April 07, 2008

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What makes you happy? Welcome back to FIRST FRIDAYS with Margie! (Due to circumstances beyond both Margie's and my control, we didn't have a March post). Every first Friday of the month, marital therapist, writer, and presenter Margie Lawson will share relationship tips for keeping romance alive and lines of communication open. ----------------------- What Makes You Happy? Simple question. Complex answers. Couples know what makes each other happy. They usually know the big things. And – they may know some of the small things. Too often, spouses forget to pay attention to the small things that push emotional buttons. It’s those not critical, but oh-so-annoying oversights that contribute to marital distress. Things like: shoes in living room, chip bags left open, dirty dishes, and the ever-popular forgot-to-take-the-trash-out. When couples are not happy about things – their dialogue can degrade to arguing about anything. Any topic can become a verbal battleground. When you pay attention and honor the things that make your spouse cringe, you’ll enhance their happiness – and yours too. If it’s a big deal to your spouse that the spare car keys hang on a certain hook, why not put them there. You may not care if they’re on that hook or in a kitchen drawer. If they care, and you toss the keys in the drawer, then you’re showing disrespect. No power struggle is indicated. Don’t get caught up in creating issues about things that are inconsequential. Put energy into creating a happy life with the person you love. The following...

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