It's frustrating when you and your spouse are arguing all the time. You don't know how to stop, and it seems like things are never going to get better. The good news is that there are simple strategies for beating marriage woes, and one of the most effective strategies is gratitude and admiration.
Expressing gratitude and admiration may be the key to overcoming marital woes, according to a recent study.
Research shows that when you let your partner know how much you appreciate them and what they do for you, they feel more positive about the relationship and are better equipped to handle challenges as they arise. This works both ways—it's beneficial for you to express gratitude and admiration to your partner, but it's also being critical of each other, try telling your partner what you admire about them. This will make them feel better, which will make you feel better, too.
Here's a strategy: as soon as possible, after an argument or fight, send each other a text message with one thing you admire about the other person. Don't worry if it sounds silly—the point is just to get into the habit of thinking positively about each other.
Why gratitude and admiration are important.
It’s easy to get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of daily life and forget that we have things to be grateful for. The most important part of any relationship is gratitude and admiration, and when either one is lacking, that’s usually when the problems start. So how do you make sure you’re expressing your feelings enough?
I have some suggestions: Try saying "thank you" to your partner at least once a day—and try to be specific about what they did that made you happy. It could be something as simple as holding the door open for you or as involved as spending hours helping your son build a treehouse. Whatever it is, take the time to say thanks!
It doesn’t hurt to spice up your gratitude with some compliments and other positive words, either. If there are things in particular that really bring out your admiration for them—a certain outfit or a hairstyle change—let them know! And don’t just save those kinds of comments for birthdays or anniversaries—make a habit of letting each other know when the other does something particularly awesome.
Being grateful is good for your mental health.
Here are some of the many reasons why cultivating gratitude is good for your mental health:
• Gratitude is linked with happiness. And feeling happier is a common goal for most people.
• Gratitude increases positive energy, optimism, and empathy and reduces aggression, depression, and stress (while also improving health).
• Practicing gratitude on a regular basis has been linked to better sleep quality as well!
Expressing gratitude and admiration.
A great way to show your partner how you feel about them is by simply expressing gratitude and admiration. Here are some ways to get started:
• Write a letter or send a card. Simply let your partner know that you're grateful for him, her, or them. It doesn't have to be long; just get those feelings down on paper.
• Write a short poem. If poetry isn’t your thing, don’t worry about it! Just write spontaneous verses that capture what you love about your partner. This can be anything from the way their hair looks in the morning to the way they make jokes during movies.
• Send a text or email. Even if something small happens during the day—you think of an inside joke while waiting in line at Starbucks or remember how much they love artichokes—let them know!
The key here is using descriptive language when you express love and appreciation, whether doing so through writing or speech. For example, You might say, "I appreciate how you take care of our family and me," instead of "Thanks for everything you do!" The first statement makes it clear that their contributions are noticed and valued by more than just yourself.
How to determine which strategy is right for my situation?
If you have tried these techniques and find them helpful, I would encourage you to continue to practice these as you see fit. If, however, your marriage is in a more dire state and you need more guidance, I would recommend seeking the advice of a professional.
Marriage woes and Mental health
One of the most common causes of divorce is also one of the least talked about: mental health.
A lot of people don't realize how much mental health and well-being impact a relationship. Whether you or your partner have a mental health diagnosis or are just going through some difficult life challenges, it can be hard for your relationship to get back on track—and sometimes, it won't survive at all. And more often than not, It’s not because someone doesn’t love their partner anymore, but because they don’t know how to talk about what they’re going through.
As a couple, you have to make time for each other.
You have to be there for each other when times are bad, and you have to celebrate together when times are good. But sometimes, it can feel like your partner is distant or cold or that they've just checked out of the relationship entirely. In those moments, it's hard to know how to approach them without feeling hurt or angry.
It can also be hard to see their behavior as anything but an attack on you or your relationship—but it's important that you make an effort to see their side of things.
It's possible that your partner is dealing with some mental health symptoms that are making it difficult for them to connect with you in the same way they used to. They may not know how to express what's going on in a way that makes sense, and instead of trying, they're just trying to distance themselves from the situation, so they don't feel like a burden on you. It can feel like they're pushing you away on purpose, but they're probably just not sure how else to handle it—and they need you now more than ever.
But that shouldn’t stop them from getting help—and it shouldn’t prevent them from getting professional advice that could save their marriage!
Even the most grounded, understanding, and open-minded couples can find themselves facing communication problems at some point. Some issues arise because of simple misunderstandings while others happen because of more deep-rooted problems that aren't always easy to address without help.
If you're finding it hard to communicate with your partner, or if you just want to take your relationship to the next level, consider counseling.
Couple’s counseling is a great option for couples who are having trouble relating and communicating. It can help you and your spouse learns to communicate in a more constructive way, which is important for any relationship. A counselor can help you figure out why a fight escalated, what you're really trying to say to your partner, and how the two of you might better understand each other.
I offer various sorts of couple’s counseling, including individual therapy, couples therapy. Each type has its own strengths.
Individual therapy entails one-on-one sessions with me, who specializes in helping people overcome mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Couples therapy involves both spouses working together with me to address their problems within the relationship.
The best way to find out if marriage counseling would be helpful for your situation is by talking to someone who is experienced in this field, such as myself, who has been helping couples for many years now! I'd love to hear about what's going on with you so that we can work together towards making things better between you two.
If you're in a relationship that's struggling, it can be tough to know whether marriage counseling might be the right option for you and your partner.
Marriage counseling can help you obtain concrete tools for repairing your relationship. Having the guidance and support of an experienced counselor can help you both understand how much you may still be invested in each other.
Even if you're not sure whether marriage counseling is right for you or your relationship, I encourage you to reach out to me to start exploring what this process might look like. You might be surprised by how helpful it can be, especially if it's been some time since you and your partner have felt connected.