In his book Love and Marriage, comedian Bill Cosby famously quipped, “For two people in a marriage to live together day after day is unquestionably the one miracle the Vatican has overlooked.” I think we can all relate. Let’s face it, the constant negotiations required to make the modern family hum are seemingly endless. Keeping the love alive in the face of the mind-numbing daily grind is like trying to scale Mount Kilimanjaro in high heels.
Statistics Canada tells us that the number of families led by dual-earning couples has increased dramatically over the last four decades. And work is the least of it; then there are the kids. Parent-teacher interviews, birthday parties, hockey practices, homework—no wonder you bailed on the personal trainer in favour of the party pack at the drive-through.
Which brings us to this column. What, you might ask, is a relationship column doing on a site dedicated to parenting? Well, as my own mother-in-law once sagely counselled, the marriage is primary; everything else is secondary. It’s a sentiment echoed by marriage therapists and psychological theorists the world over. The parental relationship is the foundation upon which the entire family is built; a rocky relationship sends tremors through the entire family unit. Besides, as anyone who has teenagers will attest, sooner than you can say “social media” your kids will shun you for their Facebook friends. What will you be left with?
Marriage* means commitment—of course, so does insanity (as the joke goes). But what does commitment really mean? If you think it means putting up and shutting up, then maybe this column isn’t for you. But if you think getting the love you want (to paraphrase the great marriage guru Harville Hendrix) is as much about creativity as it is compassion, then welcome aboard.
Whether your partnership is in need of a major overhaul or a slight tune-up, I hope you’ll join me here regularly. In this space, every week, we’re going to put our relationships on the front burner. We’ll face some of the most common foes (from communication breakdowns to bedroom malfunctions) and then I’ll arm you with a new understanding of what’s really at work in your relationship. And, since I never want you to leave empty handed, I’ll make sure every column contains some “try this at home” tips and techniques. That’s right, the grown-ups are going to get homework, too. Together, we’re going to light a fire under your love affair. We’re going to re-ignite the spark. Ready? Put the lock on the bedroom door.
Do you have an issue you’d like Liza to explore in a future column? Drop her a line at email@example.com or leave your comment below.
*Note: this is an inclusive column. For the sake of concision, “marriage” is used to describe all forms of unions.