It’s very natural to have disagreements with your spouse at times.

But if you’re not careful like many couples you could fall into a bad habit of only seeing your partner and the whole relationship in a negative light.

Have you stopped seeing the good?

Work stress, having children, and caring for elderly parents are just a few of the numerous factors that drive couples to have extended periods of difficulty.

It’s not that you have difficult times that’s a problem, it’s that they colour your perception of the whole relationship and that negative perception signals the demise of a  relationship.

When all you see is the bad stuff, you know you have a problem.

Not giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt or not seeing the work they put into your relationship may push you apart.

If you don’t overcome negative sentiments, the bad cycle between the two of you continues, resulting in more fights, distance, and sometimes even breakups.

You may ache for the connection the two of you used to have.

You may desire to be heard, loved, and pursued. And you may get angry and bitter when you don’t get it.

Though you yearn for what used to be, your bitterness gets greater every day and a partnership full of hatred and hurt is unsustainable.

You know the negative sentiment is ruining your relationship when the bad times outweigh the good ones.

What are the Indicators of negative sentiment override?

Have a look at the following negative signs and reactions and notice how often they come up and live in your relationship.

  • You know you have a grudge towards your spouse.
  • You notice a disregard for positive or neutral action and words and you see only the negative in the moment
  • You are on guard and on the watch for sleights so you can defend yourself.
  • You quickly get overwhelmed and inundated by your partner’s actions, behaviour or words.
  • Your communication is closed so nothing gets resolved.
  • Unpleasant remarks are rejected outright so no one takes responsibility.
  • Destructive habits and behaviours are starting to creep in.
  • When you talk, you notice sarcasm, defensiveness and enraged rants quickly take over.
  • You are not hearing and your partner has stopped listening.
  • Judgement is hasty
  • Stonewalling or avoidance have become your new normal.
  • You hold on to opposite sides of an argument and you are more often than not on opposite sides and busy defending your stance.
  • You’ve stopped trying. You may be apathetic or just numb.

These may be a sign your relationship is in trouble.

When negativity that has taken hold. What to do.

Start by assessing where you are . This means a total and honest focus on you.

Your relationship with you matters.

To have a happy and healthy marriage, it is necessary to look after your own physical and mental health. Prioritise the aspects of your life that will aid in your health and stress management, such as exercise, sleep, nutritious meals, and time to play, relax, and decompress.

Step 1- Become Aware

The first step in combating negative sentiment is to be aware of it and how it affects you and your partner.

You can’t remedy an issue until you’re aware of it.

Watch yourself for a day or a week and Make a list of any negative sentiments or acts you have toward your spouse. This will assist you in considering them.

Writing things down may assist you in seeing things more clearly. This seemingly little act may alter your perspective!

Once you’re aware, you’ll need to decide whether you want to begin to minimise negativity in your marriage on your own.

If you do, read on…

Step 2- Cultivate the good intentionally

You’ll need to accept that you (and your spouse) are trying your best and commit to avoid obsessing undesirable actions.

You’ll need a fresh vision that permits the relationship to grow. This could be a commitment by you to you, to strengthen your marriage and guard it from negative influences.

Then Focus on the good. Write and talk on the good qualities of your marriage and spouse with intention.

Cultivating  kindness is how it begins. As you did while you were dating, genuine compliments, favors, good words about your spouse, and unexpected acts of kindness such as getting a little gift or cooking a special meal “just because” may help shift your attitude.

Keep in mind the “magic ratio” that Dr. John Gottman noticed in successful partnerships. The Gottman’s tell us -A happy married couple has at least five positive encounters for every negative contact, thus “balancing” or even decreasing the negative effects. It’s comparable to a homeostatic “set point” for successful marriages—and it is attainable.

Step 3- Get help

If the two of you can learn to argue constructively, conflict may be a tool to bring you closer together. You can learn how have a long-lasting and meaningful relationship by changing how you bring up possible conflicts, listen to our partners, and negotiate your needs.

If you find this difficult and you’ve ended up in a spiralling pattern of fighting and not talking, you need support. Without support, you may continue to quarrel, despise each other, and finally split up.

Relationship skills that involve forgiveness of one’s spouse and one’s self are crucial if you intend to let go of the past. If you and your husband have unsolved issues, consider speaking with a couples therapist who can assist you in developing effective solutions for your marriage relationship.

Why do couples wait an average of six years to seek help?

Get help now.

Book an appointment here.