LOVE IS MORE THAN TALKING
Gary Smalley has done not a small feat as his book Making Love Last Forever expounds on how marriage relationships can be enriched. He shows couples how to remain in love with one another, from the early stages of attraction until after the wedding is finished. The techniques he enumerates are important points to consider and may well be wise advice to heed. He even has a technique for making marriages divorce-proof. He expounds on the disadvantages of anger and the lifelong commitment o love life to the fullest. Facing one’s anger he states is indispensable to making a couple’s love last forever. Underlying one’s anger, Smalley points out is fear. This is why some couples do not relate with each other well. There is a relational block that hinders each one from resolving their anger towards each other. This paper looks at the different ways couples relate to each other and how love in marriage is more than just mere talking. It looks at specific examples of how couples end up the way they do and how they can remedy the situation.
Indeed, divorce is not the answer to the problem of busy husbands and lonely wives. Just because the secular world has liberalized its attitudes toward the impermanence of marriage, no such revision has occurred in the biblical standard. God states it clear when he said in Malachi 2:13-17, especially with reference to husbands who seek a new sexual plaything:
Yet you cover the altar with your tears because the Lord does not pay attention to your offerings anymore, and you receive no blessing from him. “Why has God abandoned us?” you cry. I’ll tell you why: it is because the Lord has seen your treachery in divorcing your wives who have been faithful to you through the years, the companions you promised to care for and keep. You were united to your wife by the Lord. In God’s wise plan. When you married, the two of you became one person in his sight. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. Therefore, guard your passions. Keep faith with the wife of your youth.
Anger is not only destructive to families. He says it is a source of physical aches. Smalley is practical just as he is spiritual in his advices. This is what makes his book a good read.
Is your silence that golden?
Are you comfortable in it?
Is it the key to your freedom
Or is it the bars on your prison?
Author Trush pens these lines which again points to the open line of communication that husbands and wives need to understand in order to have a lasting relationship. Making love work means a daily nurture of love and care. It is one thing to resolve together the hurdles that pop up in one’s daily lives, like the plumbing, the kids, when to take your next vacation, who’s going to get a new car this year. It’s quite another to be able to come to your mate and say: “I’ve got a problem. Can I talk to you about it?”
One of the chief separators in relationship is when couples do not discuss their problems in detail with each other. They will only tell about boss who was nasty again, or they will only discuss their chances of a promotion in the foreseeable future, but not a word about the actual battles they have to face day after day to make their work successful. The content of what they do for eight or more hours a day is seldom mentioned.
Because of the changing community standards our marriages are now voluntary, not forced. In itself this may not be such a bad thing, but like children with new-found freedom, we have sometimes abused the privilege by dissolving our homes too readily and thoughtlessly. The cycle can become insidious. For whatever reason-childhood deprivation, business frustrations, excessive ambition, guilt or repressed desires-we feel anxiety or depression and we blame our partners for our own lack of happiness, growth, and fulfillment. We want to feel better so we “divorce” ourselves from the cause. We do not see that the disintegration of family life that will make us feel more isolated, depressed, frightened, adrift, and upset. The cure-divorce-makes the disease worse.
Those who truly understand the psychological importance of home life do not treat it lightly, do not for granted or denigrate its importance. They never dismiss as “mere habit” what is really deep emotional attachment. Too many are surprised at how badly they feel after divorce “suddenly” misses the security they had. The person you’ve been with so long whose bed in life you shared, with whom you’ve fought and made up, had children, planted gardens, taken walks means more to you that you perhaps know. It’s a fact-undisrupted, harmonious home life is best for your psychological and physical health.
Examples of Couples
Ed and Rose’s story is typical of this kind of interaction. They came to the Center for Behavior Therapy in Beverly Hills for counseling because of material problems. Slowly their story emerged. Ed is an engineer, working on a special project with an assistant. But the assistant and Ed didn’t get along, and so Ed found it difficult to discuss the creative aspects of the project with his co-worker. Because of that whole project is suffering. At home he periodically mentioned to Rose what a difficult man his assistant was, but he never talk about the work itself because he considered it too technical. He didn’t want to bore Rose with it. Besides, talking about it at home would have been like bringing his work with him, and he preferred to forget it and just relax in the evenings before TV. Yet he needed a sympathetic listener, so he shared his concern and frustration with his secretary. Since she was already aware of the problem and familiar with the work, he didn’t have to go into any great detail to get from her all the sympathy he needed.
The result of his office relationship was that after a while Ed came to the realization that his wife, Rose, was a stranger to his innermost problems and struggles. Instead, he had an “office wife” who really knew him. He wasn’t having an affair with her yet, but she was sharing her career concerns more than the woman he chose for a mate. This is why, one step away from, the breaking up of their marriage, he and Rose came from the marital counseling.
Of course man is not unique in choosing to share problems to others than their mate. Working wives often find it easier to talk to a colleague than to their husbands for the same reasons Ed did. By limiting their home communication, these spouses are losing out on what should be one of the most satisfying aspects of their life together-helping each other resolve personal outside problems.
If you can use each other to discuss your work on business affairs, you are forming a “conspiracy of two” in which you can mutually shield each other from exposing your weak side to the world. By not showing your anger or hurt to the secretary or anyone else at your job, you can always maintain a good front. This will give you added strength in their eyes. They will see you as a level-headed and as someone who can really cope. By being able to rely on your from problem solving, you create a fortress in your home to which you can retreat to get healed and re-armed so that you can face the battle again.
Granted, it takes effort to explain to your mate, who is not in your line of work, what’s wrong and why. Or you may be reluctant to do so, thinking that he pr she won’t understand. Strangely enough that may just be the best part of telling it to your mate.
Personal value fulfillment means deriving knowledge, self-growth, and creative expression in your leisure time activities. You must decide what you want to do. Take an academic course, play a musical instrument, sing in the church choir, build furniture, read books. These are all personality fulfilling and lead you into the socially fulfilling stage. You can begin at home. Helping your own family is, like virtue, its own reward. From there you can move into community involvement. If you are politically minded, you can organize neighbors to clean up the environment or work for civic associations to clean up politics. Working against pollution and corruption could fill everyone’s leisure time. If you’re not an organizer, then use some talent. Sports mindedness per see is not a sin, particularly if you share your skill. Coach a Little League baseball team or play tennis with your kids. Those are only a couple of possibilities. The point is that any activity which gets you involved with others and is beneficial to them doesn’t have to be all-consuming but will be rewarding. The rewards of a creative, intelligent use of leisure time really can compete with work rewards in every way except perhaps monetarily. In its own way, though, a well-spent leisure can be even more rewarding than work.
Other couples work their way around problems in different ways. For instance, Peter is a chemist and his mate, Carol, a librarian. Carol knows nothing in formulas, just as Peter doesn’t know about the Dewey decimal system if keeping books organized. Yet each evening when they meet at home, they ask each other how their work went that day. Sometimes Carol has a problem and sometimes Peter tells her that he can’t figure out a particular reaction in a formula that he is testing. Then Carol asks: “What is it supposed to so?” Peter explains the formula and what he expected to happen but it did not work out.
During his explanation Carol will often say to him: “Wait, I don’t get it.” So Peter goes over it again, trying to make it at simple and non-technical as possible. More often than not, because Peter has to break down his formula to the bare essentials so Carol could follow his logic, he gets another insight and is able to find a solution to his problem. Or Carol, based on her limited understanding, will suggest something that will trigger a solution in Peter’s mind. Thus her ignorance is an asset, because it prompts Peter to really analyze his work, and it brings up naïve solutions an expert wouldn’t think of, but which may be just the answer.
This kind of interaction is the backbone of a good relationship. Both you and your mate should learn to give this sort of help to each other, you should learn to trust each other enough to bring you work problems home, and make the effort to listen to your mate or to explain what’s going on in your work world. If you get into the habit of doing this, it will cement your relationship more than any other shared experience. Whereas before you had to go to a friend or therapist to help you sort out your work problems, now you will be able to rely on your mate.
Of course you shouldn’t abuse the privilege and spend all your time together in problem-solving sessions. That could become very tiresome and ruin a good thing. But when you’re really stuck and in need of a friendly ear, you should be able to bring your problems home for a solution. Of course for couples to be successful at problem solving, they need a method which will help them do it.
Institutions that help couples
There are several institutions that help couples work out their problems. The Center for Behavior Therapy in Beverly Hills has developed a technique for solving work-related and other problems. You too can apply these techniques and come up with results. Here’s how you go about it. Since problem solving takes time and concentrated attention, first set the scene. If all possible, arrange your surroundings before you begin. Choose a time when you are both free, relaxed, and can pay full attention to each other.
If couples follow the steps prescribed, they may not need more than an hour-after all. A therapy session is not even that long-but let that hour be free from answering the phone or any other interruptions. Moreover, out of consideration for your mate, first take step number one:
Step one: the CIO Rule
The abbreviation of CIO is not misspelled. It stands for the word Check It Out. And it’s important that you follow this rule. Before plunging headlong into a description of your problem, first check it out with your mate is tired or busy doing something else and only a half listening or is in such a vile mood that he or she is couldn’t possibly be of any help.
In order to alert your mate to the emotional state that you are in, you can use two different approaches.
In the indirect approach you can say: “I haven’t had a chance to talk with you lately and I’ve got a problem. Can I talk to you about it?”
Or if it is your mate who seems to have a need, you can help draw them out by saying: “Lately you seem to be quite to withdrawn. Is there something bothering you? Can I be any help? Would you like to discuss it?”
Then there is direct approach, in which you make a specific request or statement. You can say: “Would you have some time from me? I have a I’d like to discuss with you.” Or: “I’m very unhappy” Or: “I’m depressed, upset, bothered… lately.”
A word of caution: In order to diffuse the alarm and prepare your mate for a problem that’s not personal between the two of you, tell him or her where your problems originates, instead of leading in by just describing your state of mind of feelings.
For example: “I’m having some problems at work [or at school, or at the tennis court, or wherever] and I’d like to have your advice or opinion.”
In other words, locate the area where you’re unhappy. If you don’t have a specific geographic area, you start your request by saying things like:
“I’d like to bounce this off you. . .”
“I’d like to hear your opinion. . .”
“I’d like to know your approach. . .”
“I’d like to get your point of view. . .”
Any of these will tell your mate that you are seeking active and are not planning an attack.
Once you make your statement, it should really be your mate’s responsibility to offer time for discussion. If he or she doesn’t, use the CIO Technique by saying:
“I’ve got a problem at . . . [place]. Is this a good time to talk you about it?”
“When you feel up to it there is a problem I have at . . . [define place] and I’d like your opinion about it.”
“Let me know when you have an hour for me. I’ve got a problem at . . .[define place] and I’d like you to help me resolve it.”
Always make sure you first ask if they have time to pay attention to you. If your mate gives the green light, make sure you add: “If at some point I bore you or get tiring, please let me know and I’ll stop.”
Once it’s checked out and you are ready for your PROBLEM SOLVING SESSION, go through each of the steps given in this chapter. In order to simplify who is who during the session, we shall call the person with the problem the Complainer and the person listening to the problem the Receiver.
And so you can begin by first having the Complainer state the problem.
Step Two: Stating the Problem
Make it as clear and concise as you can. The Listener should just listen without any evaluation at all. The Listener should encourage the complainer to tell the full story without giving any directions or advice. The Listener should interrupt only to urge the Complainer on with a “and then what happened” or to ask a question for clarification. This question should be formulated like: “Explain this part again,” or “I don’t understand what you said,” or “What did you mean by . . .”
Here the danger exist that the Complainer may become frustrated or impatient, or that untrained Receiver may suggest that the Complainer go to someone more qualified with problem. Neither of you should get so easily discourage and think of giving up. Remember, when your Receiver says, “I don’t understand,” it forces you, the Complainer, to think more clearly in order to explain the problem better. And once you do, you will have taught your Listener something as a basis for your future discussions.
So go on and state your problem and also tell your Receiver why it bothers you so much. That helps the Receiver to understand your emotional as well as intellectual reactions. It is necessary for the Receiver to understand how you feel, for the next step in your session is to do a little caretaking, known in the ‘business” as wound licking.
Step Three: Wound Licking
Regardless of the content of the problem, the first thing the Listener should do for the Complainer is to pamper him or her. This can be done by hugging, making love, giving him or her a message, even feeding your mate a good dinner, or any other physical manifestation of caring.
It’s the same technique one uses to comfort children when they get hurt. If your child falls and cries, your instinctive reaction is to first pick the child up and hug him or her. Then you ask where they’re hurt, and you either rub it or kiss it or supply first aid. Notice how this show of love makes your child feel better immediately? The same goes for your mate. Whatever the “pain” report is, first provide the wound licking, that nurturing physical care for him or her.
Even if they come to you with a problem that will also affect you directly, such as “I didn’t get a raise” or “I got fired” or “I am being audited” or “I might go to jail because I got caught embezzling funds,” hold back your own sudden fear or anger that would normally prompt you to shout instead of to nurture. Shouting won’t get you anywhere. Dealing with the problem patiently and rationally will. If instead of shouting you hug each other, you’ll both feel a little bit better, and you can then tackle the problem more calmly. The most important aspect of wound licking is this warm physical contact.
Step Four: Giving Support
Support means giving Sympathy and Recognition. It is doing verbally what you have just done with each other physically during Wound Licking. In the Support stage you can say: “It must have felt terrible to hear that from your boss” That’s support. You’re showing the Complainer that you feel with him or her, and that you know what it must have felt like to be in that situation.
What you’re doing by saying so, is to reassure your mate that you understand what it means for them to have been put into that situation. You understand it not only intellectually but emotionally as well. You empathize with them.
It is important that you say so verbally. You can’t just nod, you must make the statement so they can hear it. If at first this feels awkward because you’re not used to saying these things, put yourself into their situation and imagine how you would feel if you had this problem. By feeling the pain yourself, you will be able to empathize with the Complainer’s feelings, and verbalize your support.
Supposing your mate bungled? Suppose he lost his temper and shouted at the boss . . . or your wife was careless with the children and that’s why junior fell and broke his arm? You know they were wrong, still, Support comes before Judgment.
Remember, the fact your mate has come to you in need means that he or she is already in pain. Accusing them, making them feel stupid would just make lash out at you to prevent themselves from experiencing more pain. So give your support and save the judgment for later, when the complainer is over the worst pain and can be more rational.
If you mate isn’t at fault and you can see it clearly from their statement of the problem, make sure that besides sympathy you also give him/her Recognition. This means saying:
“You have a right to upset.”
“I can see why you’re so indignant.”
“I can see why you did that.”
Thus, after giving adequate support in the forms of sympathy and recognition, now is your time for asking questions.
Step Five: Asking Question
Don’t ask loaded or judgmental questions if you expect your Complainer to go on. Instead, ask the kind that will bring on additional explanations and clarification:
“I don’t understand how that could happen when you . . .”
“How did so and so react to that?”
“Do you think you could have done something else?”
And so on. When you have explored the Complainer’s story from all angles, and you have no more questions left, go on to:
Step Six: Exploring Solutions
Whether you can resolve the problem or not, you can have a discussion with the Complainer of possible solutions. Ask what, if any, solutions he or she has in mind, and then propose some of yours. Again, don’t push it, rather suggest it like this: “You could . . .”or “You should do . . . in order to . . .” “What if you . . .” “What I would do is . . .” “In my opinion, if you . . .”
Remember, some problems may require time, and the Complainer has come to you not so much for a solution to the problem as for the benefit of clarification through discussion. If you can solve it together, great. If not, move on to the last step in your session.
Step Seven: Reassurance
Whatever the problem is, say to the Complainer: “Listen, it’s all going to work out okay.” Say it. No matter what is wrong assure them that it’s going to work out all right. For in the end it usually does. Even going to jail can work out if the Complainer is able to take a positive attitude. It may be a time for reflection, for reading, and who knows, even for lectures afterward on what it’s like to make the best of a jail sentence. If it’s the loss of a job or of a raise, that too will work out. Your mate will find another job which may even turn out to be better. And you can do without the raise or look for some ways of earning that extra money.
No matter what the problem is, end it on a note of optimism. It will do wonders for your relationship. It will temporarily ease your mate’s tension, give them new hope, and perhaps enable him or her to find a good, workable solution.
In summing up then, these are the steps you should take during your problems solving session:
1. Use the CIO Rule
2. State the Problem
3. Give Wound Licking
4. Express Support
5. Ask Questions
6. Explore Solutions
7. Give Reassurance
Of course verbal communication with your mate shouldn’t be based entirely on business or problem solving. That can become boring and can even turn into an unpleasant burden if all you’re doing when you’re together is discussing you ailments of the soul or your problems at work. That’s not the only reason for you and your mate to have gone through Speech Training.
There is yet another aspect to verbal interaction, and this is having fun talking and helping you become a more interesting person to your mate as well as to others.
Spice up your talk
Stuttering is a psychological problem, not a physiological one. It may have started because of early childhood traumas, but one of the props that maintain it in adulthood is the attention the stutterer gets by people who listen to him or her. So a study was set up to find an alternative way for a person to refrain from stuttering and still get attention when talking. The researchers found that these people needed to say something interesting in order to be listened to. They needed good, attention getting conversation. They were trained to read Time magazine, to read about art, about politics, about the price of gold in the world market, about theater, books, and so on, so that people would listen to them when they spoke because what they were saying was informed and interesting not because they just could not say the right words.
You and your mate are no exception to this rule. If you want to be listened to, you must say things that are interesting. Earlier in this chapter we gave Speech Training Techniques which should have enabled you and your mate to achieve better verbal communication and to initiate the custom of problem solving sessions. But now it’s time for you to entertain each other.
Good goals of leisure time
Couples need to communicate with each other and have some leisure time with each other and away from each other. For instance, the husband elected early retirement from an important Boston law firm for several reasons. He felt his company had growth too large and impersonal, he had been doing the same thing for thirty years, his pension would be adequate to his needs, and he wanted time to pursue his own interests. Having leisure time that he could control himself meant more to him than doing the bidding of and providing service to others. This is not to say he has become totally selfish. Far from it. Part of his full devotion to leisure includes working for several hospitals, sitting on various community boards and helping a number of charities. At the same time, he pursues his interest in nature, animals, birds, flowers, reading. He is free to develop new personal skills and to devote his time to family and friends. This man is no longer a washed-out, brief-cased basket case at the end of a work week, nor is he a retired “media-minded” zombie tied to the tube. He is, at last, self-motivated and enjoying every minute because his goals are now leisure-directed and attainable.
The good goals of leisure time should include personal growth, social service, religious, and philosophical involvements, satisfying personal relations, ease and contentment, enjoyment and achievement. The more a person can achieve a proper fit between goals and behavior patterns, the better he will feel. “Taking it easy” is not really a prime leisure mode. Our neighbor is not taking it easy, he’s simply doing it “his” way.
Leisure alone and together
After you have made time for leisure and used it in a manner you can respect, the next problem is deciding how much leisure to spend with your spouse. Independence versus Togetherness is a predicament in all marriages. Men and women have social and solitary needs, and as they cater to one, the other grows. Every one of us desires to be both autonomous and gregarious. When we are alone for a while, we long to be with the rest of the family, when we are with the family, we soon yearn to be alone. It’s quite natural. In dealing with the independence togetherness question, “balance” is the key word.
There is a wonderful episode in Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty called the “Rose Adagio.” Princess Aurora is introduced to a number of suitors, each of whom has brought her a rose. She is perched on her toes as one by one the young gallants step forward to make their presentations. They assist her in making a complete turn and then, always maintaining perfect balance, she lets go of the helping hand, raises her arms above her head, drops them gracefully and takes a rose from the suitor. When it’s done well, it’s a beautiful sight and a good lesson. The ballerina must know how and when to rely on the steady hand of her partners (togetherness) so that she can brace herself for her solo stance (independence). The one depends on the other.
In addition to each person’s need to be alone as opposed to with family, there is the question in leisure with friends and associates rather than with spouse and children. To spend discretionary time with others can be dangerous to a marriage because it implies rejection or inequality. We speak jokingly of golf, tennis, and sailing widows or widowers, but it’s heavy burden to be one of the great “abandoned” and it makes people angry. When one spouse is involved in an all-consuming activity, the problems of independent action versus togetherness can become extreme. Husbands and wives may become jealous of the other’s activity or of each other’s friends, the ones who “share” the time.
Very often, productive and creative people of both sexes must isolate themselves from their families to accomplish what they have to do, but it is difficult for those who want to be alone to do so without making spouses feel unwanted. Too much autonomy (“I must be by myself”) can become excessive and change a workable marriage into one in which the two partners live separately under one roof.
The best way to handle the apart-together question is to have respect for the other’s leisure activity. Hurt feelings and misunderstandings can often be avoided by simple strategy. Those unwilling to give up any autonomy to the marriage are unlikely to have a satisfactory one, because commitment to marriage entails a willingness to modify self-interest and indulgence for the mutual benefit of the relationship. The alternative is to remain alone. Most people don’t like being alone, so they are willing to make considerable compromise.
I do, we do
Husbands and wives may feel guilty about leaving their partners alone and yet are miserable when they’re together. They remain each other’s leisure-time prisoners and can neither function happily apart nor harmoniously together. They need to confront the apart-together issue, establish priorities, and form agreements so they can use leisure in accordance with their principles. They must also realize that they cannot do everything together.
The good marriage is never a complete union in which the couple merges into one. Too much leisure-time sharing can result in lack of separate identities. While it’s important to share, it is equally important to have your own interests and friends apart from your spouse. If you area together all the time, there is nothing to tell each other. This can lead to boredom. Excessive dependence and inability to function alone don’t help marriage. Couples incapable of independent action are, almost without exception, drags. Clinging vines went out with crinolines, so don’t fall apart if your spouse takes off for a game of squash or a rubber of bridge – fill in the time with your own recreations but always be ready to come together.
After marriage, people remain individuals and husband and wife should face the fact they will struggle with “me” and “we” all their lives. That’s why compromise is marriage’s best friend. Couples can be totally incompatible in regard to leisure times, and in order to function as a team they have to make mutual concessions. For instance, one likes the beach, the other the mountains. One wants to travel, the other likes to unwind in one spot. When there are conflicts about where to go, what to do, and how to spend time, setting and living up to them helps immeasurably. “Okay, let’s go to the seashore this summer and the mountains next,” or “Come with me to the art museum for just an hour and I’ll go to the movies with you.” Once a “deal” is arranged, it should be respected. This summer’s seashore must be next summer’s mountains. It is far easier for the partner to “give” if he or she knows by experience that the other won’t abuse the gift.
Those married in haste need not repent at leisure. Rather, couples can enjoy their leisure because the creative use of discretionary time enhances life together. Let yourself be introduced to your partner’s favorite leisure-time activity. When an eminent stranger shows or tells you something, you look and listen in respectful silence; surely your husband or wife deserves the same chance-even more of one. You can expand your own knowledge band interests through your spouse’s enthusiasm and instruction. Bear in mind than in a good marriage “leisuring” together is as essential as working together.
Ignore the Message: The Code of Selfishness
The majority of self-help books advice us not to trust anything or anyone, not to depend on the kindness of others, and to rely on ourselves. The modern self-help fable has only one moral: “Nice guys finish last.” This advice is a “logical” reaction to modern American insecurity. If you can’t look to God, society, or each other , you’d better look to yourself. However, counseling selfishness worsens and furthers the problems, especially in marriage. You wouldn’t go to a doctor who followed books on power, success, looking out for number one and whose code of ethics was self-determined-he’d be to warm up himself to honestly try to cure you. Similarly, marriage to someone who believes in nothing but Self cannot work.
Many years of active psychiatric practice, research, and teaching, conversation with psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers in leading medical schools around the country, extensive reading of academic literature in psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, sociology, political science, history, economics, philosophy, and personal experience in the authors’ own marriage along the observation of the successful and the unsuccessful unions of those who know, have led to the inescapable conclusion that those who advice selfishness do serious harm. They don’t know what people really need they just write books.
Divorced people are not necessarily “healthy growing”-that’s a lie perpetrated by silly psychologists of the human-potential movements. Divorced people are often lonely and suffering. The woman may work all day for money and at night care for her offspring, while ex-husband longs for his children, home, and a sense of belonging. People like this reflect the epidemic of anxiety and depression in America today. In the Midtown Manhattan Study, 14 percent of the population was found to suffer significant impairment from emotional disorder. We are inundated with Librium, Valium, alcohol, coffee, marijuana, and cigarettes. We seek psycho-therapy, TM, yoga, Est, primal scream therapy, Zen, Esalen, biofeedback, gestalt, Rolfing, encounter, and hypnosis. We keep racing out the front door chasing after answers, but one of the chief reasons for our discomfort is the very thing we slam the door on: the decline family of life and the break up of marriages. Americans must be helped to live in warm harmony, not encouraged to throw intimacy out into the cold. We do not mean a return to old-fashioned romantic naiveté but to healthy closeness. If it does not happen, the disruption of family life could destroy us.
Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment Your Mate was right when he claims that quality time is more than mere proximity. It is more about putting all your energies at the present moment to your mate. Unless all one’s attention is focused on the mate, then, that is not quality time. Quality conversation involves sharing of one’s experiences and thoughts, feelings and desires to a partner. People need a sympathetic ear and when one listens well to his partner, then, that is indeed quality time. 
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