As seen in Today's Parent 

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Anu Sharma-Niwa,
M.A., R.Psych.
Registered Psychologist 

Phone: (403) 990-4159
(confidential voice mail)


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Mount Royal Village:
501, 1550 8th Street SW
(at 16th Avenue)
Calgary, AB 

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Entries in marriage (1)


What's in Your Glue?

It is no big secret that falling in love is and exhilarating experience filled with all sorts of wonderful bits and pieces of joy and loveliness.  Staying in love, however, can be where the work is.  As stressors increase, so can the hostility, irritability, arguments, emotional disconnect, and exhaustion levels.  Not surprisingly, this most often results in a dramatic decrease in passion, sex, romance and fun.  

So what tends to keep couples together?

I like to use the analogy of glue and how it has a way of keeping people stuck together…for the good and the bad!  

Negative Glue:

  •  Social Pressure
  •  Financial Pressures
  •  Children
  •  Fears (of divorce, abandonment, failure, etc.)
  •  Moral Factors
  •  Concern for your partner’s welfare
  •  Poorer lifestyle if alone 
  •  Codependency

Positive Glue:

  •  A collaborative couple identity (“we-ness” as opposed to a “I” or “me” focus)
  •  Inner passion and happiness that is not dependent upon your partner
  •  Priority of the relationship
  •  Feeling happy about your choice of partner
  •  Healthy giving and sacrifice (reciprocity)
  •  Respect, appreciation, admiration, fondness, and love
  •  The partnership is a lifetime plan with shared meaning

Research by John Gottman indicates that the balance between negativity and positivity appears to be the key dynamic in what amounts the emotional ecology of every marriage…kind of like there is a thermostat that is operating in healthy marriages that regulates this balance.  He goes on to state that the “magic ratio” that keeps this thermostat in balance is 5:1…as long as there is 5 times as much positive feeling and interaction between partners as there is negative, the relationship is likely to be stable over time.  

Counselling can be very helpful in providing you and your partner with the right tools to communicate more effectively, understand one another better, strengthen sources of intimacy, and bring that positivity back into your relationship…and YES (!!) that can include romance, passion and great sex! 

So, after you assess the ingredients of your glue, consider evaluating its effectiveness.  Is it really working for you, your partner and family? Or is it time to launch the new glue product that is heavy on the positive side?