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Marital predator

October 26, 2011

A Great Idea …

“I think that in the marital ecosystem, negativity is the predator. In a sense, it is the lion that preys on the positive interactions between husband and wife. Too much negativity and the marriage becomes doomed.” (John Gottman, in his book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, pp. 66-67)

In Other Words …

Relationships almost always begin with a lot of positivity. But, over time, negativity grows and becomes stronger. Before long it may become stronger than positivity. It may gobble up the entire relationship leaving only a dry skeleton of a once vibrant relationship.

There is a place for negativity, but it is a small place. We should keep positivity vibrant and healthy. We should feed it with appreciative thoughts and positive recollections. Having five positives for each negative is the key to a flourishing relationship.

How This Applies to You …

Often you will be irritated with your partner. That’s normal. While you could collect and dwell on your irritations in your mind, it is better to set them aside and give them a minor role in your thoughts. Next time irritations start to gather in your mind, make a conscious decision to turn your focus to the positives in your relationship.

To Find Out More…

For more great ideas (or to share your ideas) check out the Navigating Life’s Journey blog

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

For an excellent book 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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