Marriage Counseling: Be Proactive vs. Reactive in Your Marriage

Listed below are some tools to getting your marriage back on track.

These tools will help you get to the heart of the matter vs. letting your emotions control the conversation.

Remember, fear of change is common and resistance will inevitably pop up – be easy on yourself, stay committed, and push through in the sake of love, and self-love.

First and foremost, some of you may be aware of this, but some may be shocked: According to Gottman, around 69% of marital issues are not resolvable. Yikes! Not to worry, there are ways to cope. The 1st step is to become aware of why this issue is an emotional trigger for both of you, and the 2nd step is to figure out how to meet in the middle. Compromise will always be needed.

  • 5 positives to 1 negative per day
  • Please don’t think you need a tally system; that could be counterproductive. Instead, when we do have a negative comment, try to back it up with something positive and/or with a loving statement about your partner.
  • Soft vs. harsh startup
  • A soft start up is all about timing, spoken in a low tone, and in a quiet and calm environment. It can sound as easy as, “can you talk with me for a minute?” Because our schedules can be so busy, any mention of talking could set someone off and/or become defensive. Another soft approach is sending an email and asking when it would be a good time for them to talk, without demands or criticisms.
  • Accept influence from your spouse – the reality is you cannot be influential unless you accept influence; pick and choose your battles. Share the power.
  • Listen to your heart and learn to walk away. Once your heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute and your blood oxygen content drops below 95%, the front part of the brain starts to shut down, putting you in a fight, flight, or freeze position. You can throw rationality out the window.
  • Go online and type in pulse oximeter (simply stick your finger in a small tube- set the pulse at 100 beat a minute (bpm) and the oxygen content at 95%. When someone elevates above 100 bpm or below 95% blood oxygen content, an alarm will go off.

Remember, fighting can be a good sign. It can show how the two of you desire emotional connection; just lacking the ability to do it effectively. The real danger is when the fighting stops. Schedule a marriage counseling session to reboot your emotional connection.