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Day 1: Serenity for Perpetual Problems
Day 2: Change What You Can
Today’s Easy Relationship Task: Create a path toward a more intimate, trusting, and satisfying relationship by understanding how your perspective influences how conflicts are handled.
How to love on this task:
- Read the concept of the Positive Perspective
- Build the courage to change the way you think.
- Use today’s fondness exercise to strengthen the love of your partner.
One morning, during the time I was patiently awaiting my divorce, I called my friend Lil, again, to vent. “I can’t believe I married him!” I said so dramatically, pointing out the reasons I needed this divorce more than anything.
She, the clever clinical psychologist, replied, “I’m sure at one point you did love him. He was your high school sweetheart. He’s all you ever talked about. Who else were you going to marry?”
Lil was true to this: calling me out whenever I began a series of distorted negative thoughts.
My negative thoughts led to ill feelings. Feelings led to rants like these. And she was right. Since I was 16, I wanted to marry that boy down the street.
So what changed?
One thing I realize now is that my perception had become my reality. While Lil had tons of proof that we were in love, I’d adopted The Negative Perspective. I couldn’t think of one positive thing to say about us, except the fact that we had had our babies, who were beee-you-ti-full.
Power couples have The Positive Perspective
The positive perspective is a favorable view of your relationship. It happens after the friendship of your marriage is strong, which in turn, helps to lighten conflicts when they do come up.
Let’s say your partner comes in later than normal from work. A positive perspective would lead to thoughts of “He probably got stuck in traffic or ran to the store.” So you might question him when he gets home but with more light-heartedness. On the other hand, a negative perspective will have your mind ALL. OVER. THE PLACE. “He doesn’t value family time. He’s trying to avoid helping with the kids. Or the chores. Etc. etc. etc.”
If you’re constantly spewing to your friends (or yourself) about all the things that are going wrong in your relationship, you’ve probably adopted the The Negative Perspective.
Today, I want you to focus on building the courage to change the way you think.
Think differently about your partner, so you can speak differently, regardless of what your current relationship looks like. Over the next few days, I’ll share a healthy relationship thought. In turn, your challenge is to complete the proof task. Cause yes, the relationship satisfaction proof is in the pudding, aka your perspective.
Remembering alone does not restore the positive perspective BUT it will remind you of your partner’s positive qualities. Even as you struggle with each other’s flaws, this will strengthen the bond between you.