When you and your partner reunite after work or time apart, the way you greet each other can set the tone for the rest of your time together. Making a conscious effort to greet each other in a positive way can improve the quality of your time together. If you have developed a habit of negative interactions, try changing the way you greet one another to see if it makes the rest of your time together more positive.
When you come home from work, do you immediately complain about your job? Do you tell your partner how horrible your day was and give specific examples of what happened? When your partner walks through the door do you immediately tell him how bad the kids have acted while he was gone? These sorts of conversations can start the evening off with a negative tone.
Complaining about your partner is also not helpful the minute you see one another. If you’ve noticed that your partner didn’t put his clothes in the hamper, yelling at him the minute he walks in the door isn’t likely to be helpful. Saving up complaints for when you see your partner again doesn’t use the time you have together wisely. Although there may be issues that need to be discussed, find an appropriate time to talk about them when things are calm.
Try to consciously start your time together on a positive note. Tell your partner two good things that happened today instead of the bad things. Your partner is more likely to be happy to hear the good things, which can make your spouse more excited to see you at the end of the day. If you aren’t used to thinking of positive things, this can take some practice.
Think of what a difference it can make if you say something such as, “I’m glad to be home, I missed you,” rather than, “my boss is a jerk. I can’t stand it any longer.” Focusing on the positive aspects of your day can help you to begin to focus on the more positive aspects of your marriage as well. Thinking positively can change your outlook as well as your behaviors.