Making Roots to Keep Your Relationship Strong

Our families of origin are often scattered around the country today and are 
not easily accessed. Our friends from childhood and the memories of our childhood are often distant too. It is important to our health as a couple that we find a way to touch our roots and to make new roots when we need to. When we are not connected and try to be everything to each other, it does not work well. Marriages need a social circle with rituals that we can count on. We need to keep in touch with our families by phone or skype. Make trips both ways to connect with each other. Taking this seriously affects our mental health in every way. It affects our chemistry. Touching someone you love reduces pain. With married couples, the stronger the marriage, the more powerful the effect. There is so much research to help us take this seriously. For instance, five hugs a day for four weeks increases our happiness. When researchers put people in a stressful situation and then let them visit loved ones or talk to them on the phone or in person, they felt supported and their bodies responded as they reported that they felt better. And if you think that texting works the same, apparently not. In this research, they also had people texting their loved ones. If they texted, their bodies responded biologically as if they had no support at all. As I have blogged about before, connecting has huge health benefits all around.

Now remember that I am talking about the best case scenario. What if you come from a very dysfunctional background and after much trying you are mostly disconnected from your family? In that case, you must make as many connections with others as is possible. According to research, it seems as if you need to each have a least four good friends to have the kind of health benefits that are important. Having friends that you are not biologically connected to takes time. Building the kind of memories and trust where you have a certainty that the other will be there for you – takes time. Put it in your calendar. You need to see it there and bring it about. Continue to have balance, however. Your time and loyalty to your partner needs to be on the calendar as a number one priority too. To your healthy life.  Go forth and be wonderful!

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