Most marriage and relationship advice books focus on solving problems. 

But my guests today argue that we shouldn’t wait until problems arise in our relationship to work on strengthening it. Instead, they say, when times are good, we should think about how to keep that good, and act to make it even better. 

Their names are James Pawelski and Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, and they’re husband and wife. James has a background in philosophy, and they both have backgrounds in psychology. They combined insights from both fields to write the book Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts. We begin our conversation discussing how most relationship advice falls short, the biggest myths people have about relationships, and the contrast between Plato’s and Aristotle’s approach to relationships. We then dig into the role emotions play in a relationship, particularly passion, and what we can do to continue to cultivate and experience positive emotions in a marriage even after being together for years. We then dig into how our character influences our relationships and how our relationships influence our character. James and Suzann share insights on how and why to focus on our strengths, help our partners develop their strengths, and even go on a “strengths date” together. We end our conversation talking about the power of appreciation in relationships.

Show Highlights

  • The relationship myths that pervade our culture  
  • What Plato & Aristotle had to say about relationships 
  • What does an Aristotelian relationship look like?
  • What a couple of popular movies can teach us about health relationships 
  • Managing emotions and passion in a relationship
  • On maintaining your own interests and hobbies 
  • The role of novelty in relationships 
  • The power of secrets  
  • Fostering positive emotions 
  • How your character impacts your relationship
  • What is a “strengths date”?
  • The immense importance of gratitude

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Connect With James and Suzann

Happy Together website

James and Suzie on Twitter

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The post Podcast #523: How to Keep a Happy Relationship Happy appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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