It is very frustrating when someone else acts like they know better than you what you were really thinking. Express negative feelings constructively.
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There will be times when you feel bitterness, resentment, disappointment or disapproval. These feelings need to be communicated in order for change to occur. BUT - How you express these thoughts is critical. If you did, you would not work late every night.
This is much harder than learning how to express negative feelings effectively. Freely express positive feelings. Most people are quicker to express negative feelings than positive ones.
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It is vital to the health of your marriage that you affirm your spouse. Positive feelings such as appreciation, affection, respect, admiration, approval, and warmth expressed to your spouse are like making deposits into your love account. You should have five positive deposits for every one negative.
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If your compliments exceed your complaints, your spouse will pay attention to your grievances. If your complaints exceed your compliments, your criticism will fall on deaf ears. The problem: Those hurried pecks and embraces don't offer the same feel-good benefits longer stretches of physical intimacy do. No need to set a timer, says Blackham, but do extend your hugs and kisses longer than you normally would; you'll feel a new sense of connection.
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Take a walk together. If you're trying to decide how you two should handle your daughter's poor report card, hit the pavement. Not only will the fresh air clear your minds but also "the very act of walking in the same direction can help you two feel as though you're on the same team and want the same result," explains Blackham.
Physically heading to one place makes you more likely to be mentally in sync; it's like you're standing together instead of confronting each other.
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Match up your boozing levels. Couples who drink together stay together? So a disparity in drinking habits is a better predictor of divorce than the drinking itself, probably because they're less likely to fight about their differences.
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That's not to say you both should get wasted nightly if that's what one of you wants to do, but it's not necessarily a bad idea to grab a glass of wine or pop a brewski when your spouse unwinds with a beer. Sit next to each other at restaurant tables.
You may be inclined to take a seat across from your partner, but "it's a more aggressive stance," says Blackham. After all, it's how you and a prospective employer sit during an interview. Next time you're out, try grabbing a booth or putting separate chairs at a table side by side. Instead of playing footsie under the table, your man can slide an arm around you or touch your knee, while you can whisper in his ear. Jot down your guy's sweet deeds.
Maybe he filled up your gas tank without you mentioning it was getting low, or brought you flowers for no good reason.
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Once a day for a week, secretly write down something your man did that touched you. Keeping a list helps you feel grateful for the daily blessings of marriage, and sharing that list at the end of the week with your spouse makes him feel appreciated. Schedule rom-com date nights. You always knew there was a practical purpose to watching Harry and Sally fight; now science confirms it. According to a study from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, taking in movies about relationships together, and then discussing them, is just as effective at reducing divorce rates as learning about conflict management and compassion.