Cure For Irritation

A Great Idea …

“If looking on the bright side doesn’t come naturally to you, start with small steps. Make a list of your partner’s positive qualities-the things he or she does to contribute to your life together. Memorize this list and think about how much harder life would be without these positives. When you find yourself following a critical train of thought about your mate, use elements from the list to interrupt your thinking.” (John Gottman, Ph.D., marriage researcher, in his book Why Marriages Succeed or Fail p. 183)

In Other Words …

Being irritated comes naturally to us humans-especially when we are tired, hungry, bored, lonely, or angry. We may get irritated a lot in family life. If we don’t want irritation to take over our relationships, we need to be prepared to defend against it. We need to have reminders of positives readily accessible to keep us from giving in to irritation and sliding into negativity.

How This Applies to You…

Sit down and make a list of positive qualities and experiences with your partner. You might consider sharing this list with your partner and telling him or her how much you appreciate these things. Keep the list handy to help you deal with those inevitable bad moods.

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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