This weekend, we were fortunate to have a great guest speaker at our synagogue. M Gary Neuman is a marital therapist and the author of several books on relationships, who has appeared on the Oprah Show several times.
Gary ate both shabbos meals at our home (along with 10 guests and 12 children under the age of five for lunch, but that is for a different post...) and I went to two of his lectures, so I had quite the opportunity to hear his thoughts about marriage. He claims that the number one thing men want from a partner is appreciation. The number one issue for women is time- quality time. Most of what he said really resonated with me. That is because many of his suggestions are common sense and not so surprising. Still, it is important to have someone formulate these concepts so clearly for you, and remind you of what is important.
Another thing he said was that it is vital to make your marriage a priority. Life is busy and hectic,we are all aware of that. Sometimes we may think that we invest in creating a relationship when we are dating but once we get married, we can then devote our energy to other projects- our careers, kids or anything else. But in truth, a marriage needs constant work and fine tuning. It is a matter of investing time, energy and thought into your relationship. It is the only way to thrive and stay close amidst all the pressures and things tugging at us nowadays.
What do you think? Do you have any specific rituals/habits/beliefs to strengthen your relationships?