TIPS for Staying Happily Married - 3/20/08
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Sun Mar 23 15:05:52 EDT 2008
- TWIN BEDS (OR BEDROOMS) MAY BENEFIT MARRIAGES
- COUPLES FOR COUPLES SUPPORT
- 5 THINGS SUPER-HAPPY COUPLES DO EVERY DAY
- TWIN BEDS (OR BEDROOMS) MAY BENEFIT MARRIAGES
Twin beds may benefit marriages
March 23, 2008
LONDON, March 23 (UPI) -- British sleep researchers say the secret of a
happy marriage may be separate beds -- or even separate bedrooms.
The Sleep Council reports that when couples share a bed both may be woken
about six times during the night by their partners, The Times of London
said. The problem is worse if one or both snores or has restless leg
About 25 percent of British adults snore, the British Snoring and Sleep
Apnea Association said. The problem may cost their partners two hours of
sleep every night.
In the United States, researchers at the University of Wisconsin found that
the greatest marital problems seem to occur when one partner is a lark,
getting up early in the morning ready for the day, and the other an owl who
prefers to stay up late and sleep in. A California woman ended up getting a
divorce because she got fed up with her husband's habit of staying up late
playing computer games.
For other couples, separate bedrooms could be the right choice. The National
Association of Home Builders predicted that by 2015 a majority of
custom-built homes will have his-and-hers master bedrooms.
- COUPLES SUPPORT
Friendships with other couples that value marriage strengthen your own
Couples find soul mates to share life's highs, lows
By By Andria Lisle
Special to The Commercial Appeal
March 20, 2008
Whenever Ricky and Lucy Ricardo were bored, they could depend on Fred and
Ethel Mertz to liven things up.
Rob and Laura Petrie, on "The Dick Van Dyke Show," counted on their
next-door neighbors, Jerry and Millie Helper, for dinner parties, double
dates and cooking out in the backyard.
Even the Flintstones had the Rubbles to turn to whenever things got rough.
These days, however, most couples can hardly eke out time to spend together
-- let alone find the energy to court new friends.
Yet, most professionals insist, whether you share childcare duties or
margaritas by the pool, having another couple to hang out with is compulsory
for a healthy marriage.
"I think there's a myth that some people carry into marriage, where they
think the marriage will meet all their emotional needs," says Dr. Lee
Horton, an East Memphis-based psychologist and marriage counselor who runs
the Web site RelationshipCrisis.com.
"There's real evidence that the more social support couples have, the more
successful they'll be," he says.
Sometimes, making the transition from single life to a lasting relationship
is tough enough.
"When you're first married, you're trying to nurture that relationship with
your partner," Horton says. "When you have kids, you're trying to nurture
their relationships. Another factor, which is endemic to society in general,
is that it's easier to stay at home -- especially when you've got a movie
theater in your living room. In today's world, you might know the people
from "Grey's Anatomy" better than your own neighbors."
Thirty-three-year-old New York resident Jay
Chalnick found himself in that very boat.
"After eight years in Manhattan, my wife and I moved to the suburbs,"
Chalnick explains. "We were 23 miles north of the city, and we didn't have
any couple friends to go out to dinner with on the spur of the moment. At
the same time, my dad had divorced and lost all his couple friends."
"I started thinking, what other transitions affect couples? They get engaged
or married, and they don't go to bars anymore. They have a kid, and want to
have friends with kids. Or, they don't have kids, and don't want to deal
with children running around. People go through divorces, or start new
relationships. They move to a new area, or buy a second home, where they
don't know anyone."
In April 2006, Chalnick founded the Web site http://www.Couplets.com.
Since then, he's helped thousands of couples in 48 states find platonic
friends with similar interests.
"This isn't a replacement for meeting people at the town center, at church
or temple, or at a soccer game," Chalnick says. "We're all ridiculously
busy, and this is just an easy way to narrow down your search for
like-minded people. Conceivably, you could spend the rest of your life with
your spouse and be happy, but it's human nature to make new friends."
There are other online sites that facilitate real-life couple friendships,
including http://www.CouplesWorldWide.com, http://www.Kupples.com, and
Here in Memphis, it seems couples prefer to make friends the old-fashioned
way -- in person -- by finding like-minded prospects via church, their
hobbies or work.
When Jessica and Joshua Wright were married 51/2 years ago, they lived
locally -- but left for Knoxville soon after so Jessica, 26, could get her
master's degree at the University of Tennessee.
After returning to Memphis in July 2006, the Wrights forged new friendships
by joining the Young Adults Ministry at Calvary Episcopal Church Downtown.
"We'd lost a lot of single friends when we got married," Jessica says.
"People moved, work situations changed and we weren't able to keep in touch
with some people. Calvary became a stepping stone for us -- it's allowed us
to get to know people we wouldn't have otherwise met. We've got some good
couple friends now, and we get together and have dinner, or basically just
hang out and talk."
"Your marriage won't make it unless you're plugged into couples of the same
age," says 38-year-old Steven Holley, a financial analyst at FedEx. "When
you come together as a husband and wife, you need couples with the same
interests as you."
"We've tried it both ways," says Leigh Holley, his wife.
"We were very focused on each other, and we isolated ourselves because we
thought we didn't need anyone else," 36-year-old Leigh said, recalling her
first few years of married life.
The Holleys invested 31/2 years in their marriage before calling it quits.
Then, 366 days later, they tried again.
Now, they've got 12 years and four kids under their belt.
"Connecting with other couples made me feel normal," said Leigh, a
registered nurse. "I'd talk to another woman and think, 'Oh my gosh, your
husband does that too?' We also found out that there's something to be said
for those friendships where you go through things together -- when times are
good, you celebrate with each other, and when times are bad, you hold each
Both Steven and Leigh credit the couple-friendly environment at Bellevue
Baptist Church for saving their relationship.
"We've counseled and mentored other young couples for the last 10 years,"
Steven notes. "We're not ministers, but we want to share the mistakes we've
made in our lives, and the things we've learned along the way from the Bible
or from our personal experience."
Earlier this year, Steven executive produced a three-week relationship
workshop at Bellevue called SoulMate Live. More than 200 couples attended
the event, subtitled "A Date Night with a Purpose."
"The goal is to create opportunities, where over a bowl of chili or on a
road trip, couples can ultimately share their lives together," says Steven.
"We met our best friends (Michael and Amy Cornelius) at a valentine
get-together during Sunday school," Leigh says. "Later, Amy and I had our
kids six days apart. We've trick-or-treated together, and watched movies
together. We just got back from an eight-day Caribbean cruise together. It's
fun when you find people you click with -- there's nothing like it in the
Memphis native Virginia Murphy describes her friendship with Ondine Geary as
"love at first sight." Luckily, Murphy's husband, Joe, hit it off with
Geary's spouse, Tim Lowrimore, just as easily.
After marrying in New York, the Murphys moved to the Cooper-Young area in
"I'd lost touch with people here, so we approached it like a move to a new
city," says Virginia, 38.
The Murphys, who have two kids of their own, have forged most of their
current friendships through their career as co-directors of the children's
music program, Music For Aardvarks Memphis.
"I always had a very serious core group of friends in New York," says Joe,
Now, instead of bar hopping, he plays in a family-friendly band with Tim.
"In this stage of life, we can't afford babysitters too often, so we're
socializing differently than we were before we had children," Virginia says.
"We've lucked out in finding another great couple, Zac and Amy Ives, who
live right across the street from us."
"Leaving that space in which you can develop supportive relationships with
people who have the same values as you have is absolutely critical," says
Midtown marriage and family therapist Dr. Mark Weiss.
To establish common ground with other couples, he says, "Do it in an arena
that's valuable to you. Sign up for salsa dancing classes, or anything to
enrich your relationship in a social sense. If you want to, go back to your
old friends and apologize -- tell them you were too wrapped up in your own
life, and then go out to dinner with them."
- 5 THINGS SUPER-HAPPY COUPLES DO EVERY DAY
(A long article with some original ideas....)
5 Things Super-Happy Couples Do Every Day
WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine
By Ty Wenger
Lord knows this is not the sort of thing guys brag about. But my wife and I
have a ridiculously happy marriage. Really, it's almost disgusting.
We paw each other in public. We goof around like a pair of simpletons. We
basically act like giddy newlyweds in the middle of happy hour. Sometimes
we'll do something so revolting, like sitting on the couch and drawing
smiley faces on the bottoms of each other's feet, that we're forced to make
hacking, gagging noises to maintain our dignity. Actually, this happened
just last week.
See, I told you it was disgusting. . . .
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