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10 reasons to stay together

Date

Dr Barton Goldsmith

Don't give up on your relationship - it makes you a better person, writes Dr Barton Goldsmith.

Keep it together ... turning your relationship around is probably easier than you think.

Keep it together ... turning your relationship around is probably easier than you think. Photo: Getty Images

We all want reasons for the things we do and don't do. When it comes to love, however, what we do is seldom reasonable. Here are some good reasons to be in a relationship and ways to keep yours on track.

1. Remember that being in a relationship is good for you. Statistics show that married people live longer than their unmarried counterparts. They also have higher happiness levels. There is no crime in being single - it may be your destiny - but marriage does seem to make sense from a health standpoint.

2. Those who continue to create more love in their lives also create more opportunity, money and fun. When you have someone by your side who is striving for the same goals, they are attained much more easily.

3. Relationships can help make us better people. Often we have the energy to do things for others that we wouldn't do for ourselves. Love is powerful in that way. If your partner brings out the best in you, he or she is a keeper.

4. You can get more done when you have a partner. Sometimes it's a matter of motivation. Other times it's just nice to have company. Whatever the reason, four hands can get more done than two. Putting your heads and hearts together helps as well.

5. Turning things around can be much easier than you think. Usually we are just being stubborn or resentful. Dropping your attitude and appreciating that your other half has been putting up with your peccadilloes can help make you more understanding.

6. Do nice things for no good reason, and be appreciative when that favour is returned. Life doesn't give us many free lunches. Doing something nice for your mate, "just because", makes life sweeter for both of you.

7. Most people have more fun playing with others. Doing things by yourself can be very fulfilling for some, but many people like the idea of enjoying life with a partner.

8. Having someone who knows you deeply is validating. This is the gift of knowing that the wonderful things you do are not going unnoticed, and it gives you more reason to do them.

9. Romance creates warmth, hope, and happiness. The more you have, the more you will enjoy your life. It sounds simple because it is.

10. Having a hand to hold as you go through life makes the difficulties we all experience easier to deal with. When things go awry, knowing that your mate has your back will allow you to go through whatever you have to and come out the other side a more positive person.

I'm sure there are a number of people who could write an opposing column. I just believe in the power of relationships and would rather be in one that I'm working on (which should never stop) than have no one to improve with. A good relationship makes both of you better, and besides, it's more fun when you have someone sharing the ride.

* Dr Barton Goldsmith is a psychotherapist and author in Westlake Village, California.

SHNS

78 comments

  • ...and even more fun if you have someone on the side.

    Commenter
    Plus one
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 08, 2012, 12:47PM
    • absolutely agree.

      nothing quite like playing the happy husband/father role, knowing you've got the young fluff on the side for the all-important sexual side. especially when the wife has wilfully put a stop to all the good stuff that you used to get, only for a plain vanilla root every month.

      better that the hired help can provide what she obviously has no interest in performing. what are you supposed to do, put up with that kind of a sub-standard effort ?

      Commenter
      too right
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      August 08, 2012, 3:06PM
    • @too right - wouldnt it be hilarious if your wife was only giving you a "plain vanilla root" because a) she doesnt find misogynists attractive; b) you bore her in bed; and c) she is saving the good stuff for her personal trainer/the pool boy/someone who deserves it? I hope so!

      Commenter
      Ick
      Date and time
      August 08, 2012, 5:11PM
  • "Statistics show that married people ... have higher happiness levels."

    I don't recall where, but I remember reading a study in which a large number of unhappily married people were interviewed about their happiness levels. Five years later, the same people were interviewed again to assess their happiness levels.

    According to the study, the people who had worked through it and stayed together were as happy as any other married people five years later; whereas those who had split up were as happy as any other unmarried person (ie, generally not as happy). Basically, the statistic was that even if you are unhappy now, working through it leads you to a better place.

    (I caveat this: any person subject to domestic violence should leave. That's not worth sticking around for.)

    Commenter
    Sarah
    Date and time
    August 08, 2012, 12:48PM
    • Yes, and the statistics also indicate that individuals are happier and healthier single compared to living in a bad or dysfunctional relationship, i.e. where there is on-going physical and/or emotional abuse. So the blanket statement about relationships being good for you is somewhat simplistic.

      Commenter
      RR
      Date and time
      August 08, 2012, 5:22PM
    • Statistics show that married people ... have higher happiness levels."

      Statistics show anything that silly people want to conclude from them.
      Unhappy people are less likely to get someone to marry them, or to stay married.
      Same applies to those in poor health.
      So, it is not proven from statistics that marriage actually causes better health or happiness.

      Statistics also show that half the bloggers on this site are below average.....

      Commenter
      Robert
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      August 08, 2012, 7:25PM
    • Very good to see a positive story for a change.

      Has certainly brought out the bitter and twisted ones though. Do yourselves a favour and ignore the positive articles next time as your bitterness makes you look sad and pathetic.

      Commenter
      True
      Date and time
      August 10, 2012, 8:58AM
  • OMG, someone needs to point out to this author the difference between the "ideal" of a relationship and actual common"reality". Of course I would be in a relationship if all those things were likely to come out it. Judging by the experience of my friends and family marriage is the single greatest cause of misery on the planet. Why can't we admit this as a society and stop perpetuating the myth of marital bliss. I am content to stay happy, successful and single thank you very much. I am also far my youthful and healthy than my married friends too. ROLFL :-)

    Commenter
    OMG
    Location
    NSW
    Date and time
    August 08, 2012, 12:53PM
    • Perhaps your friends and family just aren't doing it right?

      Commenter
      Ailie
      Date and time
      August 08, 2012, 1:37PM
    • Please wear a t-shirt saying "Bar Humbug" just so I can avoid speaking to you if I ever see you in the street. What a smart-@ss.

      Commenter
      Good for the U.S doc
      Date and time
      August 08, 2012, 1:46PM

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