America's Hidden Epidemic: Roommate Marriages

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America's Hidden Epidemic: Roommate Marriages
Passion and emotional closeness has gradually morphed into silent routines and polite indifference.

Prioritize your needs. Is your need to be right more important than your need to be loved? Being flexible and cooperative brings caring and affection toward you while needing to be right pushes love away.
4. Offer Affectionate Attention. To people on the street you give passive attention. The persistently barking dog gets your negative attention. Affectionate attention is reserved for those closest to you, those you love. Affectionate attention is special because it is infused with caring, concern, interest and involvement. It’s the kind of attention that is nurturing, supportive and encouraging. It contains no judgements, blame or criticism.
Partners in roommate marriages often feel judged and unappreciated. They say they feel invisible, that their presence is not welcomed and their voice is not heard. Affectionate attention cuts through this sad situation by offering a safe emotional space where your partner feels valued and cherished.
You offer affectionate attention by putting yourself in your partner’s skin so to speak and seeing what they see, feeling what they feel and hearing what they hear. You listen deeply to both the facts and feelings in what your partner shares. You’re alert to sensing changes in their mood and whenever possible anticipate their needs.
5. Carefront Your Anger. Carefronting means taking the hot emotion out of anger. Anger is a physical/emotional reaction. There is nothing about anger itself that is bad or destructive. It’s a feeling like any other. All feelings come and go, they rise up and if we don’t latch onto them they pass through us like a cold chill.
Some people latch onto anger and feel empowered by it. They vent their anger and say and do things they later regret. Others latch on in a different way. They are afraid of anger so they push it down and pretend it’s not there. It comes out disguised as being moody or sad or not feeling well. There are also those individuals who nurse their anger, they hold onto it for long periods of time. They always have some old anger on hand to add to any new anger that comes up.
When you carefront your anger you don’t vent, deny or nurse it. You begin watching for any angry feelings as soon as they start moving inside you. This kind of “witnessing” gives you some distance from the anger. You will not immediately latch and automatically begin repeating bad anger habits. With this distance you will have more control and you’ll be less likely to act out your anger in destructive ways. In fact, carefronting will help you be on friendly terms with your anger so you can express it directly in a non-blaming and non-attacking way. This sets the stage for discovering the issue or issues that triggered anger in the first place.
6. Be Your Best Self. A simple truth: you cannot be selfish and happily married. Another truth is that we live in a self-centered culture that encourages us to think in terms of “me, my and mine.” Self-interest, looking out for #1, we are told is the way to a happy fulfilled life. Consequently most of us operate with a kind of me first survival mentality. We rarely consider an alternative way of being.

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