So much of relationship is about routine and safety. When two people know what to expect when they’re coming home to their parters, they feel safe and secure. Connection comes easier than when there is instability or unpredictability. According to Stan Tatkin, author of “Wired for Love”, Partnership is home.
In his eyes, the two participants in a couple are in each other’s care. It is their job and obligation to keep in mind what the other person needs. “You can and should be your partner’s best antidepressant and anti anxiety agent”, he writes.
According to Stan Tatkin, research has shown that couples who have different rhythms, like one being a night owl and the other an early riser, experience more instability in their relationship. Couples who go to bed and get up at different times tend to argue more than others.
He recommends that couples make an effort to get up and retire at the same time. This way is is easier to create rituals, such as reading to each other before turning off the lights, cuddling, praying together or talking about their day. In the morning, partners can enjoy breakfast or work out together. Some couples make the effort to simply gaze into each others eyes before they go to sleep or after waking. Prolonged eye gazing is said to increase the emotional bond between just about any two people who engage in it.
Any kind of separation, whether it’s going to work, taking a trip apart or sleeping through the night requires a “landing” – a brief period of time where the partners reconnect. If the wife comes home from a trip and the husband just grabs her bags at the airport and rushes to the car, chances are that there will be an argument on their trip home. If they take the time to reconnect, simply by paying attention to each other, or having a friendly conversation, harmony is established immediately.
Paying attention to your spouse is one of the great gifts you can give to each other. “Listening is an act of love” as they say. That’s especially important if you think you’ve heard all your partners’ stories before.