Recently, we attended a work-shop on how to incorporate more positivity into our lives. We were reminded how easily the challenges of life can dominate our thinking. This can be especially true where our couple relationship is concerned. Have you ever thought, “He never gives me any affection” or “She always nags me”? When we focus on the negative, those thoughts color our attitude on life and our marriage. That leaves little room for seeing the positive. To get more of what we want, we need to stop focusing on what is wrong and get clarity on what we do want in our relationship. It may seem simplistic, but getting clarity on what we desire for our relationship does two important things: 1) Stops the downward spiral of negative thinking, and 2) Enables us to recognize what we do want showing up more often.
Paul: In the work-shop, we learned to first write down all the aspects of our relationship that we think could use some work (the negatives). I wrote things like: wanting to be right, having the last word, different interests, and not as affectionate as we once were. The next step was to convert those negatives to positives - what we want for our relationship – clarity. So, for the four things listed above, I wrote: having a balanced exchange of ideas, peace and harmony between us, common interests on things that matter, and affection comes easily and naturally to both of us.
Steph: For my negatives I wrote: distracted listening, lack of affirmation, impatience, and less interest in lovemaking. In order to get clarity – what I do want, I wrote: focused and attentive listening, positive and encouraging words, patient with each other, and greater interest in making love. The common sense part of this process is that negativity typically begets more negativity. So if we keep focusing on what we don’t want, chances are that’s what we’re going to keep getting. By turning those negatives into positives and repeating them, we can gain a new perspective. Positive thoughts will influence our feelings, behaviors, and attitudes positively as well!
Paul: The second step in the process is to write all of our positive statements into a short paragraph that we can review daily to remind us of what we do want. This is called a Desire Statement. To help us believe in and have confidence in our Desire Statement more fully, we begin our sentences with phrases like: “I love knowing that…” “I’ve decided…” “More and more…” “I’m excited at the thought of…” These little phrases help remove doubt and boost the believability of what we’re seeking. Here is a link to our Desire Statements using the clarity phrases we shared above.
Steph: By choosing to focus on the positive and what we want for our marriage, we chart a course toward making it happen. We have decided to read our Desire Statements daily so we can celebrate the little successes we see and give thanks. We have found that this simple daily act has positively affected our attitudes, behaviors, and the mood in our home. We encourage you to give this simple process a try!