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Reduce Marriage Problems: Go and Wake Up Your Luck
At one time or another, most of us have had daydreams about winning the lottery, achieving great fame, or having the perfect partner and living happily ever after. We usually visualize our imagined future good luck as something that will unexpectedly "come out of the blue" and surprise us.
In reality, most luck is the product of lots of hard work and creative initiative. If we just wait for good things to fall into our lap without any effort on our part, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. It's up to us to do the groundwork that will open the door for opportunity to come into our life.
A Persian saying advises, "Go and wake up your luck." To do this, we have to wake up and start taking action toward our goals. For as a Yiddish proverb admonishes, "If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep." It takes initiative, energy, and effort on our part to start the process of preparing the way for good things to happen.
According to Anthony Robbins, "It is in the moment of your decisions that your destiny is shaped." This means that the unfolding of our destiny is not a passive process, but rather that each day we are actively influencing what happens in our life. The good news is that if we are dissatisfied with our life, we can always make new choices and create a life that more accurately reflects who we are now and who we want to become.
These same principles are true in every aspect of your life, including your marriage. The happy marriage doesn't just happen. It requires consistent effort and initiative to solve marriage problems and reduce conflict.
If you want a marriage with quality emotional intimacy, then you have to take steps to deepen your feelings of connection with your spouse. At some point in the future, it may appear to family and friends that you have been very "lucky" to have such a loving marriage. But you'll know the hard work behind the scenes that being "lucky" in marriage usually requires.
How to Be "Lucky" in Your Marriage
Here are seven tips to follow:
1. Instead of blaming your spouse and focusing on how he or she should change to be a better partner, concentrate on changing yourself to become the kind of ideal partner you'd love to have.
2. Make a point of always noticing your spouse's good qualities and what you like and admire about him or her. Give your spouse lots of praise, and look for opportunities to give compliments in front of others.
3. Express your appreciation and love frequently-verbally, in writing (notes and cards), and with hugs and physical affection. Be sure that you don't hold hands, hug, and kiss only when you have expectations of sex, or your partner eventually may start trying to avoid physical contact with you.
4. Record important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries in your daily planner at the first of each calendar year. Be sure to list the special occasions a couple of weeks ahead of time as well as on the specific days so that you'll have time to buy a present or make dinner reservations. Be the spouse who never forgets a special occasion. You'll gain many extra good will brownie points for this!
5. Create a "story" about your marriage, how you met your spouse, how much you love each other, what your adventures have been, etc. For example, you might tell the story of when you met your Prince Charming at your second cousin's wedding, right after you slipped and fell in front of everyone and he helped you to your feet.
You could say that he probably thought that was a rare happening for you, but little did he know about your klutzy tendencies and that after you married, he'd be helping you up from floors all over the globe... Make the story light and humorous and have fun adding to it through the years.
6. Learn what to overlook. You can't make a major deal out of everything that happens. Pick your disagreements carefully and distinguish the unimportant or "small stuff" from the important "big stuff." Constant conflict will extinguish the flames of passion.
7. Never, never, never ever call your spouse names or belittle him or her. It's impossible to feel loving toward someone who has just called you a "stupid idiot" or worse. Leave the room, bite your tongue, go outside for a few minutes-do whatever you have to do to stop yourself. Learn how to disagree without name calling or resorting to sarcasm or mockery.
Being "lucky" in a marriage relationship requires hard work, but the payoff is huge.
Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D., is co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" This is available at http://www.KeepYourMarriage.com ,where you can also sign up for the free weekly Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine to get ideas and support for improving your marriage.
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