Dr. Jane’s Compatibility Meter… What Good Is It?

For years, I have written about the primary factors of long-term relationship satisfaction; Love, Loyalty and Shared Family Values. When my husband decided to convert my research on marital satisfaction into an App, I blissfully believed that my work was done. But upon publishing the App and describing its capability, we noticed that many couples looked on Dr. Jane’s Compatibility Meter as some sort of test. Often they asked “why do I need that, I’m already married” or “we’re happy; we don’t need that”. Their reactions suggested an underlying concern that the last thing these couples wanted to do was to “rock the boat!” Dr. Jane’s Compatibility Meter seemed to touch a nerve we did not mean to hit. The fact is that The Compatibility Meter is less about determining compatibility and more about increasing compatibility. Simply put, these questions offer a forum for couples to engage in meaningful conversation. When couples first meet, they usually spend a great deal of time talking. They talk about their histories, their likes, and dislikes. As they open up, share their deepest feelings, and hopefully feel accepted for who and how they are, love blossoms. We become increasingly attached to others the more we let them into our private thoughts and feelings. The Compatibility Meter simply offers up topics for couples who want to deepen their communication and their feelings for each other. Sometimes it’s difficult to know how to move from superficial to more meaningful topics for conversation. For those who are dating, it helps to know which questions they should be asking of this new love. For those who are cohabiting and considering marriage, these topics could very well help with the decision-making moving forward. For those who are married, it’s healthy to stay synchronized with your spouse so the two of you can stay on the same page and not go too far off-track as the year tick off. Dr. Jane’s Compatibility Meter is a relationship game that is based on legitimate research. Playing this game can lead to important conversations, new excitement as we learn new things about each other, and presents an opportunity to grow closer. Often the laughs and giggles that come with pillow-talk increase. After all, talking with your partner should be fun and meaningful! Shouldn’t...

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Ray Rice: A letter to those who hurt the ones they love

While the Ray Rice NFL scandal has sent a shock wave through America, too many people will watch the news wondering if one day, they too will be exposed for their cruelty to others – spouse abuse. While the sports and entertainment industries glamorize violence, it is not okay to harm the people around you! From the time we are born, each one of us strives to control ourselves. In school and at home, we learn how to control ourselves by maintaining important boundaries. Our human charge is to maintain self-control — Not “other-control“. Those who hurt the ones they love, seek to control others because they feel out of control themselves. If you batter, abuse, punish or dominate another person, you are not just hurting one person. You are hurting an entire community. Realize that the pain you cause affects children, parents, friends, employers, co-workers, neighbors and in the case of Ray Rice, he has caused pain to the NFL and the entire country. You don’t have to feel out of control. Thousands of mental health professionals are trained to help break the cycle of abuse. Help yourself become more lovable. Self-control is a beautiful...

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SIX ELEMENTS OF MARITAL SATISFACTION

Not long ago, I did research on over 200 different marriages. My goal was to identify the relationship ingredients necessary for couples to achieve marital satisfaction. Below are six behaviors that can help you and your spouse make your marriage more rewarding. Expression of affection Affection is a relationship is expressed two ways – words and actions. When relationships are new, most couples pay a great deal of attention to each other and behave thoughtfully in many ways, no doubt a major point of attraction for both parties. While affection in a new relationship is easy, the real trick is to develop and sustain a genuine level of affection over time. Communication Early in relationships, partners often describe how easy it is to talk endlessly about almost anything. But over time, communication needs to involve more than interesting dialogue. Communication becomes a matter of listening to one another’s thoughts, ideas, feelings, and opinions. Communication should involve trust, a desire to confide, and an ability to express one’s self without fear of harsh judgment. Consensus While it is actually quite dull to agree about everything, partners in a relationship must have a basic level of agreement on certain matters. As relationships develop, they establish understandings between them about issues such as money, recreation, home environment, parenting, and relationships with others. While it may not be necessary to agree on all matters of politics and religion, it is exhausting when every discussion results in conflict. A certain level of agreement is necessary for a relationship to function well, which usually requires willingness to compromise. Sexuality and intimacy Among the most important ingredients in a marriage are the elements of sexuality and intimacy. Sexual love is a crucial and binding force in marital relationships. Sexuality and intimacy reassure partners that they are loved, valued, and attractive while providing security by satisfying a basic human need. Over time, these two elements create deep personal bonds or convey the height of personal rejection. Conflict management When partners disagree, the disagreement itself is usually not the biggest problem. The greater problem is usually the fall-out from the tactics partners use in a struggle to get their way. In general, people hate the feeling of giving in and seek revenge when we feel like we’ve lost face. It’s wise to consider how conflicts are handled in your marriage. Some spouses manage conflict by habitually giving into the wishes of their partner, regardless of their own feelings. While at face value this seems like a strategy for peace, it usually results in built-up anger, which often surfaces in some other destructive way. Others resolve conflict by resorting to bullying behavior, which often turns from verbal to physical violence. When conflict escalates into domestic violence, it leaves permanent scars on a relationship. Distribution of roles Marital satisfaction is related to the satisfaction spouses have with the roles they...

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