Marriage Advice to
Help Your Romance Soar
By Susie and Otto
you look at your love, do you see a bumbling
Clark Kent or heroic Superman? Your ordinary
Jane or Wonder Woman? For many of us, there is a
tendency to mostly see in our mates
shortcomings—the habits that irk us.
it’s just accepting “reality” or maybe it’s
about which reality we’re choosing to focus on.
Regardless of what you believe, the way you see
your love can have a huge effect on your ability
to intimately and passionately connect.
unfortunate but often true, we tend to be
harsher on those closest to us.
A woman in a
grocery store line yells at her husband for
forgetting to pick up olives in aisle 4 then
turns to the store associate with a polite smile
on her face exchanging pleasant talk. How can
Perhaps we tend to mostly see the flaws in those
we love so dearly because we may have had more
time with the person—with him or her letting it
all hang out, as the saying goes.
we live with undoubtedly have opportunities to
show us all of who they are—the “good” and the
“bad.” But what about the “good?”
you primarily see in your mate are the
tendencies that you label “bad,” those
unsatisfactory labels can easily transfer from
the habit to the person.
This can cause
disconnection between the two of you as your
disapproval comes through no matter how you try
to hide it.
the first day they moved in together, it was
evident to Sara that Bob was not what you’d call
a “handyman.” He never claimed to be, but Sara
still found it irritating that Bob hired help
for just about every fix-it task that came up.
grown up with a dad who seemed to thrive on the
challenge of every leaking faucet and broken
toaster, Sara felt that the man in her life
should happily take care of these things too.
She can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong with
Bob that he can’t (or won’t)--and it's taking a
toll on their love life.
after 7 years together, Sara assumes that
someone else will have to take care of all of
their home repair needs.
calls a local fix-it company when the garbage
disposal jams up. Barely hiding her frustrated
glare as Bob walks into the room, Sara dials the
company’s phone number.
Does Sara need to do some reframing concerning
her thoughts about Bob?
certainly does if she wants a passionate, loving
may not be doing what Sara has been doing but
you may be able to identify somewhat with her
can you widen your gaze to see the superhero in
your merely mortal mate?
Appreciate the Strengths
might choose to put down the phone and take a
few moments and breathe. After acknowledging to
herself some of the great things about Bob, she
can then sit down with him coming from a gentler
Together they may talk about what’s
going on with the garbage disposal and perhaps
even decide to work as a team to try to un-jam
key here is to notice your love’s strengths.
Yes, it might get on your nerves the way he or
she can’t seem to do some things, but surely
that’s not all there is? Find a quiet spot and
maybe your favorite photo of your partner.
are 3 things about your love that you see as
attributes? It could be the way he or she calls
the elderly neighbors once a week to check in on
maybe your mate gently squeezes your hand and
rubs your shoulders when you’ve had a rough
day. This doesn’t have to be x-ray vision!
Once you begin this list of what’s great about
the one you love, it gets easier and easier to
see the “good” stuff. And that feels better and
better for both of you.
Acknowledge the Possibilities
that you’ve widened your gaze and it’s easier to
see that your partner possesses some great
characteristics along with those less than
stellar ones, take it even further.
place of appreciation for all that your partner
is to you, open the doors of possibility wide.
to yourself that your love can do whatever he or
she wants to do. This could mean returning to
school for an advanced degree, assembling a
barbecue grill or being a more attentive
As you celebrate that your partner can
do virtually anything, you will probably start
to feel more joyful about your relationship.
might also choose to acknowledge that the
possibilities for yourself are endless as well.
Sometimes when we are mostly critical of those
we love, it is a reflection of being mostly
critical of ourselves.
Return to this process
and follow our suggestions appreciating your own
strengths and your own limitless potential. You
may just find that not only do you live with a
superhero, you are also one yourself!