If your marriage is struggling, you might be worried about the financial and emotional complications of getting a divorce. You also might truly love your spouse and really want to take the necessary steps to fix your marriage. One main problem in your marriage is that you have a large number of negative interactions between you and your spouse and a small number of positive reactions. This is a problem because relationships in general rely on these positive interactions for the members of that relationship to actually feel as though they are being fulfilled in the relationship. Here are some tips for increasing the number of positive interactions that you have with your spouse.
1. Pay Attention When Your Spouse Is Talking
The first thing that you need to do is pay attention when your spouse is talking, especially if he or she is talking about something personal to him or her, such as a hobby, his or her day, or his or her worries. For example, suppose that your spouse and you and sitting on the porch and a kid rides by on a bike. Your spouse might point out the bike and say that this was the same one that he or she had when he or she was a kid and tell you a story about bikes. You can make the interaction negative by actively turning away or telling your spouse that you do not care. You can make the interaction neutral by not looking up from your phone and saying "That's nice." You can make the interaction positive by giving your spouse your full attention and actively listening. Ask questions about the story. Show that you are listening and that you care. This will encourage your loved one to do the same for you.
2. Downgrade Negative Interactions to Neutral
Another thing that you need to focus on is downgrading negative interactions to neutral. This is important because negative reactions will stick in your mind and that of your spouse, whereas neutral reactions are more likely to be forgotten, increasing the power of your positive interactions. When you are angry or frustrated with your spouse, try to remove yourself from the situation by simply saying "I am not going to react well to this and I don't want to take it out on you. I'm going to take a break." Say this calmly and rationally.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in marriage counseling, such as New England Family Institute.
After developing a chronic physical illness, I soon began realizing that the disease plagued my mind almost more than it did my body. While my illness is not life-threatening, it was very difficult accepting that I would have to take medication for the rest of my life and eat a strict diet. After a year of depression, I finally overcame my fear of "exposing" my feelings to others and made an appointment with a mental health counselor. With her help, I was able to see the "silver linings" in life that I had greatly taken for granted before I became ill. I now encourage anyone who is battling an illness of any type to seek the psychological help they need. I plan to post lots of little mental health tips and tricks on my new blog along with advice for choosing a good counselor. Please come back soon!