Pay attention to the details.
When it comes to the causes of divorce there are the biggies…
Infidelity, physical emotional or otherwise.
Addiction and substance abuse.
Excessive anger or abuse.
And then there is the slow buildup of resentment, the everyday moments that turn from loving and attentive to bitter, angry, sour, mean or otherwise ignored. Over time these feelings can turn what was once a loving relationship into an unhappy disconnect that can lead couples to look for a way out. So here’s one way to start to turn things around today. Pay attention to the details!
Each day, moment after moment you have a choice about how to respond to and engage with your spouse or partner. Use each moment to make a change towards a more positive future. It is the compounding of these small moments that will make a relationship last.
Here are a few steps you can take to stay focused on the moment in front of you and make it a positive one…
See your partner for who they are today. It is so easy to carry around with us the past hurts or failings of our loved ones. Try to look past the fact that he didn’t pick up the dry cleaning last week, or the fact that she didn’t call when she said she would. Instead try seeing your spouse for who they are today, right in front of you. Give them the benefit of a new day to surprise you!
Forgive yourself and each other for slip-ups. Even the most skilled communicators and the most thoughtful people have bad days. Try to take a more forgiving standpoint and say to yourself “oh he meant to say…” and look for what makes sense in what s/he said. Rather than reacting in an equally un-skilled way turn the conversation back in a positive direction.
Be a good listener. A marriage is hopefully a lasting pursuit. Being in a relationship necessarily means you will be spending a good deal of time together. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of not giving your full attention to a spouse or partner. You may thing you’ve heard this story 10 times, or maybe you just get so accustomed to the day to day chatter. Next time you are having a conversation stop, really listen to what is being shared. You might be surprised at what you learn!
Express gratitude and appreciation for your partner. Couples who are struggling to make a relationship last will often share that they just don’t feel appreciated. Days are busy, filled with work, social obligations, for some couples children. Remembering to appreciate your spouse if often left off the to do list. Studies show that couples who continually express gratitude and appreciation for on another have deeper and more loving connections. The good news is that you can increase the positivity today. Start with yourself, show genuine appreciation for your spouse and watch the love come back to you.
The bottom line is that small things add up. They are the bricks that create a solid foundation. Start paying attention to the details today and feel the warmth fill the room!