Improve Your Relationship Through Affirmation
It is common for us humans to notice the negative, whether in our own minds (paying attention to what you did wrong vs. what you did right) as well as with our partners (he/she never vs. he/she considers me by…).
Letting others know when we like what they do is a way of acknowledging behavior, as well as teaching them our preferences.
This exercise will help you develop your ability to be aware of your partner’s efforts. John Gottman, a reknown researcher on what makes relationships work, states that fondness and admiration for your partner is a key skill for a healthy relationship.
At least once (or more) per day make a note of something your partner does that helps your relationship. When possible, find an appropriate way to let your partner know that you appreciate the effort. Watch for times when you felt cared about, helped, or understood and try to identify specific things that led you to feel that way. (Hint: You can also catch yourself doing something right and silently give yourself credit. Notice when you are being flexible, compassionate, and understanding.)
For example, “I really appreciate you cleaning up the dishes tonight”, or “Thank you for texting me this morning to wish me a good day at work”, or “I like it when you consider what I would like to do over the weekend and make plans with me.”
1. What did you acknowledge or give your partner credit for?
2. How did your partner respond?
Relationship counseling can provide you additional assistance with improving your relationship and fostering a deeper connection with your partner.
What emerged from the Gottmans’ collaboration and decades of research is a body of advice that’s based on two surprisingly simple truths: Happily married couples behave like good friends, and they handle their conflicts in gentle, positive ways. The authors offer an intimate look at ten couples who have learned to work through potentially destructive problems—extramarital affairs, workaholism, parenthood adjustments, serious illnesses, lack of intimacy—and examine what they’ve done to improve communication and get their marriages back on track.
John Gottman has revolutionized the study of marriage by using rigorous scientific procedures to observe the habits of married couples in unprecedented detail over many years. Here is the culmination of his life’s work: the seven principles that guide couples on the path toward a harmonious and long-lasting relationship.
A groundbreaking, practical program for transforming troubled relationships into positive ones.
Psychologist John Gottman has spent 20 years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship. This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to help you determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to help your marriage.
Heralded by the New York Times and Time magazine as the couple therapy with the highest rate of success, Emotionally Focused Therapy works because it views the love relationship as an attachment bond. This idea, once controversial, is now supported by science, and has become widely popular among therapists around the world.