Monday, February 3, 2014

Things Couples Should Say More Often - Guaranteed to Improve Your Marriage

 I LOVED the previous video Twenty Things We Should Say More Often.  It cracked me up and kept me giggling all day.  I could feel my endorphin's kicking in.  I quoted them to couples who I work with and giggled every time I did.  Check out the previous post if you missed it last week - More Wisdom From the Mouths of Babes.

The truth is that saying nice things in a nice tone of voice is guaranteed to improve your marriage.  Saying grumpy - if honest- critical, judgmental or harsh statements is guaranteed to make it worse. Research by John Gottman will back me up on this if you are the type that needs footnotes.  Otherwise, trust me.

Positive reinforcement is much more potent then negative and can change reactive, negative patterns.

Try using the following in your marriage and see what happens.

Thank you * sends a message of love and respect. It says that you value and appreciate the person.  Instead of nagging or kvetching about something you do not like about your spouse, try thanking them for something you do appreciate. Guaranteed to work.

Excuse me * similar to thank you.  It's Civility 101 in a marriage.

I'm sorry* should be an everyday part of the vocabulary of a married couple. It is simply impossible to live intimately with another person and not annoy or hurt one another.  Taking responsibility - even if you are only 1% wrong is appropriate and disarming in a marital conflict. You heard me right. Even if you are only 1% wrong -  own up to it.

I forgive you* is probably the single most important ingredient for a happy marriage.  Wrongs, offenses and hurt feelings are an inevitable part of married life.  Letting go of those feelings is critical.  This is not the same as cheap grace or excusing unacceptable behavior.  Forgiveness of life's everyday slights and hurts is part of maturity and a growing marriage.

More thoughts on 20 Things We Should Say More Often to come. Try these.

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