In this blog post, we’re delving into the fifth step on our journey to rescue your marriage.
Step #5: Experiment and Monitor Results
Imagine your mission is to discover the perfect formula for a successful marriage. Well, you’re in luck because, in your relationship, you can experiment and see what works best for you.
But Not Every Experiment Will Work…
It’s important to understand that not every strategy you try will yield the desired results. That’s why it’s important to develop a solution journal to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
– Describe the challenging situation.
– Write down specifically what happened that upset you.
– Describe how you handled the situation.
– Write down your solution-oriented approach.
– Describe your partner’s immediate reaction.
– What did they say or do?
– In what ways was their response different or more positive than usual?
Remember, you don’t have to be a perfect note-keeper; mental notes can be just as effective.
A Cookbook of Marriage-Saving Strategies
Choose Your Battles Wisely:
Before engaging in a battle, make sure it’s worth fighting for. Did you know that 60% of the things couples argue about are not resolvable? Focus on what truly matters and what you can’t live without.
Strike When the Iron Is Cold:
Avoid reacting impulsively to situations, especially when you’re angry or upset. Take the time to reflect on your goals and whether your actions will bring you closer to them.
Instead of criticizing your partner, appreciate the little things they do. We often focus on what we don’t like about our partners and forget to acknowledge the good stuff.
Focus on Problem-Free Times:
Many couples get stuck on the 2-3 fights they have each month and forget about the 20+ days they spend happily together. Shift your focus to solutions, not problems. Learn to make the good times happen.
Acting As If:
Don’t anticipate negative reactions from your spouse, even when you expect them. Approach situations “as if” you expect a positive response. Act as if you believe things will turn out well.
Do Something Different:
If a particular approach isn’t working, it’s time to switch things up. Repetition of behaviors can be a turnoff.
Easier Done Than Said:
Reduce the number of words you use and let your actions speak louder. Men, in particular, can sometimes get overwhelmed with words, so actions can grab their attention.
Sometimes, stepping aside and letting your partner take the reins can lead to surprising results. Stop being a fix-it addict and see how they respond.
Do a 180:
Change your reactions to behaviors that upset you. If you’ve been yelling, try being calm. Your change can influence theirs.
The Last-Resort Technique:
This is a final step when all else has failed. For example, if you and your spouse have separated physically, stop pursuing them, get a life, and wait and watch.
– How long does it take to improve/save a marriage?
> It varies based on several factors, including the severity of the problem and your efforts.
– How can I tell if what I’m doing is working?
>Refer back to your goals and look for small changes.
– What might be a sign that the method I’ve used is backfiring?
>Don’t judge by immediate reactions; observe for positive changes.
– How long should I stick with one method before deciding it isn’t working?
> Positive responses should be evident within a week or two.
Mandatory Dos and Don’ts
Remember, be patient, listen carefully, and control your anger. Limit your words and practice self-care. Be gentle, strong, and confident, and be consistent with your actions, not just words. Read as much as you can on the subject.
Avoid showing desperation openly, especially when you’re hurting. Focus on your spouse when communicating. Don’t believe everything you hear or see. Don’t give up, even when it’s tough, and don’t backslide from your hard-earned changes.
How Coaching with Me Can Help
Experimenting and monitoring results can be a complex process, and that’s where I come in. My coaching sessions can provide you with guidance and support as you navigate these strategies and work towards a healthier, happier marriage.