“For better or worse” is what they say. All of us could stand to improve the “worse” times. But what can YOU do to improve these times? Waiting for your partner to change is not the best option. You can make changes that will bring improvements in your marriage; today; even right now.
The following tips will give you a basic idea of where to start.
Finish your business. Take care of you and your unfinished business because if you don’t, you will marry it-most people marry their unfinished business according to Terry Real, author of “The New Rules of Marriage”. Finishing your emotional business that you brought into this relationship will benefit you, your spouse, your relationship, and your kids. Also known as “emotional baggage”, make sure you clean out those bags-on a regular basis and deal with what is in there! This will help you to be more whole and feel like you have more to give to your spouse. Self-care is not selfishness. Being the best “you” that you can be, only enhances your relationship
Look for the positive, the reasons you chose your partner. Remind yourself of these reasons; especially when you are angry, upset, and/or frustrated with your partner. In the tele-conference, you will learn the concept of five positives. Think about the last positive experience you had in your marriage. It may come to you quickly but if asked to think of the last fight or disagreement you had, that may come quicker, according to much of the literature on marital satisfaction. Negatives outweigh positives so remember it takes more positives to balance the scale of your marriage.
Do you want to be right or happy? Learning how to express your needs and feelings in a way that you can be heard without needing to be right. Being right doesn’t work in marriage; because even if you are right, this means your partner is wrong. If your partner is wrong, they walk away feeling badly about themselves. Now you have a partner who wants to keep his distance from you because he feels badly. How has being right helped your relationship?
While these are simple and basic concepts, you will gain a deeper understanding of why you chose your partner, how you can make changes within yourself that will help to change and improve your marriage and how to be happier. We all have winning and losing strategies that we use in our marriages to help us cope with being hurt, fear of being rejected, or anger. It helps to be conscious of which ones you use and how to choose to use winning, successful strategies as often as possible.