Frisky Friday: Don’t just ‘love’ your spouse, ‘like’ her/him, too!

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By Leslie Lindsay

There are days I look at my darling husband and think, “Humpf?  Where did I get the idea that he was a catch?”  You know what I am talking about.  We all do it.  Heck, he probably thinks the same about me!  I bet he looks over at me in my comfy-cozies and says, “Man, I remember when she used to get all gussied up to see me.”  Or, how about when he “forgets” to get a glass, but instead sticks his mouth under the water purifier at the kitchen sink like a drinking fountain.  Yep, I still love him, but I don’t always like him.

Seems this is true, not just for me but for many couples.  According to an article appearing in the February 2012 issue of Chicago Parent, Laurie Puhn–couples mediator, relationship expert and author of “Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In, “I hear all the time that partners don’t like each other, but they do love one another.  The ‘liking’ feeling tends to disappear as everyday job stress, parenting decisions, financial woes, and child-induced sleep-deprivation set in.”  She even goes on to say that many folks are actually nicer to strangers than their spouses!

The deal here is we are our best selves when we are early in our relationships.  We show each other empathy, respect, interest, patience, etc.   As time goes on, we come to expect those things from out partner, even when they are having a bad day, or just don’t feel like it.

  • Recognize when you need a little extra from your sweetie.  Ask yourself, “What do I need right now?”  “How do I want my honey to respond differently next time?”
  • Realize that when your partner is irritable with you, it’s actually sorta-kinda  a good thing.  It means he’s comfortable around you.  It means he feels he can “let down” and you will still love and accept him.
  • Focus on the solution.  So, she had a bad day.  How can you help her feel better?

For more information, see “Fight Less, Love More” by Laurie Puhn.

Product Details  (image retrieved from Amazon, 2.24.12)

See also Laurie’s website:  http://lauriepuhn.com/

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