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Irritations are an invitation

May 11, 2011

A Great Idea…

“To improve or save your marriage you must remind yourself that your mate’s negative qualities do not cancel out all the positives that led you to fall in love. Nor do bad times wipe out all the good times.” (John Gottman, Ph.D., leading marriage researcher, in his book Why Marriages Succeed or Fail p. 182)

In Other Words…

A great relationship is made difficult–or impossible–by the false hope that we can get rid of all the irritations. Relationships are supposed to irritate us. By chafing us they remind us that there is a view besides our own, that we only know part of the story, and that we can learn from others. The key to strong relationships is not to get rid of irritations but to accept them—maybe even value them—and then to remember all the positives in our partners and our relationships.

How This Applies to You…

Next time you feel irritated about something in your relationship, don’t let it take over your mind and heart. Make a special effort to turn your focus to something you appreciate. Think of the qualities that made you fall in love with your partner. Make a list of great times and great qualities that your partner brings to your life.

To Find Out More…


For an excellent (and free!) program on marriage, see The Marriage Garden at Arkansas Families.

For excellent books focused on marriage, read Why Marriages Succeed or Fail by John Gottman or The Marriage Garden by H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall.

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