- Expect the best from your partner. I remind myself that the reason Marc hasn't done the dishes isn't because he thinks it's my job, it's because he's genuinely forgotten about it.
- Don't set your partner up to fail. For example, I was doing the dishes this morning and caught myself hoping/expecting Marc would walk in and say, "I'll do those." If I want something, I should ask instead of getting angry at him for not reading my mind.
- When having a heated discussion, keep the focus on the actual problem. Discuss the dishes, not all the things that are bothering you. If there's a bigger underlying problem - for example, you feel the dishes are a sign that you're being neglected - be upfront about it, instead of pretending you're just upset about the dishes.
- Another thing to keep in mind when arguing: don't bring up the past without a very good reason. Grudges can lead to heart attacks and kill you.
- Communicate even if you're afraid of the answer. This goes with the first tip, in that you should try to believe your partner is going to respond in a loving way to your feelings.
Oct 17, 2005
Little Things Matter, But Not As Much As The Big Ones
No matter how many little things you do to keep your marriage healthy, they can't replace the big ones. Here are some big ones that I think are important: