We all want to know the secret to a long and happy relationship. There is an excellent study of adult development that examined people continuously for six to eight decades. This Aging Well(1) study focused on three groups. The first is a sample of 268 socially advantaged Harvard graduates born around 1920. The second group is 456 inner-city men born around 1930. The third group is 682 intellectually gifted middle-class women born around 1910. The study involved eight initial in-depth psychiatric interviews. to establish a baseline. The follow-up study involved interviews with them, their parents, and teachers to obtain more objective information. Most of the subjects were then followed up continuously until they died.
To blow away all the statistics, the generativity task was the best predictor of a long-lasting and happy marriage in old age. Generativity is basically how involved we have been as parents. We generate and raise our children with varying degrees of involvement. The four main traits of the study for a long and happy marriage are generativity, commitment, tolerance and humor.
Generativity is a measure of our caregiving skills extended into retirement. The skills we use in parenting certainly include dedicated care, especially when the children are young. We make long-term commitments to our children as a matter of course, and we all know how much tolerance we need when they become teenagers. Humor is a good coping mechanism that helps relieve stress and lighten the intensity of the situation.
Good care begins with an attitude of acceptance of the importance of relationships in general. Those who had a positive and supportive role model from their parents tend to emulate those behaviors when they become parents. But those who have not developed basic trust with their primary caregiver tend not to be good caregivers.
Relationship skills learned in childhood usually carry over into marriage and other emotional relationships as well. The study mentioned above may suggest that if your partner was not involved in child-rearing, was not bonded in childhood, or is not involved in a caring role at work, he or she may not be involved with your child’s caregiving demands. relationship in the future.
If you have a partner who is faltering in these skills and you want to keep the relationship intact, you might consider managing your retirement plan by adding caregiver development goals. These skills can be learned, of course, as long as there is motivation. It is important to develop your caregiving skills for the times ahead when you need to depend on him. johnson
(1) Vaillant, G. “Aging Well” New York: Little, Brown & Co. 2002. p.113, 123.
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