By: Serena Crawford
Many people these days go into a relationship thinking that they absolutely need to be friends with their partner first. Then once they are married they state that their partner is their best friend and there is no one else that they can share everything with. While this is a great way to have a relationship it also puts a lot of pressure on the marriage. When your spouse is the only one that you can turn to and the person that you always turn to when you are having a problem there is very little mystery left. This is just one of the ways that marriage has changed over the years and it is making marriages stronger than ever before.
Way back, centuries ago, marriage was about being with someone to raise a family with and to help you around the farm and with the housework. As the years went on marriages became more about equal partnerships and about love. Nowadays people don’t marry for the housework factor anymore. They marry because they have found someone who they love, who helps their self-esteem, and makes them feel worthy. This comes with a heavy burden however as now that more feelings and emotions are involved in a marriage there are so many things that can go wrong.
As we have evolved we have learned how to deal with other people’s emotions as well as ours. This helps us when we are in a serious relationship but it can also be our downfall. We demand so much from marriages these days that we lose sight of the real meaning of having a partner. We are also spending less time with our spouses which puts additional strain on the marriage. Eli Finkel from Northwestern University has conducted numerous studies on marriage and has noted that from 1975 to 2003 couples with no children went from spending roughly 35 hours per week with each other to just 25 hours. This is largely due to the amount of time that most Americans spend at work these days. When the couple had children they went from 13 hours of alone time together per week to just 9. How can you truly connect with someone when you only see them alone for 9 hours out of the week?
If you feel that you are falling out of touch with your spouse there are some things that you can do together according to Finkel that will help. You can have a date night. Always make sure that you set aside time every week for just yourself and your spouse so that you can reconnect with each other. Also make sure that you both have a hobby so that you have a creative outlet that doesn’t include unleashing all of your feelings onto your partner. It is a great release and cuts down on the demands on each partner.