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Marriage Advice to Help Your Romance Soar
By Susie and Otto Collins

When 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.

Maybe 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. 

It is 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 this be? 

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. 

Those we live with undoubtedly have opportunities to show us all of who they are—the “good” and the “bad.”  But what about the “good?” 

When what 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.

From 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. 

Having 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.

Now, after 7 years together, Sara assumes that someone else will have to take care of all of their home repair needs. 

She automatically 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?

She certainly does if she wants a passionate, loving relationship.

You may not be doing what Sara has been doing but you may be able to identify somewhat with her story.

The question is...

How can you widen your gaze to see the superhero in your merely mortal mate? 

Try these hints….

1.)  Appreciate the Strengths

Sara 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 place. 

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 it. 

The 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. 

What 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 them. 

Or 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.

2.) Acknowledge the Possibilities

Now 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. 

From a place of appreciation for all that your partner is to you, open the doors of possibility wide. 

Affirm 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 parent. 

As you celebrate that your partner can do virtually anything, you will probably start to feel more joyful about your relationship. 

You 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!  



Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of "Red Hot Love Relationships," invite you to visit
to learn how you can bring more passion into your relationship.


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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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