Marriage Tip: The Importance of Chit-ChatPosted: June 10, 2010
Last week I finally got a library card in my new home town. As I drove into the parking lot I was surprised that it has taken me two months to visit my new library (I have always loved libraries…a place to let your imagination wonder). I was waiting for a perfect time to check my new library out- I wanted it to be a holistic experience and not be rushed but I figured that time might not come for a long time.
Once I got my library card I wanted to see what books are available on marriages. I had of course heard some advice from my mom (learn to cook, keep your house clean, be nice to your in-laws, understand each other, don’t get angry, listen, etc.)- while these are definitely good they are in the board spectrum of marriage advice to follow every day. What are the small things that can be done that lead to a true understanding?
Both Amazing Guy and I come from families without any divorces. Divorces are an exception not a norm in our families and our cultures. No divorces! Our culture that barely has any divorces however is surprisingly doesn’t seem to have a lot of advice either- there is just a deep understanding that marriages are for life and as the saying goes- no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I grew up believing that when I got married it was for life- it was engraved in me- feels like since I was a day old. However, I don’t want to be just married but I want a wonderful, loving life together with true understanding and happiness.
In the movie “Just Married” the main character’s father gives him an advice when his marriage starts off rocky “Some days your mother and me loved each other. Other days we had to work at it. You never see the hard days in a photo album…but these are the ones that get you from one happy snapshot to the next. I’m sorry your honeymoon stunk but that’s what you got dealt. Now you gotta work through it..” When I first heard it I loved this quote and all Amazing guy and I could do was just nod at this statement.
I really wanted to know what some advices others had about marriage. I still had my last weekend in mind and wanted to learn and grow from that experience. Relationships are so hard to build why would anyone think that breaking it off is much better than working at it? How does it get to that place-break years of life together instead of working toward a better future?
How do couples grow apart? Why? What are the secrets of those who stay together? What are some simple things we can do starting day 1 to grow in(to) love and not out of it?
At the library I got a bunch of books- I am sure the librarian thought I was close to a divorce with my desperation of marriage self-help book checkout but I wanted to not wait until I was desperate.
In my numerous books borrowed from the library one of them is “The 30 Secrets of Happily Married Couples.” As I opened the book, I was surprised to see that the first advice being “Power of Small Talk.” I thought small talk? Small talk is well…so small. How does this make a difference?
As I read further this quote stood out “Pleasant chitchat can act as a buffer against future relationship problems.” So the rule of this advice is that chit chat should be pleasant/uncontroversial in nature because this builds cooperation and brings the couple closer. The book says by focusing on small pleasant talks you can be more attentive to your partner’s feelings and emotions therefore preventing any bottled up negative emotion to fester and lead to a bigger argument.
I am sure a lot of people like Amazing Guy and myself lead busy lives and chit chat might be the last thing you want to do when you come home from work. We love to watch The Cosby Show or Everybody Loves Raymond and laugh our butts off- but even though chit chat can seem like a small thing that’s just so hard to do- everyday moments of growth really count. We turn our love for these two shows into small conversations throughout the week like “remember when Robert said this about Raymond…” or “the Cosby’s are full of culture” and so on. Since we both enjoy these two shows it is a pleasant conversation to have when we identity our lives with a script of the show.
We don’t all lead exciting lives every single day and we can’t wait until an exciting moment to connect with our partners. It has to be done everyday starting with the small things.