Even bad marriages have something about the relationship that seems to work. It might not be a lot of things that work, but there must be something. Focusing on the strengths of a couple can go a long way in making changes.
More often than not, people seem to focus on what isn’t working in their relationship. How often do you hear of someone calling their best friend or their mother to say, “hey, guess what is great about my marriage?” Instead, people tend to share their gripes about their partner and about what isn’t working in their eyes.
Accepting that your marriage isn’t perfect can help you to stop focusing on the negative aspects of your marriage. Learning to accept that some things may not be the best while focusing on what is going well can be helpful to the marriage. Looking at the positive aspects of your relationship can help improve your attitude about the marriage.
How hard would it be to develop a list of what you like about your marriage? Would it be easier to develop a list of what you don’t like about your relationship? Hopefully you are able to create a list of what you like about your marriage pretty quickly. If not, it means you’ve got some work to do.
Develop a written list about what you and your partner do well. Perhaps you agree on parenting issues most of the time. Or maybe you manage your finances together well. Or maybe you get along with each other’s friends and family. Think about what types of things you like about your partner and what you like about your marriage. Think about what sorts of things attracted you to your partner and what sorts of things you enjoy doing together.
Ask your partner what he/she likes about your marriage as well. Ask for input in creating the list. You may be surprised to hear your partner’s answers. Keep your list handy and read it regularly. Add to it and make sure to only add positive aspects about your marriage. Challenge yourself to tell someone else something positive about your marriage. Point out positive things to your partner regularly.
By focusing on what works well in your marriage, your feelings about your partner are likely to be positive. When you feel more positive, you are likely to behave differently, which can lead to more positive outcomes. Focusing on the positive doesn’t mean you ignore problems, but instead shows you want to put your energy into what is working well for you and not what isn’t working.