I have been married for a few years and I increasingly feel a distance between me and my husband. I grew up with divorced parents and really don’t want my marriage to end like that but I have no idea what to do to improve things. I don’t want to lose him, but every time I try to talk to him about my feelings, he tells me things like I am overreacting and there is nothing wrong. Do you have any ideas that I could use to strengthen my connection to my partner?
This is an important question and one that often doesn’t get asked until many couples reach a point of no return. Statistically we have one of the highest fail rates at relationships in the world. About half of first marriages fail in the U.S., as do two thirds of second marriages and three quarters of third marriages. We fail in large part because we enter into relationships with poor skills for maintaining them and highly unrealistic expectations. The initial biological attraction that initiates most relationships is not a solid foundation to build a long term committed partnership. Rather than learning about the significant qualities of the other, biological and sexual attraction can blind us to who we partner with.
Our idea of romantic courtship and our attachment to the fairy tale happy endings is unique to western culture. Other cultures take a different view of choosing and building a long term partnership with more than half of the marriages on this planet arranged by parents or matchmakers whose primary goals are family harmony and long term suitability. Statistically these arranged partnerships fare better than the romance inspired relationships here. Following are the four primary areas where arranged marriages fare better and some ideas about what to do to build these in your own relationship.