Years ago when you sat in math class I doubt that you were daydreaming about marriage. Perhaps your mind was on that cute guy or gal on the playground, but not marriage. Yet there are two math facts that I want clients that come to couple counseling to consider.
Math Fact # 1: The 5 to 1 Principle
Five minutes of loving, intentional, romantic connection equals one day of harmony.
Periodically every long-term marriage suffers from a case of the relationship “blahs”. Nothing is terribly wrong, but nothing is terribly right either. Perhaps you are too busy, too tired, or too stressed to relate effectively. Definitely you’re too tired to consider marriage counseling or anything that might involve work. Hopefully, the lyrics of this corny country western song, do not describe your relationship. “Don’ kiss me like we’re married, kiss me like we’re lovers.” (K.T. Oslin) Yuck! If we’re honest there are times when we act as if our mate is invisible or a nuisance. That’s when we need to do the math.
Test the 5 to 1 Principle
What action could you initiate for five minutes that would give your mate a clear message that they are important and desirable?
- It might be as simple as being really present and interested when our lover tells us about something that interests them that is of little interest to us.
- A five-minute foot rub with lotion or essential oils can be a delightful experience.
- Offering to help your mate get dressed or undressed can light up your love life.
- Giving your partner a shoulder rub while they talk about the challenges in their day might relieve a little stress on both sides.
- Calling or texting your partner and leaving a short message about how important they are to you can brighten their day.
- Writing a love note and putting it on the steering wheel of his car or in her make-up bag can add color to your relationship.
Any touch, word, or action that says, “I’m thinking of you and those thoughts bring me delight” demonstrate the power of the 5 to 1 principle. Each of these ideas is guaranteed to flavor the interactions following them.
Intentional expressions of love keep on giving long after they are offered.
You may think that a kiss is just a kiss, however, when one partner makes a loving gesture and it gets noticed by the other partner, who then reciprocates with their own loving gesture, the changes start to have a positive snowball effect.
Math Fact # 2: 80% of the results in your relationship come from 20% of your effort.
It isn’t so much the bad stuff, but rather the lack of good stuff that causes complacency. Two million-dollar questions are…
“How can we increase the number of positive moments that we share?”
“What fun activities have an energizing effect on the two of us?”
Women don’t withhold and expect your hubby to be the only initiator of romance and fun. Men, your passivity screams at your wife. It’s fun to be surprised by joy and laughter. Our Creator designed us to initiate love, and laughter and joy in our relationships.
In marriage counseling I often ask a discouraged couple when the last time was that they shared a really good belly laugh. Has it been a long time since you chased each other around the yard or bedroom? When was the last time you danced to lively music in your own home, or squirted each other with hoses or gave each other a deep massage?
Frankly we need to liven up the mix from time to time. We need to turn things upside down periodically. When we throw our mate an occasional curve ball they get the message that we enjoy them! It’s fun to share life together.
Perhaps these aren’t the math facts that you learned in school, but as a marriage and family therapist, I promise that if you take this math lesson seriously you and your partner will both benefit. The more active we are in initiating fun, laughter, connection and gratitude the better we will feel about our marriage, our mate, and ourselves.
How will you score on the next math quiz?
Until the next Conscious Lover’s Blog…