By Chandrama Anderson
"Everything has a Crack. That's How the Light Gets In." Leonard CohenUploaded: Apr 8, 2014
Our marriage is not perfect; our partner can not fulfill all of our needs (yet may fill many); our children are not the reflected best aspects of ourselves -- and neither should they be.
The goal is for "Good Enough," and I mean that in a psychological sense, not in a tepid, adequate, "Oh, who cares anyway!"
Gottman, who runs the Love Lab in Seattle and has written a bunch of books about couples and parenting, finds in his extensive research that we need a ratio of 5:1 of good to poor interactions to have a happy and sustainable marriage. That means that we are kind and treat our partner well five times for every one time we blow it; when we say or do an interaction poorly (however, this is not free rein to be an asshole one out of five times).
While we relish good times, and peak experiences may be good for our soul, intimacy is often built from difficulties that we have gotten through together. Weight lifting or exercise might not always be fun or feel good at the time, yet it does build muscle and strength.
Intimacy is built over time, through fun, through a sexual relationship, and through handling challenges well together. So while no one wants cracks, we do want intimacy. So let in the light, together.