Surprisingly, it's not healthy communication. It's not conflict resolution skills. It's actually the size of the marriage's joy gap.
Joy Gap /joi gap/ (n.)-1. The length of time between moments of shared joy
When the joy gap gets bigger, problems are more likely to overwhelm you, resentment creeps in, and you start to feel distant and alone in your marriage. When the joy gap is smaller, you regularly feel connected and happy, problems feel manageable, and your marriage becomes a reliable source of joy. But how do you ensure that you're experiencing joy regularly?
Marcus Warner and Chris Coursey have studied relationships (and neuroscience) and discovered four habits that keep joy regular and problems small. Some couples do them naturally, but anyone can learn. That's why each chapter includes 15-minute exercises that boost joy and re-train your brain to make joy your default setting. You'll learn new skills including how to:
return to joy more quickly after disconnection
create stronger bonds and elongate times of happiness
boost your enjoyment of physical and emotional intimacy
Find out what your marriage looks like after a little work and a whole lot of joy.
“My wife, Stasi, and I have been through it all, and I can tell you these guys are right—it’s all about joy. You can get joy back in your marriage. Really. You can recover intimacy and even playfulness! Read this book!”
JOHN ELDREDGE — Author of Wild at Heart and Love and War; Founder of Ransomed Heart Ministries
“Warning: The exercises laid out in this book are known to cause increased levels of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin in those married couples who practice them. Greater intimacy, more satisfying rest, more frequent laughter and joy are the most common side effects. Be aware that joy, in full strength, is extremely contagious and habit-forming.”
LYN WALKER — Women’s Ministries Coordinator, Community Reformed Church