Lee J. Langley, M.S., LMFT
- 1) Speak to each other as if your pastor is over for dinner.
- 2) Avoid addressing your spouse by his/her first name, especially during heated discussions or when you are about to make a request. Use pet names whenever possible. Most husbands (and some wives) hear their proper names as the beginning of some sort of disrespectful interaction (reminds them of when mom was addressing them as kids). Pet names never inspire that feeling
- 3) Make it each day’s goal to make your spouse’s life better in some way. (Dr. Laura agrees with this one).
- 4) Remember how you acted with your spouse when you were courting. It’s likely very different than what you do now.
- 5) When there's conflict always ask yourself: Do I want to be right or do I want to be loved?
The question is: "Why wouldn't couples utilize these very simple and practical concepts to reduce conflict and increase love in their marriages"? The answer I'm given almost every time in counseling is that IT ISN'T FAIR. Husbands and wives feel it just isn't fair that they are expected to act in this way while they feel mistreated by their spouse. In fact, it is this relentless quest for fairness that often derails a relationship that was once very treasured.
Watch for my article next month entitled:
The Fair is in Pomona