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Review The Past, Create A New Future

Updated on April 14, 2014

Rekindle the spark in your marriage

Arguing. Negativity. Contempt for each other. These characterize many marriages. When you look at a couple with relationship problems displaying all of these traits or more, you wonder what brought them together in the first place.

However, if a couple can still look back and talk fondly about how they met and dated, marriage researcher John Gottman explains, then the union has a chance of surviving -- actually a very good chance.

His research indicates overwhelmingly (94 percent of all the time) that couples who talk positively about when they first met are likely to reconcile their differences. Their marriage not only survives, but thrives!

How do you and your spouse view the early days of your relationship? Can you recall each other in a more positive light?

Give it a try. Begin by reminiscing about your dating days. If you can recreate the excitement, anticipation and love of those early days in your relationship, that's encouraging.

Actually, it's more than encouraging. It's therapeutic as well as the springboard to restoring your marriage.

Having this fundamentally positive view of your past is a powerful buffer, Gottman explains, when tough times hit. It's like having reserve of feelings to fall back on during marital stress.

Many couples don't realize the fragility of these early feelings. After continued arguments, feelings of contempt and mistrust and negative comments about each other, it's all too easy to lose touch with the spark that started it all.

And that's exactly where the "looking backward" part of this secret comes in. Positive feelings can always be recounted and remembered, regardless of the length of time they've been tucked away.

Don't be afraid to talk about the early days of your relationship with your spouse. The exchange will do you both good.

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