National Marriage Week is coming in February and here at the Relationship Repair Shop, we are focusing on a #Thankful For Marriage challenge. The challenge is this – when you are about to say something critical, sarcastic, or negative to your significant other – bite your tongue! Instead say something kind or thank your partner for something you are appreciative of. Try to do this at least twice per day and notice the changes in your relationship.
You know that I am the Relationship Repair Counter lady and of course, I encourage you to file complaints at the Relationship Repair Counter – but only sometimes and only important complaints. If you start complaining and becoming too negative that creates its own set of problems. There is a careful balance in relationships which requires a certain amount of positive interaction. If things get too negative in a relationship, Dr John Gottman, a prominent marriage researcher, calls this negative sentiment override. Early family and marriage therapists used the term negative feedback loop to describe a troubled relationship cycle.
On the other hand, if couples are avoidant of problems and never share complaints or resolve issues then they lose intimacy and closeness. After all, how do you really know your partner if you do not know at least some of their complaints and what gets on their nerves! So, we all have to find a balance – a ratio of positive to negative. Most of us can benefit from biting our tongue a little more and expressing appreciation in our relationships a lot more, so that is my challenge to you!
When I think of #Thankful for Marriage, I think of how my husband Brendan supports my service to you, my private practice, and developing my Radio Show – which I hope to have on a larger AM Talk Radio Station very soon! Now, you may not know this but my husband is a sales manager for a large steel company selling and designing large commercial steel buildings. You should know that in the background… my own partner has been doing more to support the effort to help you and your relationships move forward. Brendan has been helping more with taking kids to doctor’s appointments, and even scrubbing the floor occasionally – getting it done even while he was District Sales Manager of the Year in 2016 for his company and has had his Best. Sales. Year. Ever! When your partner is your helpmate and your teammate, you can get a lot done! Especially when there are quick repairs for those inevitable moments when you hurt each other’s feelings or mess up the schedule- a quick “I am sorry” or “how can I fix that?” or “How can I make that up to you?” can help to reduce time and energy spent on drama and increase the time spent having fun and serving others – and apparently selling more steel! Yes, folks, I am #Thankful for Marriage.
What are you thankful for? Tell your partner more of what you appreciate, bite your tongue more when you are having negative and critical thoughts (we all have them when our significant other gets on our nerves), and make quick Repairs at the Relationship Repair Counter. Get Involved in the #Thankful for Marriage Challenge this holiday season culminating in National Marriage Week in February. You can do this!