4. Overcome your L.D.D. (Listening Deficit Disorder) Listening without defensiveness is the ultimate spiritual act and the most precious Valentine's gift that we can give to our partner. Decide in advance that on this special day, you will enter every conversation with the goal of asking questions and listening only to understand. This means that you don't interrupt, argue, defend yourself, correct his exaggerations or distortions, or bring up grievances of your own. Save your defense for a future conversation on another day.
Forget about being right. Try to catch yourself when your focus on being right blocks you from working toward a common purpose- having a great Valentine's Day together!
5. Get more bite marks on your tongue. You know what irritates your partner so don't do it on February 14th. Dial down the criticism. Get out of debate mode, worry-mode, or advice-giving mode. Put nagging aside and don't bring up the to-do list. Do I really need to tell you that a Valentine's dinner isn't the time to figure out a more equitable sharing of household chores? 14 Ways To Stop Nagging And Save Your Relationship
If you've paired up with a distancer, he or she may be allergic to the sheer number of sentences or the intensity in your voice. So, if you do have a legitimate complaint, slow down your speech, lower the volume and say it shorter. You may need to fake it for the evening or engage in a bit of creative pretending. The goal is not to put a patina of false brightness on real problems, but rather to experiment with bold new behaviors. Valentine's Day is the perfect time to try on a "new you"!
Follow these five rules on February 14th. Then, try to live them as a daily practice. Making this effort will lay the foundation for dealing with conflict as it arises, and exceeding his threshold of deafness when you need to take a strong position and draw the line. I promise you this: If you follow these rules most of the time, (even with a large margin of error), you'll give your marriage the best chance of succeeding. Your relationship thanks you in advance.
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