With our fast paced society and the extreme demands hitting us from every side, more and more couples find negativity taking over their marriage. An abrupt injection of positivity into your relationship is the only way to change the environment before it is too late.
From over 30 years of research in 48 countries with thousands of happily married couples, we have discovered tips they use to keep their relationships positive. Here are the 5 tips you can use to jerk your marriage out of a negative rut:
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1. Take an honest look at what YOU could do differently to improve your relationship. Could you spend more time with your spouse, or take more interest in their hobbies, or stop pointing out their weaknesses or talk more openly about what is bothering you?
2. When dealing with a marital crisis avoid saying:
- It's your fault! Sometimes, a financial decision goes bad or your child gets in trouble at school. Blame doesn't work!
- I told you so! These four words are rarely ever used in successful marriages.
- Saying "I am upset with you about . . ." in a public setting.
- Why do you always . . . Focusing on your spouse’s weakness rather than building on their strengths will only increase their weakness and diminish their strength.
- Ask for your spouse's opinion and then do the opposite.
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3. Repair your spirit and your balance. Take the steps to get healthy mentally and physically. You can't turn off the negativity when you are in an unhealthy state. You need to heal yourself first.
4. Successful couples build positive interactions with each other on a daily basis. Begin your interactions with positive comments. Comment on something your spouse has done that was good, helpful or kind. Notice the small things and make a nice comment about them. If your spouse begins a conversation with a negative comment or is upset, don't jump down their throat with a negative response. Bite your tongue and wait to comment until you can turn your thoughts into a positive comment. It is amazing how often an entire conversation can be changed with a positive comment.
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5. Appreciate what you have! If you have good health, a place to live, or a job, you already have more than most people in the world. Focus on the positives. Talk openly about them. Your happiness will begin putting the spark back in the relationship.
Remember, getting out of a negative spiral begins with one positive action, then another, until a habit of positive actions is built in your relationship.