Stress Reduction

Deepen Respect Between You and Your Spouse

[Read this article in Malay]


Did you know that children feel happiest when they see mom and dad talking, bantering, smiling to each other? Arguments happen in the best of marriages, but knowing when and how to gracefully exit an argument is one of the tricks that you need in order to have a happy, lasting marriage. Getting into an argument is easy. Getting out of one takes humility.

Even better, think of what you could possibly say and do to create deeper understanding and respect between you and your spouse. Choose to be kind by not giving in to impulsiveness and the desire to win an argument just for the sake of winning. In an argument that has gone out of hand, nobody wins, even if it seems at the time that one side has the upper hand.

Take a deep breath. Pause. A power pause alone may be all you need to save you from saying things that you will regret later.  It takes courage, maturity and self-control to do or say something that shows you care. For example, you could say “I’m glad we’re in this together”.  Or take a break if you see that it’s going nowhere.


Tackle It Before It Gets Worse

A simple way of thinking about marital conflict is by looking at it as though you are driving a car. Despite all the insurance you know you can get if you were to crash into someone, you would want to avoid it at all costs because of the inconveniences and the heartache, especially if someone you loved ends up getting hurt.

The worst thing that can happen is that you lose a loved one or you or a loved one is maimed permanently as a result of the crash. Thinking of the worst possible consequence makes you more careful. It’s the same with marital conflict. Knowing the worst possible consequence of having a major crisis can motivate you to act kinder and smarter.

More often than not, conflict doesn’t just erupt into a full-blown crisis right away. It may begin with something small, an irritation or discomfort perhaps, that tells you “something isn’t right”.  Ignored or treated negatively, it gradually evolves into something bigger. You know it has turned into a crisis when the thought of it makes you tense and anxious. To prevent escalation, acknowledge that a crisis is on the way, choose to have good thoughts about your spouse and identify shared goals that can keep you together.


Proactive Step To Sustain A Marriage: Undivided Attention

When was the last time you and your spouse sat together and talked of nothing else but what you have been dreaming to achieve as a couple? No matter how difficult, spend uninterrupted time together, where you and your spouse can give each other undivided attention. Do whatever you need to create this sacred time together. If you don’t have a maid, arrange for a babysitter.

It could be just holding hands or having a cup of coffee or tea in the living room or taking a walk side by side. It may seem a small, inconsequential act but is in fact, crucial in the long run. It can make or break your marriage. Spending uninterrupted time together, giving your spouse undivided attention seem so simple, but it’s the simple things that can easily get overlooked, leading to major disappointments like: “My spouse has become a stranger to me. I don’t know who I’m married to anymore.” 

Don’t talk about the baby and other things all the time! Talk about the two of you. Your dreams. What do you hope of achieving together? You both can accomplish so much more together than by your own selves. One reason couples fall out of love is that they stop dreaming together.

Work on shared goals. These goals may change from time to time. A happy married life is like working in a team. What is there for the team to stay together when there’s nothing for them to work for, something they are striving for the future? Work on planned spontaneity. It means blocking the time when the two of you can just be together without the baby, in-laws or whatever that may distract you from one another.

Featured image: Victoria Rain

About Jamilah Samian

Jamilah has written 543 articles.

Jamilah Samian is an author and speaker.

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