7 Tips to Help Your Relationship Get Over a Bad Day

By

7 Tips to Help Your Relationship Get Over a Bad Day
Is it a bad relationship or just a bad day? Read this article about couples' bad days and what to do

This guest article from Psych Central was written by Nathan Feiles

Have you ever had one of those days where it’s clear that your relationship is more aggravating than soothing?

 

Every relationship has its share of frustrating days. An occasional bad day is expected and normal in any relationship. Only when the negatives begin to outweigh the positives is it time to become concerned.

Dr. John Gottman, a relationship specialist, identified through his research a concept he calls positive sentiment override. This refers to the lens through which we view and experience our relationship and partner on a regular basis:

Is our relationship and view of our partner generally positive with moments of negativity, or vice versa?

Gottman’s research suggests that it is important to view our partner’s negative moments as the exception to a bank of positivity built up over time in the relationship. If it seems that our partner’s positive moments are only the exceptions to consistent negativity — whether in attitude or relationship environment — then there is a greater likelihood of eventual breakup or divorce.

Simply stated, the culprit of relationship demise is not always the content of the arguments or the frustrations. Our perception of these events and our overall relationship environment also are important. However, for many of us, creating this concept of positive sentiment override in our relationships is much more easily said than done.

So, let’s look at some ways to create a healthy relationship environment with our partner that’s based on a bank of positivity:

1. Three positives to every one negative.

When your partner acts in a way that triggers negative emotion for you, come up with at least three positive things he or she does that either make you feel good, or that support the positive nature of your relationship.

2. Weekly togetherness activity.

Try doing something together on a weekly basis. It could be a date, but it could also be a productive activity, such as planning an event, building a model, baking cookies, doing a puzzle, making a photo album, writing a story, etc. Make it active rather than passive (e.g., watching TV together is passive interaction).

3. Turn frustration into an opportunity.

Is your partner having a bad day and acting coldly (or otherwise) toward you? Rather than joining in the negativity, try to understand what’s bothering your partner. See how you can be supportive to him or her. Keep in mind, once arguments start, listening stops on both sides. So having a productive conversation that can foster repair contributes to a healthy relationship environment.

4. Be mindful of the bad day.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

John M. Grohol

Psychologist

Dr. John Grohol is a mental health expert and founder of Psych Central. He has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues, and the intersection of technology and psychology since 1992.

Location: Newburyport, MA
Credentials: PsyD
Website: PsychCentral
Other Articles/News by John M. Grohol:

Why Do Your Relationships Fail?

By

Have you had multiple partners, but the basic dynamic between you and them remains the same; which in short is this—you don't get what you want? Somehow you keep making the same mistake, either choosing the wrong person or looking for the wrong thing from the person you choose. Filling a void What I often see in my private practice are adults ... Read more

How To Love And Support Your Partner After Serving Overseas

By

What people do not see and may not understand is that the homecoming of a veteran is both a treasured event and a complex process. For a couple, in addition to all that it demands in terms of the reality of time, space, roles, money, kids and deployment cycles, homecoming means finding a way to integrate all that has happened to each partner into the ... Read more

Is Marriage A Good Deal Or An Ordeal?

By

There are lots of expectations about what marriage will provide that motivate people to choose it over the single life. Including … Love Companionship Regular sex Meaningful emotional connection Mutual support Financial and emotional security Material comfort A permanent ... Read more

See More

 
Latest Expert Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular