Is that an understatement, or what? Even in the most loving relationship, there will be ups and downs. We get busy. We’re tired. We lose our focus and miss what our partner is saying. We get grumpy. We’re hungry. We’re frustrated. We’re excited. We’re …. Well, you get the picture.
It’s all about grace.
According to Dr. John Gottman, marriage researcher, we make “bids” for our partner’s attention all the time. By a look, a gesture, a sigh, a statement, a question, a text, a phone call, an email, we are saying, “I want to connect with you.” The truth is that none of us can respond positively 100% of the time. We need our partner to give us grace (unmerited favor) in that regard.
What percentage of positive responses is needed to be a “happy” couple?
Dr. Gottman reports that couples in successful marriages respond positively to one another’s bids for attention, closeness, and/or reassurance 86% of the time. That means that 14% of the time, your partner can “miss” your bid without damage to your relationship!
So what is the “something” you could do?
There are several things. First, realize that neither of you is perfect. Only Our Heavenly Father is Perfect. Therefore, extend grace to your partner.
Second, pay attention to your own failure to recognize your partner’s bids for your attention. Ask him (or her, as the case may be) to rate how well you’re doing: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how well am I doing at meeting your needs for my attention, closeness, and reassurance?”
Finally, be confident. If you love each other, the rest is detail. And if you get stuck in the detail, help is available.
He who finds a wife finds what is good
and receives favor from the Lord. ~ Proverbs 18:22