With two fast-paced careers, a toddler, and another baby on the way, Meghan
and Jeremy Wilker have let their marriage drop to the bottom of their to-do
list. Can REDBOOK Love Network expert Jane Greer, Ph.D., help them finally make
time for each other?
Meghan and Jeremy Wilker are both at the top of their career game. Meghan,
32, runs a company that constructs Websites, and Jeremy, 38, recently launched
two companies: one sells fine-art photo prints online; the other is a digital
But it's no myth that women often want the same thing out of
relationships as men do; they just go about getting it in different ways and in
different phases of their lives, says Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD. She should
know: as co-founder and clinical director of the Gottman Institute, she focuses
on helping couples build and maintain healthy relationships. "There's kind
of a developmental process to relationships that in some ways parallels that of
the individual, and then calls on different things from partners in
relationships throughout a lifetime," Gottman tells WebMD.
Gottman says that what each woman needs, wants, and expects
from her marriage or intimate relationship may change from one phase of her
life to the next. Yet there are tips that help couples in all phases of life.
So let's start with those:
Make time for conversations where you find out what your partner has
Express fondness, appreciation, and admiration for your partner often.
Acknowledge your partners interests, even in small moments.
Avoid the "Four Horsemen" of Marriage: criticism, contempt,
defensiveness (which follows criticism and contempt), and stonewalling (that
is, when one partner completely shuts down and refuses to respond).
As the song says, "You got to have friends." Research
shows that in the 20s, women and men alike need solid friendships from their
partners, as well as ways to manage conflict when disagreements occur.
And did we mention good sex?
"What colors this period, at least at this time in history,
is that both men and women in their 20s are forming careers or moving forward
into their work paths, and there's a lot of stress in that process,"
Let's imagine Alice A, a 20-something newly married to Bob B
and just setting out on her career. To begin with, unless she or hubby has a
fat trust fund to live off, Alice is probably going to have to embark on her
career straight out of school.