Thursday, May 06, 2010

Marital Bliss: A beautiful garden or a weed patch?

posted by Michele Olson

Pretty much anyone who starts out a marriage imagines that their days will be filled with bliss.
Bliss is defined as supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment. Look at anyone’s wedding pictures and you will see many faces of bliss.

The question is: how do you maintain bliss in a marriage?

Instead of thinking of it as a marriage, take a moment and think about it as a living growing thing, like a garden. Growing things take attention. Neglected things seem to die. Yet, we wonder why a marriage diminishes when the truth is; it hasn’t been cared for and nurtured.
Gardens take work. Tilling the soil, planting the seeds, and getting rid of the weeds. Watering and keeping pests away.

Marriages take work too. Usually four major areas cause conflict.

Money. There never seems to be enough, or couples don’t agree on how it should be spent.

Sex. One partner may want more sex than the other, or have differences of what is acceptable.

Kids. Couples may disagree over how to raise and discipline children.

Work. There can be different role expectations both inside and outside of the home.

Research shows that unhappy couples tend to start out by criticizing the way their partner behaves. Negative comments follow and the person being spoken about gets defensive. This is the perfect climate for a conflict with no positive outcome. It just happens again and again and never accomplishes anything.

Couples who seek bliss use positive language, including body language. They aren’t afraid to use appropriate humor and express affection to maintain a calm atmosphere. They have empathy for their partner, even if it doesn’t match up with their point of view.
The good news is; this positive style of communication can be learned. At we have workshops both in-person and online that can help you learn how to dissolve tension, communicate so you feel heard without resorting to any nasty habits and to be treated the way you’d like to be treated in an adult conversation.

If you want a beautiful garden, you have to tend it. If you want a blissful marriage, you have to learn how to have one. Just like seeds and gardening supplies, it’s all available to you.

Visit, click on the store and get your free Marriage Myth Buster Guide.

Whether you have a “weed patch” or a blissful experience in your marriage is really up to you.

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