This conflict situation could have been nipped in the bud, if John and Joan had only dealt with their frustrations earlier on in their marriage. Remember that it takes individual bricks to build a brick wall, so if they had only dealt with each brick one at a time as they stacked up, they would not have had a wall of resentment and frustration to contend with.
- Communicate – deal with your irritations as they appear. Your partner leaves his/her socks lying on the floor? An obsessive TV habit that’s driving you crazy? Tell your partner how it makes you feel. Verbalize what is important to you. But do this sensitively and tactfully!
- Make an effort to change – okay, so your partner has told you that you need to close the lid on the toothpaste, so now what? Do it! Even if it means that you need to make that little bit more of an effort, remember how important it is to your partner and to your relationship. And in return, you will find that your partner will take special care in trying to stop habits that frustrate you.
- Thank each other – notice the effort that your partner is making to keep you happy and verbalize that. Thank your partner – not once or twice, but every time you see him/her attempting to change a habit and let him/her know that you really appreciate it!
Try this and you will see that you will feel more loving to your partner and this will bring you closer together.
Remember, it’s the little things that count…