There are a few pieces of advice I find very helpful when working with couples in my office. People are often not as bad off as they think. The key is to get them to really listen to what is under the complaining. Getting them to calm down so they can hear is key.
When they are calm and able to listen there are a few pieces of advice that I think have been helpful.
- If your wrong admit it; if your right shut up.
- Whatever you water will grow. What you choice to water in your relationship is up to you.
- Hurt people hurt.
- If you can’t say something nice, find another way to say it.
- Foreplay begins the moment after sex ends.
- Be a detective. Try to find your partner’s positive qualities and tell them about what you see. No one (including you) wants to be around someone who is continuously looking at their flaws.
- Treat your partner as if they were your best client.
- Marriage is a place where everyone loses when only one person is right.
The Buddhist have a saying, “The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon.” I think of this statement often when couples are upset with one another and can’t seem to find common ground. The way in which one describes their relationship is not the relationship but just how they see it from their angle.
Don’t try to change how your partner views your relationship. This only narrows what you are willing to see. Instead really listen to what they are saying. Try to see it from their view as well as yours. This allows you to see your relationship in many different ways.