Skip to content

Yes, You Can! (And Other Lessons from the Obama’s Marriage)

June 7, 2009

Michelle and Barack made headlines this week
( became instant fodder for Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show (“Take it down a notch, dude!” ttp:// as the first couple flew to NYC for dinner and a play. It was Date night. Most married couples began to experience death by comparison. Most, as I did, reflected on their lives with mates. I pondered, “Does looking for a new refrigerator qualify as Date night? Does enjoying a Saturday morning community garden sale qualify as Date day?” By comparison the answer is a resounding “No.” But the real lesson of Date night is to do something fun, occasionally something new (as recent research in couples’ relationships reveals and oh—by the way, have a good enough relationship base that you actually enjoy spending time with your partner. I encourage the couples I see in treatment (most of whom see me because they’re not having fun, in fact their relationship may be caught in a rip-tide of arguments over the usual suspects—children, chores, money, family issues, sex—to begin with small daily acts of specific appreciations ( Those everyday acknowledgments can range from personal compliments, to thanks for taking on a job that you didn’t have to do (or even couldn’t do), to valuing the fact that your partner provided a sympathetic ear, whether to partner, kids or extended family. Then build on that layer of appreciation with fun—taking turns to plan whether a Date night, a Date day, a Date family fun, or even a Date project—that reinforces your sense of togetherness. It doesn’t have to be dinner and a play to achieve the same goal. So thanks to the first couple for reminding us, whether long married or newlyweds, with or without kids, to take time for each other.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: