Dr. Romance answers questions from a reader about balancing her own relationship.
Dear Dr. Romance:
I am married 19 years and my husband and I have two children. We have a good marriage in so many ways, yet we continuously cycle to a low point every couple of months, primarily due to my change in mood and feelings about the relationship.
A bad case of ambivalence on my part. We recently had a nice break from one another with my travel for work. We decided to let go of the past negatives we know about one another and our relationship and start fresh. I really like this idea.
I've only been home for a few days and it's working so far. My goal is to have some guidance on setting the tone for our future. I really like what you wrote in "Attitude Adjustment" about inner peace, calmness and maintaining that balance.
I definitely am the one in the relationship who becomes unbalanced. My husband has never changed his feelings for me. He's very predictable and I think I may take him for granted. I want to avoid rehashing and complaining about the past. I'm not sure if this is doable.
We have had counseling in the past. It has been helpful, but I feel it's a waste of time to sit in a counseling office and complain about one another. I truly want some viable solutions. I would appreciate any feedback you can give me at this point and any particular books you can recommend would be helpful as well.
If you really think the problem is your mood, why not get counseling by yourself? As the article says, you can learn how to gain control of your emotional reactions, and also to learn to respond thoughtfully rather than act out like an undisciplined child. You can learn to calm yourself down, and to work with your husband instead of reacting like a crazy person. "Stop Reacting and Start Relating" shows you how you should relate to your husband, "Peace Begins at Home" will help you calm yourself down, "Relating With Love" will teach you how to be more loving and considerate, and "Resolving Inner Anarchy" will help you learn to sort out your thinking before you speak. It Ends with You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will help you understand why you react the way you do and change your attitude and reactions. Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences will help you and your husband repair the damage.
For free relationship tips and courses: LoveForever.com
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