Knowing Your Partners Dreams Improves the Relationship!
Dr. John Gottman, one of the top relationship experts in the world, who has studied couples for 35 years and written numerous books on the subject has discovered that there is an signifcant correlation between knowing your partners dreams, hopes and aspirations and a happy marriage. He called this concept “Building Love Maps” and it means creating in your brain cognitive space for information solely dedicated to your partner. It is what you know about your partner and how well you remember it that matters. It is just like that saying “What have you done for me lately, That’s what matters”. You would never head out on a unknown journey with an old outdated map, yet we often feel that what we knew about our partner when we met him or her is good enough. Just like computers, people are changing and evolving all the time and we have to keep up by updating and downloading new maps of our partner’s world. The more space you allocate for your partner the more they feel known and loved. Doesn’t it feel good to have someone know exactly how to order your coffee at Starbucks? The only way this happens is to ask questions and pay attention to your partner.
A couple recently posted on our website their secret for a happy marriage and it was so perfect it must be restated here.
The husband wrote “Subject: commitment and goal setting”
we were coming from totally different backgrounds and cultures, but realized a stat indicating 97% of couples entering marriage have no long or short term goals-just hoping for the best! He who aims at nothing usually hits it-a famous quote. Every year we have 3-4 getaway times where we focus on goals and aspirations, and measure our progress. Recently at one of these getaways we each took on an assignment-to list 100 dreams, wishes or goals. Absolutely amazing, in fact we are still talking (communicating) about it weeks after. We have been best friends for many years and realized the importance of having strong marriage mentors throughout our journey. I love our marriage.
This couple of course scored very high marks on the “Extreme Relationship Makeover Quiz “
A great movie about love and marriage is Don Juan Demarco. In this movie Johnny Depp’s character ( who thought he was Don Juan Demarco) , was trying to help the character played by Marlon Brando (a psychologist trying to help him through his delusions) get closer to his wife of over 30 years. What finally worked is when Brando said to his wife (Faye Dunaway) “What are your dreams?” She got very emotional and said “ I thought you would never ask”.
Next time you see your partner, instead of asking them if they paid the bills, ask about their dreams yet unfulfilled and see what happens.
Darren Wilk, MA, RCC and Co-owner of Bestmarriages.com