30 Jan Check With Me Later
There are all sorts and types of research. There is qualitative, quantitative, descriptive, exploratory, scientific, constructive, survey, observation, interview………..am I starting to sound like Charlie Brown’s school teacher yet? You know, the “wah wah wah wah” sounds on those classic cartoons! Well before you click all the way off let me tell you about two more types.
The two types of research I am referring to are cross-sectional and longitudinal. In simplest terms, cross-sectional research is taking a single view of something at a single moment in time whereas longitudinal research is studying something over time. So again you ask why I think you might even be remotely interested in this. Well it’s because I want you to consider using one but not the other of these methods in the most important research you do (yes, you do research). These are the studies you do about you, your marriage, and your family.
In couples who rank highest in marital satisfaction, one of the common elements to that satisfaction is that they don’t too hung up if something doesn’t go well in a particular moment. That is, they have a confidence in TIME. They believe that if they don’t work it out now, they will work it out later. They trust that over the long haul of their lives together they can and will become more and more successful at this important task. This stands in contrast to couples who create what I call “terminal moments” in which they fear that if they don’t get it worked out RIGHT NOW, they are in big trouble.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, what I want you to get is this; life is a longitudinal study. We cannot afford to put too much pressure on all the moments along the way but rather need to believe that as we do our best to be good husbands, wives, parents, children, and just people in general, we can and will do better over time. Keep on working. Keep on trying. Keep on believing in yourself and one another. Keep on challenging yourself. You’ll get it – sooner or later!