• Jen Makin

One Key Way To Better Your Marriage

Marriage can be life’s greatest joy, but it can also, at times, bring a tremendous amount of heartache. I have heard the saying, “If it hurts you, let it go.” And many people do let their marriages go, either through divorce or simply not caring for it anymore. Marriage maintenance is a real principle. Day to day, I see couples working hard in every area of their life, except for their marriage. And this can be a slippery slope. May I suggest one simple way to keep your marriage well fed? And it’s so simple you can start today! Always Approach Your Spouse Kindly Kind words can be so powerful to a marriage. When couples start to slip down that slippery slope, this is often the first thing to go. When the relationship was new and fresh, the couple looked into one another’s eyes and could only see the good.

Then, something happens gradually. The couples gets married and they start to see one another’s flaws. Day to day life sets in and that’s when things get messy. The picking and complaining starts. Phrases like “You never..” or “Before we were married you always..” tend to slip into daily vernacular. If this is occurring in your marriage I challenge you to stop today. Instead, replace it with a new vocabulary. Instead of seeing what’s (s)he’s not doing correctly, notice what they are. They missed taking out the trash because they were running out the door in a hurry to make it to work on time: “Babe, thank you so much for always making it to work on time. I appreciate how seriously you take providing for the family.” She jumped out of the shower and left her towel on the closet floor. Again. Instinct kicks in and you feel justified to scold her like a child. Instead try: “Babe, I really appreciate how you take care of yourself and shower every day. It means so much that you value your hygiene. I find you very attractive.” Sure, you’re still frustrated that the trash didn’t go out and they left their towel on the floor. And those things can be addressed. Later. Quietly serve your spouse by doing those things for them at first. Then, once there’s a loving and trusting bond you may add: “And I know in order to be on time, you sometimes forget to grab the trash on your way out. Do you mind doing it at night instead? I so appreciate it!” “I know that you value getting ready every day, and sometimes when you do you forget to put your towel up. Is there a way that I can support you so that it doesn’t end up on the floor of our closet? I know you value a clean home too.” Yes, you gave feedback that was necessary, but you did it in a way that wasn’t demanding, demeaning or harmful. You quietly served your spouse then took an opportunity to ask for what you need. The hope is, that it is received well, “Shoot! Your right babe. I’ll be more aware of that.”

Your spouse will appreciate you being kind and loving while giving feedback. When you’re consistently kind and loving, your marriage can grow. With that strong foundation, you can climb any mountain and navigate every trail. You have open, loving and meaningful conversation. Start today!

CLINIC LOCATION

One By One Behavioral Health 2019

Photography by Afton Photography

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