kitchen struggling with a bunch of cereal killer kids.
She (screaming over the kids morning lung strengthening exercise): Are you going to break fast.
She: What? (to the kids) just shut up and keep quiet, I can't hear your father!
He: Can't you make them SHUT UP!!! (under his breath) Can't even here myself thinking.
She: And what do you think am doing huh? And.... (her shrieks are covered by the sound of the running shower and the cereal killer kids' shouts).
He: I gotta go. Am late.
She: Are you not going to have breakfast?
She: Are you going to grab something on your way?
She: pardon my asking. That's what I get for caring. Insults.
He: Insults? Who insulted you?
She: See. That's what I meant (pained look).
He: Huh, Ok,we'll talk about it later.
She: That's it. Yeah. Sure. We'll talk about it (she mimics).
He (looking at loss): hmm, Ok bye.... bye... huh... Cherie.
She angry, angry,angry turns away the cheek he's bending over to kiss.
He shrugs and goes to work.
On the way, he'd grab something to eat.
She (on the phone): What do you wanna eat tonight.
He: Anything would be alright.
She: Anything is not on the menu. What do you want to eat.
He: Ok, what about some roti and curry?
She: That's what we ate yesterday. How are you to know. You seldom eat at your place with your family now.
He: I had a meeting. You know that.
She: I don't know anything at all.
He: What do you mean you don't know nothing at all. I told you I had a meeting.
She: Sure. Whatever. (hangs up)
Husband looking bushed has no meeting today. He's back home.
“Daddy, Daddy, Daddy”chant the kids.
“Leave you Dad alone, he's tired” says She.
He: What are we eating?
He (not in the mood for a fight): Ok.
“Food, Food, Food!” chant the kids.
She: What do you mean Ok?
(She's sure he's making fun of her)
She: You don't even listen to me when I talk to you.
He: What did I say?
I'd love having your analysis on these “conversations”. What's your prognostic for this couple? Two more years together? Less? Say it!
Of course, the conversations differ in relation to the families situation.
- The both working parents with kids “converse” about who's going to pick the kids up from school.
- The childless both working newly married couple have “where are you?” phone conversations.