I remember one day when we had an argument.. I was driving on the motorway and stopped speaking because I didn't want the argument to escalate. 

That's probably the worse thing I could do.. My wife Dr. Darshan hates when I go quiet and she got so angry that she started spilling water on me whilst I was driving 70mph on the motorway. Thankfully we didn't crash and I dried off, eventually.

I'm telling you this not to shame us but to illustrate that marriage is HARD (it's not like the movies).

When we got married we had no idea how to be married (no instruction manual was provided). 

I was a loner, quiet and a hermit and my wife was zesty, a socialite and someone who loved to have long meaningful conversations. 

We have both changed immensely over the last 10 years but in the past our differences and inability to understand each other led to a lot of conflict. 

We used to ask older happy couples the secret to marriage but it's so hard to find happy couples and the dynamics of every relationship are so different that it didn't really help.

Thankfully each year things have gotten better and better (gods grace).

I wanted to share some research (by The Gottman Institute) with those of you who are going to get married or have recently gotten married.

They followed 900 couples and  were able to predict divorce with a 90% accuracy.

The couples who stayed happily married did many things differently but there's 5 things at they ALL did.

Those 5 things took them 5 hours+ a week. An investment of 5 hours a week in the closest relationship in our life, doesn't seem like much but I'm guilty for not doing it myself. 

I've synthesized the findings, what they did in those 5 hours of investment) into a checklist. 

We hope it helps. 

✅Greetings - taking the time to greet your spouse every time you leave or arrive. 

✅ Reunions - touching base with your spouse every time you are reunited and letting them know what you're working on/your plans and listening to theirs. 

✅ Affection - touching, hugging and other forms on affection as a regular basis. 

✅ Date night - taking out at least 2hrs a week to have a date night together where you talk in a relaxed way giving your spouse your 100% focus. 

✅ Appreciation - everyday, telling your spouse how you appreciate something they did/about them. 

Dr Harbir Singh M.Ost Med 


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