Marriage Therapists – React Differently 3

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Marriage Therapists – React Differently 3

Marriage Therapists Say You Can Improve Your Marriage by Reacting Differently

(Part 3 of 3)


According to Marriage Therapists There are Seven Steps to a Healthier, Happier Marriage.

  1. Identify the emotion that you most often experience when frustrated by your spouse. (That emotion is often anger).
  1. Note when you feel that emotion and pinpoint the behavior triggering it.
  1. Consider whether this interaction is one you experienced before, such as in your family of origin. If you have, this will speak to how determined you must be to develop and maintain a new way of responding.
  1. If there are multiple areas of concern, it is usually best to start with the smallest and/or easiest to address and expand out from there.
  1. Mentally rehearse and verbally practice what you are going to say and how you are going to react differently. If you can, role play your new responses with a friend or relative.

In terms of what to say, Fort Myers Marriage Therapists suggest that you think of past words or behaviors of your spouse that have been problematic.  Based on those comments or actions, use the 5 Point Message to practice establishing your new response.  You will want to add an additional point at the end (after point 5) having to do with consequences if your spouse continues to act the same way.

In terms of consequences, Cape Coral Marriage Therapists say it would be a mistake to start off with the most draconian consequences you can think of should your spouse continue to behave the same.  Be as firm as necessary, but as moderate as possible.  Make sure you are comfortable with your “line in the sand.”

Important: Consequences should not be used as a punishment or retaliation.  Nor should they be interpreted as a withdrawal of love.  You are not acting against your spouse.  Your intent is to be yourself in a way that is intended to improve your relationship.  Throughout this process, it is vital that you maintain emotional warmth and closeness with your spouse, say Estero Marriage Therapists.

  1. For this point, Marriage Therapists Fort Myers  say that once you are clear about your boundaries and how you will respond differently going forward, let your spouse know in person or by letter: (a) the issue you have been struggling with, (b) your unwillingness for things to continue as before, and (c) how you plan to act differently.  Leave blame out of this discussion.
  1. Finally, Naples Marriage Therapists advises that you ymplement and stick with your new commitment.  In all probability, your spouse will test you and your resolve.  You may hear calls, in one form or another, to “change back” to the way you were.  You may even experience inner doubts about the rightness of your new course.  But having thought it through and desiring to change the seemingly endless cycle of frustration of the past, keep the long term relationship benefits front and center.  State your beliefs and stick to them.   Become a broken record if you have to.  Change is not easy, but once implemented and maintained, it becomes the new normal.  If your spouse loves you, he or she will likely change in a positive way to meet the new reality you initiated.


If you live in Lee or Collier Counties here in SWFL and you need assistance in resolving marital conflict, contact Dr. Ken Newberger.  To learn more about his cutting-edge process, go to

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