What are some techniques for turning around negative feelings for your spouse?
Everyone wants to be loving in a marriage, but time and familiarity can weigh heavily on partners in a marriage. Ben Affleck's comment upon receiving his Oscar for "Argo" created questions about his marriage when, in fact, many people are less enthralled with their partners than they were the first few years. If you have had negative feelings about your spouse for a short time or a long time and have turned them around to positive, what are some of the techniques you used. Your success may be helpful to others.
Affleck's marriage comment was: "It's work, but it's the best work there is, and there's no one else I'd rather work with."
I can't tell you how many times I've heard the expression that "Marriage is hard work." I never understood why when Ben Affleck said the same thing it was so controversial. I suspect it's because of whom he is married to.
Whether one's spouse is rich and famous or poor and unknown it still comes down to learning what each other wants and expects and being willing to compromise along the way. Compromise is work!
If marriage was "easy" the divorce rate would not hover around 50%!
Generally speaking our negative feelings towards our mate are usually tied to specific issues or a circumstance that rubs us the wrong way.
Rarely does it rise to the point of considering getting a divorce unless there is a pattern of frequent clashes. At some point you wonder if you're right for one another. Every fight or major disagreement is like removing a brick from the wall of love.
Whenever people reach a point where they feel like they have to walk on egg shells or contain their natural personality it's difficult to be "happy".
To some extent it's almost impossible to avoid this. Whenever there is a major argument over something you did or said it's human nature to attempt to avoid that scenario again. You can get to a point where you're "second guessing" your every word or action to keep the peace. It's not "fun" being someone other than yourself.
Two things I'd suggest are first get away from them for about an hour or so if you're upset because of a specific issue. Maybe go to the gym, do some activity with one of your best friends.
Read through some old greeting cards or love notes that were given to you as well as acknowledge to yourself all the things he/she does to illustrate their love and commitment to the relationship.. Have a discussion about getting away for a weekend together.
More often than not when there are sustained negative feelings towards a mate it usually also means there is very little sex and romance taking place. Make it priority to keep the magic alive!
It's easier to maintain a fire than it is to reignite a spark!
Katy.....What a question!! "Negative feelings" we have for someone who was once (OK here we go again....make me say it)...."The love of our life," begin to take hold due to UNRESOLVED ISSUES.
Huge issues aside,,,,,it's the day by day little "nit-picking" things that pile up, fester, remain unaddressed and just lay in one's gut, simmering slowly to a rolling BOIL.
Suddenly, we're looking at the same person we couldn't wait to marry and have a life with....like "WHO the hell is this person in my house and WHEN is he/she leaving so I can be happy again?" OK....I'm just making a point, but you must agree, It's fairly close to accurate.
When it gets to the point that we're desperately looking for that "manual for marriage" we never got as a wedding gift.....that's both good and bad. Good, because you care enough to want to do something positive about your waning love life, your frustrations & mostly you really want to FALL IN LOVE AGAIN. Also "Bad" that we're facing a reality we didn't expect......ever. What to do?
Whatever it takes and however you two need to arrange it, have a pleasant, calm face to face and decide whether you're both on the same page in terms of saving the marriage and rekindling the love. If you are.....you're already more than half-way there.
Then as closely as possible, bring yourselves back in time to when you met and began to fall in love...I"M SERIOUS. Go to some of the places you went to then (or reasonable facsimiles) do the things you used to do. Talk about some of the same things you did when you were just getting to know one another. A refresher course never hurt anyone. Do the loving, sweet, romantic things for one another you did when you were HOPING to woo him/her and especially say the positive things to one another as sincerely as you did back then. Spend a lot of time in bed.
This is not a step by step tutorial. You get the gist. I know you do. You're on your own from here.......IT WORKS!! Good luck!
I'm of the "ounce of prevention" mentality and I believe there is an inclination we have to sit on things or swallow anger or disappointment until it festers and blows up into something of epic proportions. The best thing I believe, and what I try to do is to address situations calmly as they arise. The whole never go to bed angry thing is really true. Couples who can talk and compromise and not get too caught up in only defending their own positions can work things out before chronic feelings of negativity come out.
Every partnership has ups and downs, but keeping the downs from reaching a rock bottom place is imperative. Work that one enjoys doesn't have to be a struggle. I think when most people hear marriage is hard work - their thoughts turn to "chore" or "difficult" . I love my partner and truly respect him, and we both work hard to keep our home, family and relationship with each other working. We don't fight - we talk. Communication is everything.
I think turning around negative feelings depends on what this person is doing to cause these negative feelings. Unless, of course, you are a flighty person and the new has worn off.
It isn't so difficult for partners to work on the little knit-picking things, like when he kicks his socks under the bed and laughs when you ask him not to, don't wash them the next time he does it. Let him wear dirty socks to an important business meeting. But then what do you do when the love of your life has a nervous breakdown and becomes an entirely different person from the one you married? Is a readjustment to this new spouse worth what it takes to live with him/her. I'm sure there are a number of military spouses wondering this very thing.
You stop and ask yourself several questions: Do you really want to be alone again? Do you really want to go through bankruptcy because that's what it would take because neither of you can afford the house or the nice car? Or is the new person so obnoxious (or abusive) that you can throw everything you've worked for down the tubes just to get rid of this person? How do the kids fit in to this new scheme?
If you don't love and hate your spouse, why are you still married. Get a divorce.
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