Studio 5 Family and Relationships Contributor Dr. Liz shares tips to win the game of marriage!
When two people simultaneously feel they got the better end of the deal, marriage is a true win! In any enjoyable game you play, there are certain rules, strategies, and creative processes for winning! The only thing missing from the game of marriage is competition. That’s deadly to a marriage! If one wins, no one wins. You win together or not at all!
Winning Strategies for Marriage
Think of a conversation as volleying a ball back-and-forth, back-and-forth. In marriage, there are rules against spikes and dropping the ball; definite communication disasters and eliminators.
2) Shield of Success
One of the worst things we do within the game of marriage is become defensive! While it’s a natural response we need to guard against it. I have had this old swat shield in my office for years. Imagine placing this or an invisible shield up against your heart so you can hear your partner’s frustration, pain, hurt and allow the “blame” you hear to hit the shield and fall like a broken arrow. Protect yourself so you can hear underneath the content.
3) Have A Heart
I often toss a heart-shaped pillow to a client in my office to remind them how every interaction their partner elicits with them is a risk of sorts; their heart is now in your hands. You have a responsibility with what lies in your hands. Are you going to be tender and gentle with it or throw it on the ground and jump on it?
4) Scale of 1 – 10
The best way to ensure that you win the game of marriage is to reevaluate the progress you’re making. What I think might be getting us closer to the happy finish line may not be what “he” is thinking is so great. I picked up this tool from author, Jack Canfield, “Chicken Soup for the Soul.” After every game play, meeting, connection, consultation, he asks the participants, family members or clients, “on a scale of 1 – 10, how did I do?” He asks for one number! Now, the second question, if that number is anything less than a 10, what could I have done to have been a 10?”
5) Share Winning Strategies
We can make winning impossible for our partner if we refuse to tell him the strategies that would lead him to a win. Please tell them what you long for, hope for, love! Don’t play the game of, “If he loved me he would remember what flowers I love, our anniversary, what I wore on our first date, when we first kissed, etc.” According to a recent study, some individuals are more conscientious by nature. Some of us are not! Share the strategies to your heart! For instance, “You know what I’d love to do for our anniversary next week? Go to our favorite restaurant, Martine’s!”
Dr. Liz Hale is a licensed clinical psychologist and a regular Studio 5 Contributor. Your comments and questions are welcomed! Please visit www.drlizhale.com to add your thoughts to today’s discussion or learn more about her private practice.