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Light Up Your Marriage With Enthusiasm
How being enthusiastic in your marriage can lead to a brighter future.

Don't be the party pooper in your marriage, be the one to bring excitement.

Have you ever been to a party where one of the guests walks in with a sour face, finds fault with everything, which puts a damper on the entire event? Or you are in a perfectly good mood and you start talking with someone who sees nothing but doom and gloom in the world and within minutes you are depressed?

Nobody likes to be around a "party-pooper" and with good reason. But have you ever thought about what you bring to the party? What you bring to your marriage? Do you consistently bring excitement, enthusiasm, caring, wonder and appreciation? Or do you whine a lot, complain, moan and find something wrong with most everything about it and, in particular, your spouse?

What you bring to your life is what you receive in return. For example, if you approach your work with enthusiasm, you'll find it easier to do, more fun, and consequently, you'll be more successful. Ah, but you say, "There's nothing to get enthusiastic about in my work." No? How about being enthusiastic about the people who directly or indirectly benefit from what you do? How about being happy about having a job because you can afford to pay your rent as a result? Or, how about the excitement of knowing you can use your current position as a stepping stone to a better job? There's almost always something you can find to be enthusiastic about if you look hard enough.

The same thing applies to your marriage. Listen to yourself for a day or two. What do you say to yourself about your marriage? Do you complain of having to be responsible to someone else, like having to check in if you’re running late, or always letting them know where you are? Do you grouse about having to deal with your spouse’s exacting tidiness or unabashed sloppiness? Are their eating habits so different from yours?

What do you say to your friends about your marriage? How much of what you say to yourself or to your friends is negative and how much is genuinely, overtly, resoundingly enthusiastic?

If you find that 90 percent of what you say to yourself and to your friends is enthusiastic—fantastic, keep up the good work. But if you find that 90 percent of what you say is negative, of the complaining, whiney, kvetching variety—change your focus.

Deliberately look for things about your marriage and about your spouse to get enthusiastic and excited about. Remember what attracted you to your spouse in the first place. Think about the fun parts of your marriage, the laughs you share, the things you like to do together, the love between you, the plans you make together, the hopes and dreams you build together, the goals you achieve.

Let these thoughts grow your positive feelings about your marriage until you feel aglow with excitement and heartfelt enthusiasm. Speak to yourself, to others, to your mate of your joy and excitement, of your appreciation for all that you enjoy about your marriage and about your spouse. Let yourself be alive with the energy of enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is a dynamic, contagious energy. It lights up anything it touches with exuberance and joy. You truly do get what you give in life. Give unbounded enthusiasm to your marriage and you’ll be amazed at the wealth of happiness you receive in return.

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D. is a respected psychologist, consultant, speaker and author. Her new book is "Your Man is Wonderful: How to Appreciate Your Partner, Romance Your Differences, and Love the One You've Got". For more than a decade, she has helped people live happier, healthier lives through appreciation—at work, at home and in relationships. E-mail: nnelson@dr.noellenelson.com, website: www.yourmaniswonderful.com.

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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.

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