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  • Alisa Avruch

Don't fix your problems (do this instead)


I know how it is.


You have so many things you wish you could change in your marriage - or in your husband.


You wish

  • he would help more

  • he would compliment you

  • you could agree on parenting methods

  • (fill in your favorite complaint here)

You've read lots of shalom bayis books and articles, and they gave you methods, tricks and hacks to fix those marriage problems, right?


Like

  • use "I" messages

  • stick to the topic and don't bring up other issues

  • ask nicely without raising your voice

But here's the thing -


Yes, there are better and worse ways to resolve issues - and those ways are better than criticizing, yelling, and digging up old grievences.


But while you're trying to resolve your issues, you're going to bump into some unintended consequences - namely:

What you focus on, expands.


And that's bad news for problem solving. (See the word "problem" in there?)


Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should never try to fix the issues in your marriage.


But what I am saying is this:

Devote much, much more time and energy to building the POSITIVE connections in your marriage, than the amount of time you allocate to fixing the bad stuff.


How much more?


Well, let's say 80% of your energy should go towards deepening your connection. So that means that your good-vibes energy should be 4x your fix-it project efforts.


How do you build up the good stuff? Glad you asked!


You could

  • smile more at your husband - especially when he comes home, and also whenever you see him

  • show him appreciation for the things he does - yes, even if he rarely thanks you

  • check-in with 1-minute positive verbal communication throughout the day

  • set aside 5 minutes a day to just shmooze - have a cup of tea to make it official

  • talk to him about scheduling a regular date night (out, or in if necessary) to spend quality time together

What are your ideas? I'm sure you can think of a few.

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