Knowing our partner

It is amazing that I meet people as well as couples who come for coaching who know very little about their partner’s lives.

John Gottman, a renowned relationship expert, sees love maps in a different way. He explains that love maps are his term for the part of your brain where you store all the relevant information about your partner’s life.
It has to do with your partners likes and dislikes and makes a note of your partner’s story in life.

Gottman believes from his research at his lab in America, that those couples who have detailed love maps of each other’s world are far better prepared to weather stressful events and conflict. He even goes as far as to say that these couples are much more able to cope with the birth of a child in the marriage, which often causes great upheaval.
It is many times true that what often causes divorce or separation is a lack of knowing what makes our partner “tick”.

It is even truer in my experience that many divorced couples only really get to know the real person they were married too once they have divorced.
For this reason I often suggest to a couple who are having problems, which they feel cannot be solved, that they should separate for a while instead of getting divorced.

Also what proves we don’t always know our partner is that in the first four months of this year I have already remarried three couples who were divorced from each other and now saw a different side to their “spouse”.

Gary Chapman in his book “The Five Love Languages” explains things differently. Over his many years of marriage counseling, he has discovered that the things that we do to say “I love you” while we are courting we forget when we are married. They seem to not be said or we forget them altogether. These things he calls the five love languages. We can only express these when we truly pay attention to what our partner wants us to do to say we care.
Often they are truly small things that we don’t do that make our partner feel we don’t love them anymore.

A marriage needs to be worked at and we need to do all we can to understand everything about our partner. Something made us fall in love with them in the beginning. It is now our duty to share with each other the needs that we want to feel we are loved.