The Music of Marriage
A marriage can survive long-distance physical separation that is inevitable because of jobs and responsibilities. To do so requires the couple to make a concerted effort to stay in tune with each other, even when continents and oceans separate them.
What about the “at home” marriages, where we see each other daily? What type of rhythm do we play?
For a married couple, it’s important to stay tuned to each other. That’s because music can elicit positive or negative emotions. The music we listen to defines our rhythm of marriage.
Synchronizing Notes and Hearts in Rhythm
The music of which I speak is one of blending and harmony. Studies show that when a group of musicians sing or play instruments together, their heart beats actually become in sync with each other. Imagine that. People, who are not related or connected in any other way, still connect with the rhythm of each other’s heartbeats when spending time singing or playing music together.
This tells us that being together as well as working together can create an emotional bond that influences not only our souls, but also our bodies. There is beauty (and also danger) in this.
In creating harmony together, we develop a rhythm like each other’s. Researchers of the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden studied the heart rates of high school choir members as they joined their voices. In an article shared on NPR, Musicologist Bjorn Vickhoff of the Academy noted:
“When you sing the phrases, it is a form of guided breathing, . . . . You exhale on the phrases and breathe in between the phrases. When you exhale, the heart slows down.”
But what really struck him was that it took almost no time at all for the singers’ heart rates to become synchronized. The readout from the pulse monitors starts as a jumble of jagged lines, but quickly becomes a series of uniform peaks. The heart rates fall into a shared rhythm guided by the song’s tempo.
Crescendo in Rhythm for the Win
There you have it. Being together and playing together brings harmony and synced rhythm. The tempo by which we play together affects our rhythm and the beat of our hearts. According to actual studies, unison synchronizes our hearts.
Could this be why some marriages crumble? Do we not spend enough time working together to produce harmony, using our energy to perfect a song with each other?
Do we spend so much time apart from each other, each pursuing our own visions and dreams? Instead of focusing together on the beauty of harmony that only comes when we work together, do we instead gear up for our own notes, losing crescendos because we each play a different song and to a different beat?
If we look around us and observe marriages, we will find that the couple who laughs, plays, and spends time together has a marriage that is secure. That’s because their hearts are beating together as one.
Every marriage has times when busyness, stress, or schedule decreases time together. Sometimes we need to shift into survival mode for a time. The key is to recognize the craziness of life for the moment. Then schedule time to be together to connect. Hang out together! Keep tuning your hearts toward each other, and you’ll find the rhythm of marriage brings settledness in your hearts.
You want a marriage that excels? Play together – work out the dissonance and blend your interests, time, and support to each other. You’ll find that, just like the musicians, your hearts will synchronize with each other. You’ll create a harmony that is more beautiful than you could have imagined.