29 April 2012

09. 5:1

Fight For Your Love

09.  5:1

Remember the days when you were courting your spouse and you noticed all their positive attributes.  You seldom mentioned or noticed any of their negative traits.   You found their differences intriguing or exciting.  You knew how to make your partner feel valued and loved.  I know you can remember those days and right now you are probably thinking what happened to that guy or girl I was dating.  We all have this lovey-dovey stage and the longer a couple is together the farther we drift away from that stage.  Instead of automatically noticing the positives you now find yourself automatically noticing the negatives.  Since your focus is on the negatives these are the things you naturally pay attention to and what you tend to comment on.

John Gottman, a marriage relationship expert, has a great formula to keep couples happy and away from divorce.  He suggests you aim for a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions.  This positive interaction of love, interest, and generosity can be in the form of verbal and non verbal cues.  Even if you are angry with your partner or feeling resentful just try this for a week and see what happens.  If you can't muster up a 5:1 ratio start with 2:1 then gradually move up, a little start is better then nothing.

Now if you are thinking I can't possibly think of 2 let alone 5 nice things to say to my spouse in one day then you have lost perspective.  Each individual has more good qualities and strengths then bad.  Each person is better then any of their mistakes.  Every relationship has a few good qualities.  So if you are finding it hard to focus on the good it is because you have forgotten to take notice and comment on the positive.  

Your challenge for this week is starting today change your perspective and notice all the good in your spouse and comment on them!  Make your spouse feel seen and cared for by aiming for that 5:1 ratio.

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