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Dealing with discontents

October 7, 2013

Here’s a great idea…
In their book, The Marriage Garden, H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall say,
“We may think that we’ll build a better relationship by dealing with our discontents. But this keeps the focus on the problems. When we focus on our discontents, we are likely to get stuck in them.” (p. 4)

In other words…
If we focus on what is annoying about our partner then that becomes central to our relationship, rather than the good characteristics that attracted us to him or her in the first place. Even if we could get our partners to stop doing all of the things that annoy us, we would have partners who are dispirited and discouraged. That’s because they will have stopped being themselves.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
The next time you’re irritated by something about your partner, choose to focus on the good. Remember what you enjoy about your partner instead.  Let the good outweigh any irritation.

To find out more…
about couple relationships, check out The Marriage Garden or the Getting Our Hearts Right programs at, follow us at or contact your local county Extension agent. You may also like to read The Marriage Garden book.

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