Ditching the Negativity In Your Marriage Four ways to make your marriage positive and bring you both together. BY WINN CLAYBAUGH
It's difficult to feel energized and positive if you only spew negative statements back and forth.
What happens at your house at the end of each day? Do you and your wonderful spouse greet each other warmly, enjoy a nice meal with stimulating conversation and then fall passionately into bed together? Or do you spend your time together complaining about your workday, trading the latest gossip about the neighbors, watching back-biting competitors duke it out on reality television shows and then fall into bed feeling mentally drained and exhausted from another typical day?
One of the best ways you can spice up your relationship is to eliminate the negative drama that keeps you from being nice. Divorce yourself from the people, beliefs and experiences that cause you to be mean, unfeeling and insensitive. Divorce yourself from even the subtleties of negative training.
Most people would love to assume that they’d never program garbage into their own minds, yet it often happens by default. By being unaware of the information you take in, you let others decide your programming for you. Maybe you let the producers of horrible, gossipy talk shows decide what your programming will be; and since their choice for you is negative drama, that’s what your mind, heart, and soul take in. Then your beliefs, your relationships, and your view of the entire planet are all about negative, hopeless drama.
If you want a warm, loving and nice relationship, stop giving so much power and attention to the negative, unkind "realities" of life and pay more attention to the simple, easy expressions and demonstrations of niceness. To keep negative drama from seeping into your relationship, try replacing stress-producing drama with these four fun, positive activities.
1. Create a "Caught Ya!" board. Whenever you see your spouse doing something wonderful, "write them up." A Caught Ya! message could read something like, "To Derrick: Thanks for surprising me by cleaning up the kitchen." Keep preprinted "Caught Ya" cards near your board and display it where you can easily see it and add your notes.
2. What’s on your refrigerator or bulletin board? Take down anything negative and post stories of hope and inspiration.
3. Devote time to a favorite charity…together! Doing something good for someone else brings you together as a couple and helps you step outside your individual drama.
4. Give each other something to laugh about! It’s a medical fact that stress can lead to ulcers and other unfavorable physical calamities. When people laugh and have fun, their bodies release endorphins—the ultimate "natural high." Give yourself and your spouse a daily dose of healthfulness by making your home life fun.
Every day, you have two choices. You can spend the day looking for problems or you can spend the day looking for reasons to celebrate your spouse and life. If you look for problems, you can spend your days feeling drained, exhausted and bitter because of all the problems you discovered. But if you look for reasons to celebrate, you can feel energized and grateful because you focused on things that empower both yourself and your spouse. Which way would you rather spend your days, and which type of relationship would you rather have?
Winn Claybaugh is the author of Be Nice (Or Else!) and "one of the best motivational speakers in the country," according to CNN’s Larry King. A business owner for over 25 years with over 8,000 people in his organization, Winn is the co-owner of hair care giant Paul Mitchell’s school division. Winn has helped thousands of businesses build their brands and create successful working cultures. His clients include Southwest Airlines, the Irvine Company, Vidal Sassoon, Entertainment Tonight, Mattel, For Rent magazine, Structure/Limited/Express, and others. Winn is a frequent guest on national radio and a regular contributor to online publications. Visit www.BeNiceOrElse.com to sign up for his free monthly newsletter.