Put On Your Rose-Colored Glasses

By

Put On Your Rose-Colored Glasses
Improve your relationship immediately by making generous, loving, assumptions about your partner.

Save Valentine's Day By Putting On Your Rosé-Colored Glasses

                                    By Dr. Bonnie Ray Kennan, MFT

 

     Are you avoiding Hallmark stores this time of year? Do you cringe, then quickly change the channel, when the Pajama-gram ads air? Are you secretly hoping Valentine's Day will simply pass without a fight and you won't have think about it anymore??

      Chocolates and flowers are always welcome, but there is a better gift you can give your partner that will be far more cherished and long lasting. If you would like to feel more connected and loving, try what I call "putting on your rosé-colored glasses." This means that you will mindfully cultivate an optimistic set of attributions and assumptions about your partner. I'll explain.
    
     Attributional style refers to one's patterned, repetitive habits of attributing motive and explanation to another person's behavior. For example, when a husband comes home with flowers, Wife A, a woman with a pessimistic attributional style, will automatically assume he has been doing something wrong for which he is trying to repent. (You can fill in the blanks about what comes next). Wife B, who has an optimistic attributional style, will reflexively  assume she is with a great guy who wants to express his love and adoration for his wife. Many behaviors will follow both scenarios, regardless of what is actually true about the the husband's act of bringing home flowers.

     News Flash: in most cases, it doesn't matter what is actually true! I know that is a tough one, but try it on. I'll elaborate more in another blog, but for now, take that leap. Absolute, objective truth is frequently not relevant to being in a healthy, loving, and satisfying relationship.

     Now, these attributions/explanations are not completely arbitrary because past behavior helps us to predict an individual's future behavior. Nonetheless, there is an aspect of this that is completely arbitrary. You can change your relationship by simply becoming more like Wife B, (the woman with an optimistic attributional style).

     John Gottman's research on successful  married couples shows that they have cultivated habits of explaining each others behavior in terms that are generous. They automatically assume positive intent. They remember shared events in their relationship history favorably. They forget little things that went wrong and view their partners generously.

     The effect of this seemingly small shift, over time, can be dramatic and relationship-transforming! If you are experiencing relationship blah, or worse, are locked in a toxic and dysfunctional dance, try something different this year.  If you act fast, you may still be able to get a nine foot teddy bear or some chocolate-covered strawberries for your beloved. But before you present your Valentine with his/her valentine, put on your Rose-colored glasses!

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Bonnie Ray Kennan

Counselor/Therapist

Dr. Bonnie Kennan

Location: Torrance, CA
Credentials: CGP, EFT, LMFT, PsyD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Divorce/Divorce Prevention, Personality Disorders
Other Articles/News by Dr. Bonnie Ray Kennan:

My Holiday Gift To Men Everywhere

By

Dear wives and girlfriends, This fun and festive holiday season brings much promise. There will be parties, celebrations, and gift exchanges. Colorful trees, sweet and familiar melodies, and delicious food. It is a time to reconnect with family, friends, and that which is deeply meaningful. Beyond all of these external satisfactions, I want you to have ... Read more

True Love & The Bachelorette: Is This For Real?

By

Come on, admit it. You watched it; I know you did. This confession comes out in the privacy of my therapy office more than you can imagine. On Monday night you, along with so many others, curled up in front of the TV, grateful to have survived another Monday, and, popcorn in hand, watched the gut-wrenching saga of Des' and her final choice between Chris and ... Read more

How To Save Your Marriage: 7 Tips To Succeed At Counseling

By

Another relationship bites the dust. It's an occupational hazard for a couples counselor, but still, it's always sad. Despite my best efforts to help people negotiate the choppy waters of relationship distress, many of them simply don't make it. It goes something like this: A distressed husband or wife pleads on the phone, "I am calling for ... Read more

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS