Monday, July 2, 2007

Marriage Tips

1. Love is not a feeling, it is a decision. Don't buy into the fairy tale that “they got married and lived happily ever after,” it’s called a fairy tale for a reason!! Marriage takes work, and commitment.
2. Establish healthy communication.
  • If possible, stop what you are doing and give your spouse your full attention.
  • Listen without interrupting
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Don’t make assumptions about what is being said.
  • Respond without criticism.
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand what your spouse is saying.
3. Set a ground rule of no swearing. It's OK to argue, but never use curse words to express your anger. Swearing at another human being is only done for one reason…to demean them.
4. Use three filters before criticizing. Ask yourself if what you are about to say is 1) true, 2) necessary, 3) mean? If your words can’t make it through all three of the filters, keep your mouth shut!
5. Different does not equal wrong. We often assume that our way of doing things or thinking is right, and if our spouse does things differently, they are wrong. Different ≠ Wrong…Different = Different.
6. Plan a weekly date night. If you are not intentional about spending time together, life will slip away and your relationship will slip away with it!
7. Once a week ask your spouse, “What is one thing that I did this week that was irritating,” and “what is one thing I can do next week that would make you feel loved?”


Jeri Dansky said...

So much good advice in such a small space! Some of this was familiar, but nicely worded. (I'm especially fond of different = different.) But the last one was a new idea for me, and I like it a lot.

Diana Bartling, MA, LCPC said...

Thanks, I do a lot of marriage counseling...this is one tip that really works to keep a marriage alive.