Is Your Marriage or Relationship Alive?

What Helps You and Your Partner or Spouse Fly Over Hurdles Together?

If you admire and respect your partner or spouse, even being in a bad place together won’t be enough to break you apart—your relationship is still very much alive. Even though you may be facing big hurdles in your marriage or relationship, you can work together to rebuild what brought you together, and learn how to love each other better than ever.

Two Key Items to Keep the Flames Alive

Two of the most vital experiences in a marriage or relationship are having admiration and respect for each other. Even if you sometimes get annoyed by your partner or spouse and his or her quirks, if your admiration and respect for him or her are strong, you feel that your partner or spouse deserves what you feel towards him or her.

A Test: How Do You Remember Your History

How you view your past together may be one of the best ways to realize whether your admiration and respect for each other are still strong. If you’re distressed in your marriage or relationship, perhaps compliments are sparse between the two of you. If you look at what it was like in the beginning of your relationship, hopefully some sparks of positive feelings remain. If that is not the case, it's not a given that your marriage or relationship is over. Most likely, you will need an intervention in marriage and couples counseling or therapy to make it much better.

What Is a 94% Predictor for Longevity & Happiness?

John Gottman, PhD, the creator of Gottman Method Couples Therapy and author of “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” found in researching thousands of couples that if a couple views their relationship history with at least some positive spins, the future looks bright for these couples. If a couple is viewing their marriage or relationship history in a negative way, it’s a key sign the couple needs an effective intervention of marriage and couples counseling and therapy.

Are You There for Me?

A key part of viewing your spouse or partner in a positive way is to maintain a strong emotional connection together, when both of you feel certain that you are there for each other, in good and bad times. We use emotionally focused couples therapy as part of the Loving at Your Best Plan to help couples rebuild their emotional connection, the strongest predictor for longevity and happiness in marriages and relationships.

A Big Hurdle to Admiration & Respect: Relationship Injuries

If you’ve felt betrayed, abandoned, or significantly let down by your partner or spouse and that has not been healed, you are much more likely to distance yourself from him or her, and when a challenge occurs, you’re much more likely to view him or her in a negative light.

For instance, instead of realizing that your partner was in a rush in the morning and didn’t have time to put the dishes away, you start to view him as lazy and selfish, and your resentment and anger toward him can grow.

Steps to Help Your Marriage or Relationship Thrive

  1. Remind yourself of the good qualities of your spouse or partner: list 3 things you most adore about him or her and express them to him or her every day
  2. Recognize your partner or spouse in your daily gratitude journal, and express this to him or her
  3. What do you value your partner or spouse most?

Share Your Experiences

Have you been through a time when you could only view your partner or spouse in a negative way? Do you know what was happening between you that influenced this negative filter? If so, how did you shift that back to a positive view, or are you still stuck in that? If you've stayed mostly positive toward your partner and spouse, what has helped you to maintain this spark? Share your experiences, and join the conversation.

If you have a friend, family member, or acquaintance who you think would benefit from this blog, please feel free to share this.

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