11 Things You Are Able To Do In A Healthy Marriage
Following are eleven characteristics of a healthy marriage as it moves through marital crisis.
In a healthy marriage, you will be able to:
1. Stand back and see the larger picture
2. View your crisis from different perspectives
3. Have much to offer (your spouse and others)
4. Make very clear and powerful distinctions that give you tremendous personal power when it comes to communication
5. Speak to the point and with power
6. Create the intimacy that fills your life with joy and delight
7. Both realize that a marriage in pain is a marriage that is not working and therefore want resolution to move forward together.
8. Want the impasse between the two of you resolved quickly.
9. Want to diminish your pain, your fear and your discomfort when around him/her.
10. Want the freedom to move on, hopefully with each other.
11. Hope that the resolution will lead to a lasting connection or love, but know there is no guarantee. It is your preference, not your demand.
These 11 steps are commonly destroyed by our own emotional reactions…
Take a look at how you can take a positive look at how you can manage “first strike ” emotions in your marriage.
Here are three steps to better manage your emotional reactions:
Step 1: Don’t Believe Everything You Feel
It’s possible to believe an emotional reaction is a fact—even when it’s no more than a trigger response. When you feel something strongly in relation to something your spouse says or does, question it: what facts support your belief?
Step 2: Take Stock of Your Physical Response
When we feel threatened, our heart rate can increase. If you and your spouse are having a discussion and you feel yourself getting upset, take a moment and feel your heartbeat: is it quickened? If so, you may be reacting emotionally which is subverting your ability to work rationally with your spouse.
Step 3: Take a Time Out
If you and your spouse are having a conversation and you feel yourself getting heated up, it’s okay to take a break. Tell your spouse, “I would like to continue this in a half hour.” Then, take a break. Get your breathing and heart rate back under control, question what you perceive to be the ‘truth’ of what your spouse is saying or doing, and go back with a calmer thinking process.
Eventually, with enough practice, you will learn how to quickly assess your emotional state and manage it as it happens. It takes practice because, again, emotional reactions are happening on a level that is immediate—well before your conscious mind has had a chance to give a rational going-over to whatever the stimulus is.