Okay, enough of the
1. Turn toward each other instead of away.
Being positive and intentional with day-to-day interactions with our partner is far more powerful and bonding than periodic big dates or vacations. Masters of marriage have a 5 to 1 ratio of these positive mini-interactions to negative ones. When busy or stressed, instead of ignoring your partner or expressing agitation, choose to respond kindly (i.e., text them: “Thanks for calling. I’m buried and can’t talk but really look forward to talking this afternoon. Can I call you then?”)
2. Nurture fondness and admiration.
Regularly remember, write down and talk about:
• Our partner’s positive qualities and nice things they do for people, even if they do not directly affect us.
• Fun, playful, romantic and good sexual experiences we’ve had with them.
3. Handle conflict skillfully.
• Soften our startup. When there is a disagreement, start the conversation with something soft and loving, like “hey, beautiful, can we talk about what just happened? I want to understand what is going on for you.”
• Soothe ourselves and our partner. Periodically interject, “hey, thanks for having this hard conversation. I’m glad we are willing to work through this stuff. I really love you.”
• Whenever possible, receive your partner’s influence and do it their way.
• Celebrate that we are different from our partners. Gottman discovered that super happy masters of marriage never resolve a full 69% of their conflicts. This means that you can still have a great relationship without solving every difference of opinion. Let it go!
So, whether our partnership is dead and needs a miracle, or healthy and needs a little juice, why not pick two action plans from above and make your relationship better? Heck why not nurture some fondness and admiration right now with a text?!