Last weekend, watching the Super Bowl, I was struck by two things: First, of course, is that my childhood football team won! (I was born in Kansas City, and even though I didn’t grow up there, my Grandpa had season tickets to the Chiefs. I eagerly went every chance I got!) But second, during the commercials (which I watched with just as much interest as the game), there were a lot of heart-warming moments. Not just funny or edgy—but truly, sincerely, intending to reach the heart. The most touching of those were the commercials that celebrated life-long love. Like the one from Google, with a man remembering his late wife, Loretta.
So many people today doubt whether a life-long love is possible. So many people have become cynical, because we think (incorrectly!) that most marriages don’t last a lifetime. Or that most marriages are just sort of there. When the truth is that most marriages are strong and happy for a lifetime! So these commercials were a light in the darkness: a sweet, little reminder to the millions of viewers that a lifelong, happy marriage is possible! And even that it is easier and simpler than we think.
A Couple’s 75th Wedding Anniversary
A heartwarming story published by Yahoo Style UK highlighted a couple celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. The article told how the teens, Alison and Robert Snaddon, met in 1944 while dancing on a Saturday night. It included pictures of the couple holding hands and sitting on their couch. It was a touching (true) story of a couple who are clearly still affectionate and in love after all these years.
The wife also commented on the secret to their success. She shared her marital wisdom by exclaiming, “If you have an argument, get it sorted out—don’t carry it on.”
Research Proves Resolving Conflict Quickly Makes a Big Difference
What she said about resolving conflict is one of those little things that makes a big, big difference. It is exactly what I found in the research with the happiest couples for The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. As we put it in the book: “Highly happy couples find that when they can’t resolve conflict and anger before bedtime, they choose to sleep on it. If anger remains in the morning, they don’t let it go unresolved; they deal with it.”
We also discovered the reverse was true . . . and it should lead all of us to ask: am I letting things go instead of dealing with it? Forty-one percent of struggling couples who were not so happy, not only went to be angry, but reported not resolving the conflict the next day. By comparison, only five percent of highly happy couples did not resolve the conflict that night or the next day.
Lifelong Marriage CAN Be Happy
It turns out that ensuring you deal with conflict soon and work to resolve it (including the next morning) is more important than resolving it before you go to sleep . . . contrary to the popular opinion that you can never go to bed mad. Whether Alice and Robert resolved their conflicts before going to bed or the following morning, we don’t know. What we do know is that they worked at it—and you can, too. What we do know is that they had a life-long, committed, happy marriage—and you can, too.
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Shaunti Feldhahn loves sharing eye-opening information that helps people thrive in life and relationships. She herself started out with a Harvard graduate degree and Wall Street credentials but no clue about life. After an unexpected shift into relationship research for average people like her, she now is a popular speaker and author of best-selling books about men, women and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her latest book, Find Peace: A 40-day Devotional Journey For Moms, focuses on discovering biblical direction to become a woman of serenity and delight in all seasons – and have impact for generations to come.
Visit www.shaunti.com for more.