Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Dr. Linda, I Was Nice, But It Didn’t Seem to Matter

posted by Linda Mintle

unsure coupleCouples come in to therapy with this complaint. “I did nice things for my spouse, but it doesn’t seem to matter. She doesn’t even notice. I don’t get it.”

Honestly, they usually don’t get it. They fail to see that all the negativity of the relationship sort of cancels out the good when it happens. I know that doesn’t sound fair, but an on-going negative relationship depletes the positives over time.

For example, in an overall positive relationship, if a husband comes home and forgets to bring the bread for dinner, the wife would probably think,
“Oh, he must have had a lot on his mind and just forgot. No worries. We can do without bread.”

But if that same relationship is already very negative and the same thing happened, the wife would think, “See, he only thinks of himself. I can’t depend on him.”

In fact, research tells us that 50% of positive gestures go unrecognized in couples characterized by negativity. The reason–there is too much negativity in the bank. Even neutral actions are seen as negative.

So what can you do?

Go back to the basics. Work on the marital friendship, show admiration and respect for your partner, and most of all, be there when he or she tries to connect with you. The challenge is to deposit  positives into that emotional bank account. Over time, you can turn it around. But you have to be intentional. Keep down the criticism, defensiveness and disrespect towards one another. Don’t turn away when frustrated. Stay in the interaction, calm yourself and talk. Point out the positives about each other. Remember why you got together in the first place and try to recapture some of that good feeling!

 



Previous Posts

Too Much Information (TMI) Tori Spelling!
Tori Spelling, former Beverly Hills 90210 TV actress and daughter of well known television and film producer, Aaron Spelling, takes her broken heart to reality TV.  After seven years of marriage and four children, Tori is telling all in her new series entitled, True Tori. The premise of the show

posted 5:01:13pm Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Why is There a War on Christianity?
Every time I turn on the news I hear about some group who is trying to strip God out of the culture. They don't want prayer in school, God on our money, the 10 commandments in court rooms, Christian clubs to meet on college campuses (but Sex Week is fine), manger scenes on lawns, I could go on and o

posted 7:00:44am Apr. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Have You Found Your Soul Mate?
People tell me in therapy that they have or want to find their soulmate.  I'm really not sure what that means. Murray's new book, The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead defines  soulmate as your closest friend to whom you are sexually attracted. I like this definition because of the importanc

posted 7:00:17am Apr. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Should You Marry Young?
Friends of ours married off their son when he just turned 21. Another is getting married at 20 and hey, I was married at 19! Yes, I know, that is really young. But is marrying young a good idea? Well, for me it obviously worked. I'm about to celebrate 40 years of marriage this year. Yes, we ha

posted 7:00:59am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Hope of the Resurrection
It’s Good Friday. Do you sometimes feel as if your life is lived  in a perpetual Good Friday mode? Like the movie, Ground Hog Day, it seems you are replaying the same bad day over and over, fighting despair and struggling. Disease, broken relationships, prodigal children...the landscape looks

posted 7:00:41am Apr. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.