Joy in the Morning
It is almost Valentine’s Day. A time when our thoughts turn to love and those ooey-gooey, mushy feelings. Or lack thereof! Jim and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in June, and I believe we have learned much over the years about how to keep a marriage alive and enriching. Those romantic feelings come and go, but true love is a decision. It is a daily affirmation you make when you wake each morning that for better or worse, richer or poorer—you know the rest of the jargon—I am committed to staying in this relationship. That doesn’t mean stuffing emotions in the name of peacekeeping. Rather, it is a decision to process feelings in a proactive way before they are blown all out of proportion.
Here are some questions to consider to improve your marriage, or any relationship for that matter:
- Will you help me understand why you feel that way?(focus on the other’s feelings and not just your own)
- Can we both agree to stick to the issue at hand?(not the time to bring up past grievances)
- What is a good desired outcome in this situation?(the goal of the conversation)
- How can we meet in the middle and not feel like we have lost the battle? (compromise)
- What can we learn to do differently in the future to strengthen (not injure) our relationship?