Couple

Love is a Choice – The Best Marriage Advice!

Noemi J. Mullins

We were duped! It’s been claimed that “Happily Ever After” is a magical state that occurs when you are in love. It’s not often that people tell you how hard it is to get along with your partner in daily life. It is not always easy to choose love. Sometimes it can be hard to let go of your opinions and listen to your partner. Nobody can teach you the skills you need to communicate with your partner.

Even in disagreement, choose to love even when you disagree.

You might be wrong to think you will always feel love for your partner because they love you. What happens if you disagree with their decision or make an investment that could jeopardize your financial security? This requires skillful conversations. Or fights can ensue.

In the past two decades, hundreds of couples have come to me. Rarely do couples come to me and share their love for each other. Why? They let things accumulate for too long!

It’s easy for partners and spouses to fall into bad habits, which can quickly lead to a relationship breakdown.

Even after decades of happy marriage, I can feel a little distance or friction between us if I allow my attention too much to be on little irritations (instead of on the things that I love and admire about my husband).

That moment taught me to stop and think about all the wonderful qualities he has, all the support he provides and all the ways we can enrich each other’s lives. This mind shift is easy for me to do when I feel like yelling and griping. Nope. It takes practice. A couple must have better communication skills and be willing to work together to solve their differences for their marriages to thrive. It requires a willingness to make a choice and love even when it isn’t easy.

How to Communicate Effectively by Resolving Conflict?

These are the truths about love!

1) Love is a decision made every moment. 

We have the option to choose to be critical or to seek understanding every minute of every moment. We have the option to encourage or nag our partner every day. Every interaction offers an opportunity to choose a better path of love. When we commit to daily love, it becomes a habit that strengthens our relationship and builds trust.

2) We decide the quality of our relationships.

Clients often list the many things that they don’t receive from their partner, such as attention, validation and time, support, etc. They are often embarrassed to admit how awful they are in these areas when I ask them how they rate themselves.¬†It is important to be able to communicate with our partners.¬†Listening can help you feel heard. Look for ways to be disrespectful if you don’t feel respected. This is the best advice I can give my clients seeking support in marriage.

3) It is part of being human to have disagreements.

No matter how loving or sweet our relationship is, there will always be bumps in the road. Each of us lives in our own private, complex, and highly personal universe. It takes effort to build bridges of understanding and see things from another person’s perspective. It is similar to building muscle. To see improvements, we must continue to work on the skill. If we continue to practice the new skill for long enough, it becomes part of our everyday lives.

4) Do not believe what your mind says!

If you feel confused or doubt how much your partner cares for you, you can ask yourself: “How true is that?” Is there another way they show that they care? Could you keep them in your thoughts?

When I first got married, I felt like my husband didn’t care because he didn’t compliment me or respond as expressively to my needs. It turned out that I was missing many of the ways he showed me he cared. He put gas in my car and listened to me intently. He also stroked my hair, supported my goals, and was happy to see me after I got home. I was too busy watching the compliments aisle and completely missed the many ways he cared. We will find what we seek.

5) I am responsible for my own needs being met

It is an illusion to believe that anyone can read minds. If you say, “Why can’t my partner just ?” then stop and ask what you want. While it’s easy to complain, it’s much better to ask what you want than to say so.

 

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